The premium women’s activewear brand with community at the heart of its vision. We talk to Helen Martin, Digital Product Manager at Sweaty Betty to hear how StoryStream is helping them to generate empowering content and ‘massively’ connect and convert more customers.
“Our brand mission is to empower all women – encouraging them to be the best they can be, through fitness and beyond. We passionately believe that our mission of female empowerment shouldn’t be exclusive to one body shape, body type or skin tone,” says Helen Martin, Digital Product Manager at Sweaty Betty.
“Our customers want to see and know how our products will look and fit them. It’s hard to relate to a 5’11 model when you’re 5’4 and a totally different shape to the woman you’re seeing on your screen. We want our customers to have the best possible shopping experience on our site, which is why we’re finding ways to surface more diverse and representative imagery,” comments Helen.
Buzzing for the brand
This is where Sweaty Betty’s loyal and growing global community comes in. These are the women who buy and love the brand and best represent its broad appeal.
For Sweaty Betty, building a two-way conversation with customers is vital. So, celebrating customers’ content and bringing them into the brand experience drives a stronger, more lasting connection, while shoppable content ensures that this also translates into sales.
StoryStream powers UGC galleries across the Sweaty Betty website
Connecting the circle
StoryStream’s Lizzy Durrant believes this is the sweet spot. “We can help to create a virtuous and continuous circle of sharing and celebrating content in a powerful digital mix. One that adds value through sales and drives customer love for the brand,” she comments. “95% of customers who we request rights for content are confirming, and many of those are becoming more regular content contributors, increasing the organic social reach and also turning those customers from occasional social taggers into frequent pro-active brand advocates.”
So, as Sweaty Betty’s social following continues to grow, StoryStream’s modules have been integrated into the brand’s home and product pages, to give more customers more ways to engage in that virtuous UGC circle.
#iamasweatybetty plus other identifiers are linked in with StoryStream’s AI-powered Aura Curator, pulling through and finding the best UGC in real time. It automatically manages the rights and creates a ready-to-use UGC brand gallery that the whole Sweaty Betty digital team can access and re-purpose into empowering customer-focused content. “We can feature UGC on our website, in emails, across campaigns, for competitions, quizzes, blogs and PR. It also gives us great data to help drive business cases and learn as a collective,” says Helen.
But it is the customers’ reactions and responses that have delighted. This proactive, inclusive approach is improving both customer engagement and sales.
The recent Halle Berry collaboration is a case in point. Built on a shared vision for premium activewear and aligned female empowerment values, the campaign was a sell-out success. A strategy of PR, amplification by sub-communities of influencers and high UGC engagement created a powerful impact.
UGC from Sweaty Betty’s community of women of all ages, heights, shapes, and skin tones were represented alongside the products on the brand’s StoryStream website carousels, re-shared back to social and re-purposed through email. It delivered a compelling e-commerce outcome.
“We measured that, where customers had seen and engaged with UGC via StoryStream carousels, there’d been a 25% lift in conversion and also an 18% increase in AOV,” says Helen.
It is a pattern that continues. Whenever StoryStream UGC carousels are placed on the website, the team has seen that customers are engaging for longer – and buying. “We believe these UGC carousels give more women the confidence to purchase because they see all women represented,” says Helen.
Sweaty Betty’s ‘Seen. Celebrated.’ campaign featuring women from the brand’s own team to celebrate all skin tones, delivered an equally positive reaction and outcome. “Our post-purchase survey and public reception were fantastic. Our customers want to continue to see diversity in the women we’re showing on site,” she adds.
Sweaty Betty has found UGC added to product pages increases conversions by up to 25%
Fast test-and-learn speeds scale
StoryStream has also transformed how they test and learn to develop more inclusive and better user journey experiences. With UGC, they can quickly identify the best placement for content and the most effective campaigns. It’s both time and cost-efficient. “We can set out a destination roadmap for customers that gets them where they want to be and find the right fit for their body type when they get there. That’s really a difficult and expensive journey from an e-commerce perspective. You’ve got to think upstream creatively, then work out the system integration all the way through – from sizes to how that will appear on the front end. Now we can test and learn with UGC content to quickly see what works,” says Helen.
It’s also helping them understand which content appeals to international markets where Sweaty Betty is a challenger brand. They’ve discovered that UGC helps be nuanced and relevant for those audiences. Germany has been particularly responsive to UGC, so they can now react at scale with efficacy and pace. “UGC adds juice,” says Helen.
Everyone’s an individual
Personalisation is another important focus. StoryStream’s functional ability to tag content can play to customers’ interests and create a content spot to show relevant UGC. These subtle aspects open up more ways to connect. Customers are then more likely to purchase. “If we look at return users or abandoned carts, I know there’s work we can do to re-purpose UGC content for that individual. We know UGC is more engaging – so we can show and share imagery of a diverse range of women in our activewear. We can show them doing what they do. And we can heighten that sense of community and the energy of our customers,” Helen adds.
Greater content, wider reach
Despite its growth, Sweaty Betty’s marketing team remains deliberately small and agile. So, the StoryStream platform gives them a powerful tool that is easy to use and easily integrated for all marketing channels – influencer, gifting, social marketing, online content, and email.
“It offers a truly joined-up approach. And we need platforms that can support our pretty ambitious goals. It’s absolutely crucial for us. We love the way StoryStream work. They’re so flexible in helping us to reach those goals. They make great suggestions about how we can leverage content and find the best technical spot on the site; about how we can use it more broadly to stay strategic, creative, and of course, commercial in its use. It’s a real partnership,” she adds.
With the ability to test, learn and embed UGC into marketing, they believe it can help take them one step further to where they want to go. And all women can be seen and celebrated in a revolving, inclusive cycle of content from a buzzing, engaged community of customers.