Alegria Adedeji
Alegria Adedeji
Posted 03 July 2020

How Olivela is approaching customer experience in a post-COVID world of retail

Topics: COVID-19

It’s been said in many ways already, but the current pandemic has completely changed retail as we know it. Brands globally have had to adapt overnight and ensure they can still remain in tune with what their customers need during a period of time when everything feels uncertain. Once such a brand is luxury retailer, Olivela. 

With a focus on giving back, the brand gives 20% of any purchase made as donations to charities with a focus on bettering life for children globally. Our Chief Strategy Officer, Djalal Lougouev sat down with Senior CRM Manager, Amanda Griffiths, to discuss how the pandemic impacted the brand’s marketing strategy, where they believe retail is headed and how Olivela is adapting to make sure it is in line with this vision. 


  • Introductions – 0m03s
  • What changes have Olivela made during lockdown? – 1m42s
  • How successful has your customer comms strategy been? – 2m49s
  • What marketing campaigns has Olivela been implementing? – 3m32
  • How will Olivela continue to communicate with customers in a personalised way? – 4m35
  • Where is retail marketing headed? – 6m14s



Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. It’s actually my very first time being part of a digital conference. So I’m super excited. Hello, Amanda, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today about creating relevant customer experiences in a post-COVID world. 

In the next 10 minutes, we’ll cover the impact that COVID had on retail and ecommerce. Amanda will share the most successful tactics that she’s implemented at Olivela and finally, we’ll talk about long-term strategies on how brands can create and maintain personal experiences in a post-COVID world. 

Very quick intros, my name is Djalal. I’m one of the co-founders and the Chief Strategy Officer at Ometria. I’ve recently moved to New York to head up our US operation where I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Amanda. Ometria is a customer insights and cross-channel marketing platform built exclusively for retail brands. We’re extremely lucky and proud to be powering lifecycle marketing strategies for the world’s fastest growing and most innovative retailers just like all Olivela. Amanda, over to you.


Yes. Hi, thank you. It’s so great to be here with you Djalal. My name is Amanda. And I’m Senior Manager of CRM and digital marketing at Olivela. Olivela is a luxury retailer that has a ‘giving back’ component built into every single purchase, and 20% of proceeds of every purchase go back to causes that our consumers care about.


Thanks for that, Amanda. I would love to start off by learning a bit more about changes that you’ve implemented—any new things that you’ve done—since we’ve been hit by this pandemic.


Yeah, absolutely. You know, as you mentioned, everything has turned for the most part completely digital, and we were aware of this right away. So one of the main things that we pivoted to and went to focus on was to take all of our experiences online. So we recently launched our new platform. It’s called Olivela IRL, that stands for ‘in real life’ for those who aren’t sure. And we like to think of this as a one-stop destination for all things beauty, fashion, education and, of course, fun because we have to have fun, you know, while we’re doing it. And this platform has really allowed us to stay connected with our customers and continue to stay engaged and build our community while everyone has been sheltering at home.


First of all, this is great and so congrats because what you’re doing is sort of what a lot of brands are trying to do and a lot of brands that are struggling to do this properly. But more importantly, have you seen any success, sort of with this new approach, and since you’ve shifted to this sort of digital way of communicating with your customers?


Yeah, we’ve seen great success. It’s been a great way to engage with our brands, our customers and the causes that we support. And it’s been doing so well that we absolutely plan to continue with Olivela IRL as we return to our new normal.


And from a practical perspective, what are some of the marketing campaigns and strategies that you have implemented or are currently implementing?


Yes, so everyone is seeing new consumer habits emerging in this new norm. And we want to make sure that we’re tapping in and are aligned with these new trends. So in order to do that, we’re making sure that we’re really focusing on the customer lifecycle and honing in on acquisition and retention by utilising things like trigger emails, our cross-channel marketing and personalization strategies. We think it’s important that every customer is receiving the most relevant message personalised for them, and in the most effective channel. And we’re also planning on taking a deeper dive into our customer personas to gain a better understanding of our consumer and who they are, and making sure that we’re keeping up with their expectations.


Thanks for that, Amanda. It’s great to see that these strategies and these initiatives that you’ve implemented are working well in a vertical that’s been hit pretty hard. So I’d love to get your thoughts and pick your brain on some of the strategic changes that you’ve made, or about to make, for Olivela to ensure that you’re continuing to communicate with your customers in a super relevant and personable way.


So people are really rethinking the way they shop, and what impact their purchase is making. At Olivela we’ve been really focused on conscious consumerism. This is what we’re founded on and we’re so excited that more people are becoming aware of the impact their purchases have. Consumers have now been weighing quality over quantity and care about things like the ethical sourcing of materials, and that the people who are manufacturing them are treated fairly. At Olivela, 20% of our net proceeds go back to causes that our customers care about and we showcase the benefit that every product provides and how you have a direct impact right on every PVP. We’ve provided over 66,000 meals to children at risk. Customers want to purchase knowing they’ve made an impact at no additional cost to them. Staying true to our brand’s DNA and leaning into our mission has really helped instil brand loyalty and encourage repeat customers.


Thank you for that, Amanda. That’s great. I love what you guys are doing—having a direct impact. But more importantly, you’re giving a platform for everyone else to be able to contribute and give back in a meaningful way. To conclude and summarise, I would love to get your two cents on the future of retail, specifically fashion and any key takeaways that you have for our viewers today.


Yeah, so in the age of the conscious consumer, people are thinking about the way they shop and what impact their purchase is making. They’re making sure it has a purpose. But for me, on a business note, personalization and understanding the customer will be essential as we explore the post-COVID world. All retailers are going to need to think dynamically. As we see new customer habits emerge, we’re going to need to be open to change and be prepared to pivot our strategies and even come up with new strategies to support our customers’ new preferences. We’re going to need to understand our customers. I think everyone will need to ask what mechanisms they can pull and put in place to learn more about their customers. What are their behaviours, their needs, their attitudes? How do we gain a better understanding of their behaviour and preferences in order to make better business decisions? I think we’ll need to listen and match offers with their needs. We need to understand the customer lifecycle—where they are in their brand journey and what offer we should be communicating to them in order to move them to the next stage in their brand journey. Testing is crucial. Algorithms can make predictions that certain offers may work, but how do we know if they will really work? The ability to rapidly test and determine what works before investing time, money and effort is a critical capability. And finally, we’re all going to need to learn and adapt. The ability to learn quickly and adjust to new realities and customer behaviours, preferences and needs is critical to success in this new world.


Thank you so much, Amanda. This is great. I’ve certainly learned a lot. And once again, it’s great to see that you guys are doing extremely well in this very sort of unprecedented time. Thank you everyone else for tuning in.

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