Gear up for loyalty

How Ekster rewrites the rules of customer retention

How Ekster rewrites the rules of customer retention - D2C Summit

Alexine Maurin

5 minute read16 Nov 2023

Boasting an impressive 1.5 million subscribers and an email open rate of 55-60%, Ekster has redefined the possibilities in customer retention. In this article, we dive into the insights from the Yotpo x Ekster talk featured at The D2C Summit 2023, where Laurence McNeill from Yotpo and Olivier Momma from Ekster shared their expertise.

Ekster's strategies are a masterclass in effectiveness, precision, and innovation, setting the gold standard for turning one-time buyers into lifelong fans. Their pursuit of excellence, fueled by industry best practices and creative finesse, is at the heart of their success.

Join us as we explore the three pillars of customer retention, best practices for loyalty programs, and innovative marketing strategies. Keep reading for a deeper understanding, or watch the full talk below for the complete story.

Ekster’s three pillars of customer retention

As Olivier Momma from Ekster reveals, their strategy for customer retention is grounded in a three-pillar approach.

Firstly, Ekster's approach is centered on product innovation. They are committed to developing products that stand out for their uniqueness and functionality, like their next-generation trackable card holders — arguably the smartest thin wallets around. They focus on creating innovative products that customers are proud to use and talk about. This emphasis on introducing distinctive, user-friendly products not only draws customers back but also encourages them to explore Ekster’s expanding range of smart travel products.

Second, comes the commitment to outstanding customer support. Ekster understands that great products need equally great support. By bringing their customer service in-house, they've ensured quick, personalized assistance. This includes the integration of live SMS chat during the purchase process (powered by Yotpo), making certain that their customers feel valued and heard.

The third pillar involves Ekster's innovative retention tactics. Their multifaceted strategy includes a unique loyalty program, which we'll explore more in the next paragraph. This program, along with seasonal campaigns and strategic collaborations, like their partnership with Lionel Messi, keeps the customer experience fresh and exciting, fostering continued engagement and attracting new fans.

motorbike motorbike

The ultimate loyalty program

Facing rising ad costs and tougher conversions, Ekster didn't just adapt; they got really smart. With Yotpo's help, they launched Ekster +, a loyalty program all about building a tight-knit community and smoothly transitioning customers to new product offerings. In Ekster +, earning points isn't just about purchases; you can also earn points for referring friends, leaving reviews, signing up for newsletters, or even following Ekster on their socials. Of course, there are the usual perks like early access to new products, members-only sales, and birthday surprises.

But here's where it gets really interesting: Ekster doesn't just reward loyalty; they actively involve members in their design process. They send out surveys, not just for feedback on existing products but also to gather members’ opinions on future product development. This approach allows members to influence what Ekster creates next, truly making them a part of the Ekster story.

And did we mention the lifetime warranty on products? It's pure customer retention genius. Olivier Momma shared that this warranty is more than a bonus; it's a key reason members join the program.

By now, you've probably realized that Ekster + isn't just any points-based loyalty program. It's more like joining a club where everyone's input is valued and matters.

Innovative marketing strategies

Ekster's marketing strategies are a mix of creativity and precision. Let's take a closer look at some major strategies that spotlight their winning approach.

First, Ekster focuses on big collaborations periodically, such as their recent partnership with Lionel Messi. This collaboration wasn't just about joining forces; they went a step further by creating a special product - the limited-edition Messi Wallet. It’s a strategy aimed at long-term goals, leveraging the appeal of high-profile figures to maintain excitement and bring in fresh audiences.

Next, Ekster demonstrates their flair for creating unique and engaging campaigns that truly resonate with their audience. A good example is the 'Shittiest Dad’s Wallet' competition. This clever Father's Day initiative invited customers to send in photos of their dad’s wallets, competing for the title of 'Who has the shittiest dad’s wallet?' The campaign was a huge hit, sparking incredible responses with participants eagerly sharing photos on social media. This not only brought customers closer but also encouraged shopping for Father’s Day gifts.

Another key strategy that Ekster employs is the use of interactive quizzes on their website. These quizzes, branded and designed to be visually engaging, assist customers in finding the perfect wallet, the ideal fit for them. The Ekster team has noticed that customers who complete these quizzes exhibit a conversion rate twice as high as the site's overall average

We could also talk about their personalized marketing campaigns and surveys, their mastery of complementary products, and even their generous $1,000 giveaways. But if you want to explore these strategies further, we urge you to watch the entire discussion below.

Messi collaboration picture Messi collaboration picture

Key takeaways

  1. Turn your customers into collaborators: Ekster thrives by involving customers in their journey, encouraging a deeper connection and loyalty to the brand.
  2. Always strive for excellence: Ekster demonstrates that excellence isn't a one-time achievement, but a continuous pursuit. Their relentless focus on quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction should be an example for any brand aiming to stand out in a crowded market.
  3. Listen to Ekster’s podcast episode with us: Okay, we admit this isn’t a direct takeaway from the talk, but if you’ve read this far, you might find it interesting. Particularly if you’re curious about Ekster's expansion into the US market, this episode is a must-listen. 

Do you want to
stay updated?


Stay ahead

Subscribe to our newsletter for a roundup of the latest in ecommerce, straight to your inbox.