Outdoor recreational retailer Moosejaw now knows the full story of its customers' experience

Sept. 22, 2017 | by Judy Mottl
Outdoor recreational retailer Moosejaw now knows the full story of its customers' experience

Photo courtesy of Moosejaw.

Since opening its first store and online presence, omnichannel retailer Moosejaw has been all about engaging with those loving the outdoors and needing recreation apparel and products, whether they're hikers, rock climbers, campers or snowboard enthusiasts.

The Michigan-based retailer's marketing strategy, since launching in 1992, has been one of "madness," — a fun-focused, enthusiastic madness that is now woven into its digital customer experience strategy.

 

One just needs to read Moosejaw's "history timeline" to truly appreciate the witty, and clearly successful, marketing approach embraced by the retailer, which Walmart bought for $51 million in cash at the start of this year and now operates 11 stores.

 

In one particular example, Moosejaw's digital strategy to better understand online customer activity and user paths — in order to enhance customer service and customer satisfaction — is reaping bigger rewards than expected.

 

How Moosejaw met FullStory

 

In 2014, Moosejaw's IT chief heard about a new platform, called FullStory, through an industry colleague at a time the retailer was investigating new technology for tracking user path activity.

 

FullStory's platform allows companies to capture and analyze how customers use ecommerce sites — providing critical insight on how and where and when customers may be getting frustrated and having a poor customer experience.The tool's dashboard offers all usage analytics in one central place.
 

"We were analyzing other tools that showed user paths, but this was a unique take on it at the time — and we have evolved in how we use it. It's not that we didn't like what a product we had been using was doing, but FullStory was incredibly easy for the business users on our side to get up to speed using," Moosejaw CIO Michael Moore told RetailCustomerExperience in an email interview.
 

Moosejaw deployed FullStory that October, and while there were some initial technical issues with field and forms being named correctly to track things accurately, the platform integration went smooth. Moosejaw carries more than 400 brands, including Patagonia, North Face, Marmot and Arc'terx.
 

"There were no issues and gotchas with the deployment process—it was a simple tagging exercise," recalled Moore, adding that Moosejaw initially deployed FullStory as a UX exercise and marketing tool. While still using it for those needs, the retailer is enjoying an unexpected benefit.
 

"The biggest bang for the buck has been for customer service," said Moore, explaining FullStory is helping Moosejaw better respond to customer issues and provide a rapid-fire response to a poor customer experience.
 

"An easy example is a customer contacting us with a poor experience — let's say they had a hard time checking out. Before FullStory, we'd have to try to recreate their steps (if they even explained them correctly) or try to mine our logs for clues—expensive exercises for developers that rarely yielded answers," explained Moore.
 

In that scenario, Moosejaw had no way to contact the customer and likely lost the customer due to the poor experience, added Moore.
 

"With FullStory, literally within seconds, we can see exactly where they struggled. We can point our QA folks or developers at the issue, instantly see a UX failure, or understand that perhaps a particular browser wasn't playing nicely with our code," he said.
 

In September, FullStory, which is a Google Ventures-backed company with 1,000-plus customers, announced a new dashboard feature called Rage Grade. The tool lets customers understand exactly how and when sites and apps provoke frustration in their users and how those frustration levels stack up against industry competitors. The tool works, in part, on data collected during "rage clicks," a feature that tracks and analyzes when online customers click multiple times in the same area on a site.

 

While Moosejaw is not yet using the new dashboard feature, Moore does hope FullStory will offer up one new functionality — a filter or search segment for exists/bounces.

 

"We would love to be able to filter down to a set of sessions that exited a particular product page, for example, and review their behavior on that page. Is something broken? Something hard to interact with?," he said.
 

While Moosejaw is using a "bevy" of tools and analytics, the FullStory technology is the only one that provides the retailer with unsolicited and anonymous user payback.
 

"I have been a part of user experience and scripted sessions before — but being able to watch how someone interacts with the site in a real scenario and unknown to them that they are being 'analyzed' is invaluable," said Moore.

 

Embracing digital innovation remains a successful strategy

 

Prior to tapping FullStory, Moosejaw was an early adopter of augmented reality technology. Back in late 2011, it debuted an AR app, built by Marxent Labs, that drew lots of attention — good and bad, but ultimately delivered on the big goal: to drive consumer engagement.

 

The app let shoppers use smartphones to view unseen images in its printed catalog — basically the clothed models in the catalog appeared in their underwear via the app. As Mashable reported, the app got a wide range of response, from being viewed as sleazy to being touted as a creative marketing approach.


Few, if any, could argue about return on investment: 75,000 downloads in five weeks led to 1 million Twitter impressions and 160,000 video views.

 

At the time, Moosejaw's creative director Gary Wohlfeill told Mashable the retailer wasn't so surprised by the success and sales response as the app wasn't all about driving brand awareness, but more about engaging and "delighting" customers.

 

In that regard, Moosejaw's FullStory deployment is right on track with the retailer's longtime strategy about "long-term, loyalty based brand building."


Topics: Consumer Behavior, CRM, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Department Stores, eCommerce, Marketing, Merchandising, Mobile Retail, Omnichannel / Multichannel, Online Retailing, Retail - Analytics, Specialty Stores, Technology



Judy Mottl

Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

wwwView Judy Mottl's profile on LinkedIn

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