Why Aussie swimwear brand Skwosh built its chatbot

Seeing a big drop in sales as the first Covid restrictions took hold, the local swimwear brand needed a new and personalised way to engage with its customers

At the height of the first COVID-19 nation-wide lockdowns, men’s swimwear brand, Skwosh, adopted a Messenger chatbot to connect with customers, handle a large volume of frequently generated queries and blend the brand personality with conversation commerce.

Launched in 2017 by Jack Turner, Adam Walsh and Jack Watts, three mates who saw a gap in the men’s swimwear market, Skwosh has expanded to women’s and kids clothing, and is stocked in stores around the globe from Greece to Fiji. But with a massive 70 per cent drop in sales from travel restrictions, the brand needed some creative tactics to ensure their customer base was still engaging with their products like they would in the store.

Skwosh co-founder, Adam Walsh, explained to CMO the brand is always looking for new and innovative ways to interact with our fans. “Email and social media are great channels for us, but they can be a bit one dimensional,” Walsh said.

“We’re always striving to provide better customer service and provide our customers with 24/7 service and we really wanted to replicate that in-store experience."

The brand looked at its own data on common customer queries and could easily see most involved style, size and fit, which could be fed into the chatbot for answering via the Messenger bot. It is about creating less friction between the customer and the answer to their question.

Walsh cited positive feedback with the chatbot, and not just with general inquiries, but the way the brand has brought the brand personality into the exchanges with customers.

“In the exchange, there might be a prompt for another question or even to tell us a joke. We’re just able to convey the nature of our brand and what we’re about,” he said. “You’ve got to be true to your brand. You’ve got to speak to your customer the way they expect you to speak to them. And our brand is a fun and playful brand,” he continued.

Since its introduction, the Messenger bot has resulted in email enquiries going down by 80 per cent and seen Skwosh's customer satisfaction rate improve. It's been so successful, the brand has now permanently implemented the bot and utilises it to send order confirmations to customers. 

“Once we worked on those basic questions around sizing, returns and shipping times, we then worked on a style preference flow, it was called the stylebot. This was for people looking for suggestions on gifting who might have been a bit confused about where to start," Walsh said. "The chatbot would break it down step by step like a sales assistant in-store would make suggestions based on your taste or past preferences. It will tailor the solutions to you.”

Skwosh’s experience with Messenger has been extremely positive, seeing big return on ad spend, in some cases as high as 2000 per cent, via campaigns, something that couldn’t easily be matched through other means. The next step has been using the chatbot to attract and screen would-be influencers.

“If someone wants to become a brand ambassador, they can start by filling out the questionnaire through the chatbot,” Walsh said. “There’s always different things that can be bolted on to the Messenger platform. That’s what we love about it.”

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