“SMS marketing has been big for us; we offer a 5% discount for SMS sign-up. I don’t think you should be texting people daily or even about product drops, but send a welcome SMS, a discount code and nurture text – the figures speak for themselves as it’s been a big success.”
– Ian Leslie, CMO at Industry West.
For this episode of the Lightning 50: E-Commerce Growth Hacking podcast, we interviewed Ian Leslie, CMO of e-commerce furniture brand Industry West. The business launched in 2010, and is now a well-known furniture brand offering bold designs from around the world, serving both residential and commercial spaces.
Ian has overseen 1000x e-commerce revenue growth during his years with the company, and shared his unique experience into how the brand has curated a highly intuitive tech stack – including new e-comm tools such as Triple Whale, Nibble and Nosto – to fuel its revenue growth.
Here are some of the highlights from the transcript…
- ”So much of our growth is down to being first to market with a product. We’ve seen time and time again, when we’re able to be first to market with a trend, it really spurs growth for us, whereas if we are slow adapting to trends, the product will sit in the warehouses and end up being something we’re trying to offload. Always be first to market with the right trends and the right product.”
- “Nosto does a great job with merchandising and personalization on the site, is really easy to use and offers a ton of data in terms of how customers are shopping on your website, what products are moving and why. Nosto has always been a big growth driver for us and is really important to our journey.”
- “Triple Whale is an amazing tool – I’m on Triple Whale now more than I’m on Google Analytics. I’m a huge fan of it for attribution, especially if you’re using Shopify for your websites. What’s really cool is it also looks at all audiences in your different ad campaigns, it looks at your inventory, it looks at a host of different data and offers AI based functionalities as well.”
- “We use an AI negotiation tool called Nibble which comes up as a pop-up onsite, and acts in the same way an in-store sales rep might, negotiating prices. Nibble discounts are usually a fair bit lower than what we would tend to offer a first time customer or during a larger sale – so the customer is getting a discount and a good sales experience and yet Industry West is saving some margin.”
- “I think we’re going to see AI used a lot in the e-commerce space – not just to write blog posts or even to write site copy – but to extrapolate key data and as an SEO element. So – are people going to be using Chat GPT to search for furniture as opposed to Google? How is AI going to read your site, what do you have to do differently on that front?”
- “It’s a more popular tactic now, but we were at the forefront of white labeling the social channels of some aspirational publications such as Conde Nast Travel or Architectural Digest and that really hit the right demographic for us. Running our ads through those channels has always worked, as it’s so effective to align with credible partners, whether it be interior designers, architects and so on.”
Industry West’s Top Growth Hacks
- “Key to growth is data, and making sure all of your data across online and offline is accessible and transparent as possible – whether it be updating your Google Sheets system and turning that into a data studio, or using a tool like Triple Whale.”
- “Use SMS for a welcome campaign. SMS marketing has been big for us; we offer 5% discount for SMS sign-up. I don’t think you should be texting people daily or even about product drops, but send a welcome SMS, a discount code and nurture text – the figures speak for themselves as it’s been a big success.”
- Industry West launched in 2010 as a mostly B2B furniture retailer before branching into e-commerce in recent years.
- Ian Leslie has seen the brand through various redesigns and re-platforms, in which time its grown its e-commerce revenue 1000x over.
- Ian cites new and intuitive e-comm tools in supporting the brand’s growth – such as AI negotiating app Nibble, data dashboard Triple Whale, merchandising app Nosto, as well as Shopify Plus, Magento and Klaviyo.
- Industry West has seen success with SMS marketing campaigns for discounts and nurturing.
- Ian believes AI will play a big role in e-commerce, not just for content creation but in data extrapolation, SEO and inventory decisions.
- Ian’s Top Tips:
- Make the most of data, with the use of a data studio such as Triple Whale.
- Don’t ignore the power of SMS marketing, particularly for welcoming or nurture campaigns.
Want to hear more of what Ian had to say? Catch up with the full episode here.