Headquartered in Anderson, IN, Scout & Zoe’s, the leading innovator of novel protein pet treats has expanded from an idea for sustainable, allergy-friendly pet treats to a line of over 150 products for canines, cats, horses, birds, and other small animals, sold in over 10,000 stores globally.
Founder Cindy started Scout & Zoe’s because of her deep love for dogs. The company began in her garage, where she crafted antler dog chews for her dog, Zoe. Zoe suffered from extensive allergies, especially to proteins and ingredients commonly found in dog food and treats. Cindy began a search for treats and food that wouldn’t irritate Zoe’s skin and tummy, but her hunt left her empty-handed. During her search, Cindy also discovered a number of products shipped in from overseas were harmful to dogs.
Cindy launched Scout & Zoe’s to create tasty, sustainable, and USA-sourced single or limited-ingredient recipe pet treats for animals with food sensitivities and allergies.
Despite the enthusiastic consumer response and continued product expansion, Cindy wanted to build a better rapport with Scout & Zoe’s clients and grow her mission-focused pet treat business. By establishing this rapport early on, Cindy was able to quickly establish relationships to increase five-star reviews, decrease product returns, and increase NPS.
Many of Cindy’s customers purchased her products from online shopping platforms like Amazon. This led to two significant issues that blocked further growth. First, there was a lack of brand awareness for Scout & Zoe’s, thanks to the hundreds of sellers on the e-commerce platforms. The second issue was an inability for Cindy to create sustained, lifelong relationships with the pet owners purchasing her products.
Cindy knew forming connections with her customers would grow her brand and business. However, as a solo business owner, Cindy was also crunched for both time and budget. With a small marketing budget, Cindy needed a foolproof way to connect and engage with new and recurring customers, in order to turn them into lifelong Scout & Zoe’s customers.
Working with Blustream
Many boutique pet brands struggle to stand out in today’s saturated marketplace. All business owners must compete against the big box brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as massive online shopping platforms.
While e-commerce platforms can serve as a great boon to small pet businesses, they also act as a double-edged sword. Niche brands must fight for customer attention and brand recognition on mega-shopping sites and then often lack an avenue to form a connection with their customers post-sale.
Plus, many platforms restrict communication between the seller and their customers, and only allow sellers to send timed mass marketing emails or create unnecessary (and often customer-irritating) loyalty clubs.
That’s where Blustream comes in.
In order to grow her business and bottom line, Cindy worked with Blustream to place a QR code on all of her Scout & Zoe’s packages. This QR code allowed Cindy to instantly develop a relationship with her customers post-sale, whether they purchased from her directly, through an e-commerce platform, or a brick-and-mortar storefront.
This QR code offered several options for customer engagement after purchase. First, customers had the chance to learn more about Scout & Zoe’s by clicking a link to visit the website. Once on the site, customers could learn more about Cindy’s lovable back story, the importance of sustainable proteins in pet foods, and learn how purchasing Scout & Zoe’s products also impacted local communities positively.
For example, site visitors could discover that Scout and Zoe’s products are packaged and labeled by intellectually disabled individuals at the Hopewell Center in Anderson, Indiana. Additionally, the Scout & Zoe’s Fish on A Mission® treats are trying to reverse the ecological issues caused by invasive Asian carp in Midwestern waterways, and are processed at a facility operated by a second-chance employer.
This kind of additional information increased the positive feelings for the Scout & Zoe’s brand, and gave cause purchasers an extra incentive to continue to purchase Scout & Zoe’s products for their pets. By building brand loyalty through the QR code, Cindy was able to use Blustream to boost brand awareness.
Additionally, Cindy also used the QR code on all Scout & Zoe’s packaging to trigger a personalized SMS messaging campaign to customers, as soon as possible after purchase. By using a customer’s purchase data, Cindy was able to ask questions about pet ownership, location, size, breed, personality type, and more, and then deliver the most relevant, helpful tips, tricks, and product recommendations to her customers.
Through this continued messaging, Cindy created multiple avenues to initially engage and then stay connected with her customers over the long haul.
Sustained Success with Customer Engagement
Since working with Blustream, Scout & Zoe’s has experienced an engagement rate of 51% for customers involved in the SMS messaging campaign, as well as 95% retention. Additionally, Cindy has discovered that her customers are most likely to respond to question-based texts.
“Working with Blustream has been a dream come true! Not only do we see increases in engagement, we are also experiencing major upticks in cross-purchasing, all thanks to the power of Blustream’s platform.”
Cindy’s success story is typical for businesses that work to connect with customers through a SMS messaging campaign. After all, 66% of consumers prefer SMS over email, and 86% of businesses report higher engagement with SMS versus email.
Consumers are 4.5x more likely to reply to an SMS message than an email, a critical boost in engagement when it comes to selling more products, garnering more positive online reviews and building a lifelong relationship with your customers.
Get started with Blustream
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