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CASE STUDY Marlowe Watch Company outlines how lockdown provides a captive audience

Watches for a captive audience: Marlowe is using lockdown to its advantage

Mechanical wrist watch specialist Marlowe Watch Company has seen a staggering 252% year-on-year rise online sales between April 2020 and April 2019. So how has it done it?

According to co-founder Oliver Goffe, sales are up, bounce rate is down and shoppers are exhibiting a whole new range of online shopping behaviours that are changing ecommerce in the time of coronavirus.

“When we compare this month with April 2019, we have experienced a 252% increase in web traffic and an accompanying bounce rate reduction of 4.5%,” he says. “We are getting more visitors than ever and they are staying for longer on our site. However, instead of primarily coming to buy, many are coming to ‘window shop.’ It would seem logical that consumers at home have more time to browse sites they are interested in, but at the same time, a large majority are not feeling confident about spending.”

For online retailers such as Marlowe Watch Company, who may or may not be struggling with coronavirus-caused cash flow issues already, this situation is less than desirable. When it comes to marketing focus, many online retailers have responded with heavy discounting to try and ensure consumers commit to purchasing.

While this is understandable, if retailers can do what they can to hold their breath while purchasing power dips, this period could actually provide a powerful and unique window within which to connect with your core consumer.

“The term ‘captive audience’ has greater significance than ever during this period and we’ve decided to put our focus on providing our customers with great content and storytelling during this period – rather than heavily push product,” explains Goffe. “As traffic has increased to our site, we’ve promoted this content, so it is front and centre on the website.”

He continues: “Our beautifully designed new quarterly magazine was launched just before the crisis exploded but we have pressed on with its second edition. With customers hungry for quality escapism, we expect it to sell-out quicker than the first. We want to give our customers something extra, and they seem to love digesting the content, especially content with inspiring stories at its heart.”

By creating engaging content, Goffe believes his company is building relationships, making them stronger and, most importantly, increasing the duration of those relationships.

“We might be missing some one-off purchases, but we hope to lay a foundation of long-term loyalty in its place, and this could ultimately prove to be more valuable,” he concludes.

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