In an effort to stand out, rethink, grow and maintain its customer base, Thirstie, an alcohol-on-demand delivery service had to adopt the “content-to-commerce” strategy using its digital magazine “The Craft” to engage users and keep them coming back.
“The Craft” serves as a discovery platform for users. Instead of scrolling through spirit, beer and wine options on the app, Thirstie aims to help customers expand their horizons through educational and inspirational content.
“ ‘The Craft’ features recipes, food and beverage pairing ideas, as well as entertaining and hosting tips our customers can take ideas from, and then purchase the alcohol they need directly from the content to be delivered in under 60 minutes,” said Devaraj Southworth, CEO of Thirstie.
The brand has seen great results by not trying to force the initial sale, but rather developing long-term relationships through content marketing. For example, 80% of Thirstie customers come in through “The Craft,” and more than 20% of conversions are coming through content. Thirstie has had an average of 34% month-over-month growth since November 2014.
“We don’t strive to first get the sale – instead we prefer to lead customers through a thoughtful discovery and educational process that eventually converts to more sales,” said Southworth. “As a result of engaging content, we draw our users to repeatedly come back to our site, not just to order, but to learn about the alcohol industry.”
The average order growth has increased 41%, with an average order upwards of $75. The company is also tying “The Craft” to other channels digitally.
“Many of our customers are on the go, with 50% of ‘The Craft’ content being viewed on mobile,” said Southworth. “To this end we’re always thinking about how to integrate Thirstie across screens and channels, catering our customer’s experience to wherever they may be at the time of purchase.”
Email and social media play a role in this as well, Southworth said. With its paid content distribution strategy, Thirstie distributes organically via its social channels.
“Our belief is to not only just post articles from ‘The Craft’ on social, but to start a dialogue with our audience and engage them,” said Southworth. “This includes asking about their thoughts on the cocktail culture and then developing content that resonates with them.”
Southworth said the key to making the content-to-commerce model work is to create the right call to action for each article. He said sometimes it’s better to target an email capture in order to approach a consumer at a better time when they are more likely to make a purchase.
“Sometimes it’s better to target a purchase by embedding products within the content that can be purchased instantly,” said Southworth. “Bottom line, we’re building technology where we give writers authority and tools to create the right call to action from their CMS.”
Prior to using “The Craft” the company rolled out an in-app cocktail recipe feature and noticed that mobile engagement increased by 50%.
“We realized that consumers frequently don’t know what to order and want guidance while making purchases,” said Southworth. “Following our initial launch we noticed our web bounce rate decreased from 70% to 40% and time spent on the site increased twofold.”
Since then the company has developed a more robust content-to-commerce platform through “The Craft,” driving tens of thousands of unique web visitors at minimal cost.
Daniela Forte is Multichannel Merchant’s Content Producer