While many brands with physical outlets have found it necessary to ride the digital wave so as not to die with the pandemic, Ellaz has started the other way. The products in the wallet were launched based on requests from the digital community, which in less than a year and a half has exceeded 400,000 registrations.
According to Belén Espinosa, CEO of Ellaz, the strategy to grow the community relies on word-of-mouth recommendations, but from real women who are part of the community itself. do not resort to influencers to promote themselves and this is precisely what has catapulted the accelerated growth of the brand.
“Inviting real women from society gives more credibility. When you have a community, the buy-back percentage is higher than when you only communicate as a brand,” he mentions. “We want to have a business that holds up over time, and ultimately communities and goals are what make that possible.”
Currently, its redemption percentage is 30%, the e-commerce platform has over 52,000 registered users, over 170,000 visits per month, 3.5% conversion rate and 20% growth rate, with an average ticket of 50 dollars (996.50 pesos).
Bet on vending machines
In December 2021, Ellaz opened its first vending machine in Monterrey. The idea of having a Self-service store It was born at the request of the digital community and was donated through a $500,000 pre-seed round, by the Or-Bengalim investment fund.
Vending machines are an essential shopping item in developed countries like Japan, where it is estimated that there are 4.15 million such machines, i.e. there are one for every 30 inhabitants.
In other parts of the world, well-known brands such as Lego, Kylies Cosmetics, Nike, Kellogg’s and Channel have also opted for a smart machine as a key part of your marketing strategy and shopping experience. And in Mexico this is not the exception, both in stores and in offices it is possible to find a vending machine for coffee, snacks and soft drinks.
However, Ellaz wanted to go beyond simply presenting products on a machine. “Whenever the consumer buys a product in the e-commerce You receive it in a special box, with a particular sentence. We wanted him to have a similar experience in the vending machine,” explains the CEO.
With this idea in mind, the brand injected the digital seal into the machine so users could find “how-to” videos to learn how to use the products in the wallet, the ability to Photo shoot take one selfie and share it on social networks, an interactive screen, a point of sale terminal and a promoter, responsible for supporting consumers in the experience.
Today, the brand has five vending machines: Galerías Monterrey and Fashion Drive in Monterrey, Plaza Antara in CDMX, Plaza Satélite in the State of Mexico and Interlomas.
The projection is to open 18 more in different malls across the country. To do this, the brand hopes to raise a seed of 6 to 10 million dollars, between equity and debt. Currently, machines contribute 5% of revenue. By category, Huggerz (girdles) represents 35% of sales, Boobz (nipple cutters) 30%, Nails (nails) 15%, and Hair (hair products) and Hacks (other) 10% each.
On the other hand, Ellaz estimates to end 2022 with $3 million in sales. For next year, he expects 40% of revenue to come from vending machines and the plan is to expand to Colombia and North America.
Espinosa relies on the loyalty of the digital community to be able to take off in these markets. Every month, they release a new product, to keep users interested. Manufacturing and production are not done by the brand, but they are involved in the design. Its suppliers come from Asia and Mexico.
The Deep Digital Journey study, sponsored by LLYC and carried out by the ROI Marketing Institute, reveals that only 24% of companies measure positioning indicators that would allow them to know if their communication is perceived as credible. This allowed Ellaz to know that his credibility was based on the community and not on the influencers.
The research highlights that media and other influencing factors such as price, reputation, and availability of options make up the entire customer decision pie. These are the aspects that determine whether a consumer buys or not and to what extent each of these aspects or factors influences their decision to buy.
The majority of respondents agree that the most used means of communication and sources of information to decide on their purchases are social networks, searches on search engines and recommendations of acquaintances.
In Latin America, what is most often purchased online are clothing and accessories, restaurants, entertainment, household appliances, travel and tourism, banking services, software and perfumery.
But there will always be consumers who prefer personal interaction and visiting physical outlets. This is why the study advises not to neglect traditional channels, such as vending machines.
“The processes of innovation in offers and experiences, in technologies and in business models represent the pillars on which to build and strengthen the digitization of the trade of products and services to maintain and increase profits, efficiency and impact at all levels inside and outside the organization,” the report read.