Welcome back to PostFunnel’s 48th episode of the 7 CRM Commandment Series.
Today, we get to Blue Apron – the tasty American ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service.
For a more detailed analysis from August last year, check out Blue Apron vs. Sun Basket, where we compared the two well-known American meal kit companies’ CRM practices to see who does it better.
So, how do you think Blue Arpon’s CRM practices taste this time around?
1. Be Transparent 4/10
When checking whether Blue Apron made a public announcement or reported some important news recently, we stumbled on a couple of things from June:
a) According to Seeking Alpha, Blue Apron proposed a public offering of its Class A common stock and intended to grant the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the Class A shares.
However, the brand did not reveal the amount it plans to sell in the offering.
b) According to the Motley Fool, the brand’s shares are falling (at the time the article was published) by 4%.
Again, the only comment from the company came from President and CEO Linda Kozlowski: “As a result of the pandemic, we saw that cooking habits increased in 2020, and both third-party and our internal research support that those habits are expected to continue to some extent into 2021.”
For us at PostFunnel, the amount of information and detail Blue Apron is sharing with the public, its stock owners, and even customers is not enough.
Customers today want to feel like the brands they purchase from address their desire to know and don’t lack in information. BA is not the CIA, they can share a little more. And need to, to help customer feel they can relate with the brand.
2. Incentives and Perks 10/10
The first promo we were prompted with when entering the brand’s website was this “Get $80 off your first order” offer:
We clicked on the banner to redeem the offer and then were given the chance to choose our menu – that can change every week. Not a bad way to attract new customers – and keep them in suspense for future offers. Also, the countdown ticker is great as it adds a sense of urgency to the offer!
Upon registration, we were offered 9 free meals as shown below:
After signing up, you can choose your menu (at discounted prices):
And finally, when placing the order – the discount deducted was very rewarding.
That is enough for the brand to get a perfect score when it comes to rewarding and incentivizing, mostly because it’s the kind of offer that helps both acquire AND retain new customers.
3. Be Relevant 10/10
Customers today, especially Gen Z and Millennial demos, are known to be environmentally conscious and so choose to shop with brands who share the same values and interests.
On its site, Blue Apron acknowledges the fact that it recycles ice packs and packages:
Blue Apron also communicates to customers that it uses responsibly sourced, quality ingredients that are sustainable and packs its food according to the highest safety standards. Both relevant to what customers are looking for in the food they consume, and in delivery in general on these days of living-with-Covid:
Customers appreciate when brands help them achieve their goals. One way Blue Apron is doing so is by providing them with the exact nutritional facts each meal contains – providing full transparency for customers before consuming:
Finally, the brand provides customers with a smooth shopping experience that includes delivery directly to their doorstep – another expectation we all tend to have this day and age:
4. Be Helpful 5/10
Modern consumers prefer companies that share their values. We did go over some of those values in the relevancy commandment above, but for this commandment, we usually check to see how the brand is giving back to society in one way or another.
Many brands we have analyzed to date articulate to customers that they share common interests for causes by making a substantial donation to a charity, organization, or timely event (such as aiding those who may have been affected by Covid)
Other brands, like Morrisons, offer customers money-off coupons – beneficial for those who may be struggling financially.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find Blue Apron obeying this commandment – not recently at least. Today more than ever, customers expect their favorite brands to have positions on relevant social issues.
We did notice on LinkedIn that Blue Apron partnered with Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to “spread the joy of food and cooking to communities across the country.” However, the post is from four months ago, and we are looking for something more recent
5. Realtime Personalization 8/10
To test Blue Apron’s realtime personalization practices, we browsed through the brand’s “Wellness” menus. When adding a meal to our cart, upsell and cross-sell marketing efforts were presented to us as follows:
To personalize our experience and provide us with customized meal plans, we were asked to fill in the type foods we can eat:
And, when going back to the HP, it was personalized to show us meal kits from the “Wellness” category – our meal kit of interest.
All of this is truly great for personalization and customization – but no realtime retargeting efforts were made by the brand on our social media when we logged off the site, to bring us back to an abandoned cart.
6. Master UX 7/10
Almost 50 brands into the seven CRM analyses series, Blue Apron is one of the only ones that have a clear CTA right when the customer enters its website – this is not only great for the overall UX, but certainly helps push conversions:
In addition, Blue Apron’s clean and neat website design makes it simple for customers to navigate and to find what they’re looking for easily and intuitively.
Overall, the appearance and functionality of its website is focused on the use of graphics to deliver a consistent, branded experience to site visitors. Oh, and the images of the real food laid out so neatly kind of got us hungry!
We deducted a few points here simply because when signing up for an account and adding our payment details, it wasn’t clear that we were signing up for a monthly subscription as we intended to place just one order.
7. Leverage Social Media 10/10
On Facebook, Blue Apron has 2.2M likes; on Instagram, it has 307k followers, and on Twitter, it has 56.1K followers.
Seems as if the brand is using all three channels to engage customers in the best way possible.
On Facebook, it posted some cute 4th of July content:
While on Instagram, Blue Apron featured Chef Alex & Olivia in a 22-minute instructional meal kit video that many customers surely appreciated:
View this post on Instagram
Finally, though a tiny bit less active on Twitter, Blue Apron’s still tweets engaging content for customers on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, and seemingly – that’s enough for the delicious meal-kit service brand on this social media channel.
We loved how they post different content on different channels, in an attempt to personalize it to the audience. You may think it’s basic. But it’s not. Believe us, we examined almost 50 leading brands to date (and counting), and it’s not that common of a practice, shamefully.
Overall, Blue Apron is getting a 54/70 here (77%), positioning them in 18th place out of the 48 brands we analyzed to date. Not bad at all!
The challenge for the brand seems to be in its Transparency – and smartly orchestrating your messages across channels can help a brand be more transparent in a more careful way. After all, To retain customers and create long and loyal relationships, your brand needs to be as authentic, clear, and human as possible. Timely and orchestrated communications are key in building such connections. Brands should keep in mind that, as customers, we usually forgive missteps if companies behave transparently.
Here are the full rankings of all the brands we analyzed to date:
- Pets at Home91%
- The Home Depot 87%
- Uniqlo 86%
- Paul Smith 84%
- JD Sports84%
- Vrbo 83%
- N Brown Group 81%
- West Elm81%
- The North Face 81%
- Holland and Barret80%
- Brooks Running79%
- Best Buy78%
- Blue Apron 77%
- Angie’s List77%
- Chico’s 76%
- The Body Shop74%
- Gymshark 73%
- William Hill 73%
- Iceland Foods71%
- Total Wine & More70%
- Tommy Hilfiger70%
- United Colors of Benetton69%
- Buy Buy Baby68%
- The White Company66%
We publish a new analysis every other week, so watch this space for more brand analyses coming your way!
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