Owing to COVID-19 shuttering businesses worldwide and heightening awareness about public venues and the spread of germs, tens of millions of people are turning to ecommerce for their everyday shopping. It was a trend that was already accelerating when coronavirus provided dramatic tailwinds. This is clearly evidenced through the latest report from CCInsights.org showing 129% year-over-year growth in eCommerce orders in the U.S. and Canada as of April 21, 2020.
Even when COVID-19 is finally a thing of the past, the effect on shopping habits will remain forever changed. The new age of consumer spending and advertising is before us today. Obtrusive ads annoy potential shoppers, who now take their cues from influencer campaigns that create a more personal attachment and commitment to brand loyalty.
Against this backdrop, savvy companies are getting in front of the movement. There may not be a company that is more aggressive in growing its brand than Better Plant Sciences Inc. (CSE: PLNT) (OTCQB: BOSQF), who in less than a year has amassed a portfolio of brands and subsidiaries focused on holistic health and beauty through a growing stable of plant-based products ranging from face creams to medicinal mushroom coffees to psychedelic mushroom research.
A recent example of the pace at which Better Plant operates is the acquisition agreement on August 18 in which Better Plant is buying all of the JUSU branded plant-based assets from JUSU Bar Inc., JUSU Life Inc. and JUSU Cbd Inc. A week and a half later, Better Plant added digital marketing vet Gabriel Villablaca as Director of eCommerce and Digital Marketing to oversee the re-launch of the JUSU website (pending the anticipated completion of the asset purchase in the coming months) and initiate a comprehensive influencer marketing campaign as Better Planet ratchets up its direct-to-consumer online sales for all of its products, including its popular Urban Juve line.
Executing on that plan, Better Plant signed an ecommerce lease agreement on Monday where it has now taken over day-to-day sales of all JUSU Life and JUSU Body products. As of the start of September, the stage is set for Better Plant to start booking online and wholesale revenue from more than 200 JUSU products for body, baby and home.
JUSU is currently recording approximately $40,000 per month in sales, not including juice sales and other revenue generated at its brick-and-mortar JUSU Bars. Amazingly, JUSU has achieved these sales levels with zero advertising.
“We believe that we can increase revenues significantly by leveraging enhanced digital marketing programs and influencer marketing,” said Mr. Villablanca in a news release on the acquisition.
The agreement further stipulates that Better Plant is now operating JUSU’s direct eCommerce, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and wholesale distribution. The company has made an initial $25,000 inventory purchase and will continue to make future purchases to fulfill orders at a 35% discount to the consumer price of each product.
The influencer marketing strategy involves utilizing Urban Juve’s existing network of influencers and micro-influencers in North America. The ability to cross-sell could be an additional sales catalyst.
Micro-influencers are a growing trend in advertising. These are individuals considered an expert in a particular niche that have between 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers. These experts are quickly gaining recognition for the return on investment they deliver because people tend to believe and connect with local experts even more so than they do celebrities.
Customer engagement is critical today and micro-influencers make that happen. Coupled with big data to precisely identify effective micro-influencers and target markets with unprecedented precision, this is Topic A for successful marketing initiatives.
The program will also include partnerships involving affiliate, contests, content-based programs, email and text marketing, bundles and subscriptions models all with the purpose of encouraging brand loyalty and repeat purchases.
“We want to become a customer-first organization that makes its decisions based on data and what’s good for the customer,” said Villablanca. “Using data, we will ensure we have the right products for our customers, at the right time, as well as use it to influence further product launches. Data will drive our decisions enabling us to make better choices, provide better products, and be a better company to our loyal customers.”
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