Roz Brabner is an ecommerce veteran with over 13 years of experience in DTC. In this episode of DTC Journey, Roz tells us what has been working for her at Pai Skincare, a brand of organic skincare for sensitive skin founded in 2007, which Roz joined as Head of E-commerce in 2020. Have a listen to our full podcast episode here.
Roz Brabner - the playbook for growing a mid-sized ecommerce business
Roz has some brilliant insights and advice for ecommerce leads and DTC founders.
1. Failure is a non-negotiable part of success
Though the adage “it’s not a failure if you learned from it” is true of any business venture, DTC ecommerce leads are especially well positioned to make the most out of disappointing results - from technical glitches to misfired sales activations, you have the tools and technology to understand exactly what to correct, and that’s a powerful asset.
2. Growing your business lets you do more good
Pai Skincare’s DTC offerings grew massively as the pandemic accelerated consumer demand, and with that came growing pains. Roz isn’t shy to admit she’s a commercially-minded person, and as costs began to climb upwards as the brand grew, she kept her focus on more than just numbers.
“Revenue growth is what enables you to meet your other brand goals, like sustainability, donating to charities, and creating a good environment online for your customers.”
Pai Skincare share their sustainability efforts prominently on their website, showing the brand’s values beyond just sales.
3. Live shopping can be a huge win for DTC brands
As the pandemic increased online demand and the need for human connection, Roz invested heavily in live shopping for Pai Skincare, and it has paid off in more ways than one.
Live shopping case study from Bambuser, showing Pai Skincare founder Sarah Brown demonstrating cleansers
“Live shopping wasn’t much of a risk for us,” Roz admits Pai Skincare was perfectly positioned for this experiment. Founder and CEO Sarah Brown is the embodiment of the brand story, and with virtual skin consultations being a key part of the business, Pai already had plenty of qualified people in-house comfortable with being on video. Partnering with Bambuser for production, the brand hosts live events fortnightly with product demonstrations and viewer Q&As.
Not only does this lead to higher sales, but it’s a brilliant way to build the brand’s authority in the eyes of customers. “We don’t have to go away and ask scientists about our ingredients, we know products inside-out and can answer questions on the spot.” What better way to build trust and loyalty than that?
4. Customers care more about sustainability than ever before
One of the most surprising changes in customer opinion Roz has seen since the pandemic is the attitude to samples. While they used to be a mainstay of the beauty world, “Customers are now saying it’s not so sustainable, and the samples aren’t enough to really see results.”
Luckily for Pai, sustainability is woven into the brand DNA and communicated to customers through their website, newsletters, and social media. Their commitment to sustainability has earned them awards such as the Marie Claire Sustainability Awards.
Pai Skincare was awarded Best Organic Brand in the Marie Claire Sustainability Awards
Roz warns not to rely too much on hunches or making decisions based on your own personal preferences, even when it seems to make sense. “I am not all of our customers,” she says, as data-driven decisions always yield the best results.
6. Stay inspired by noticing what you enjoy in other DTC brands
One of Roz’s favourite brands is UK florist Bloom & Wild. “They really know their customer,” Roz says, “When you work in this sector, discounts are so frowned upon. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped with them without being offered a discount, but I don’t see them as a ‘discounted brand’. I love what they do and what they stand for.”
Roz is inspired by the smart discounting strategies of Bloom & Wild