Virus Customer Story
Virus knows that achieving athletic excellence takes commitment, passion and sacrifice. That's why they've put all three into designing the most advanced apparel on the market today.
Virus has long believed in the power of technology to drive performance. Now, with Okendo, Virus is using the latest in customer reviews technology to bring their customer community to life onsite and giving shoppers the insights needed to choose the perfect item for their size, shape and sport.
The importance of customer intimacy
For close to a decade, Virus has been producing high performance apparel to help athletes keep pace with the latest in nanotechnology, technical fabrics and biomechanical patterning. During this time, Virus had built a loyal following of customers around the world that shared a deep affinity with the brand, both as a result of direct sales and from sales through their network of retailers.
Following a recent re-platforming to Shopify Plus, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Ryan Rubiano and Marketing Manager, Brittany Spaulding had made it a top priority to take ownership of the customer-brand relationship. While Virus products could still be purchased from retailers around the world, Virus were motivated to capitalize on the direct to customer sales channel in order to increase customer intimacy, strengthen customer loyalty and nurture the sense of community that exists around the Virus brand.
“Virus is a brand that is trusted and recognized as leader in performance apparel. A key brand aspect I believe our customers value is our origin as a small business built by a team of hardcore athletes who were primarily interested in sporting apparel from the perspective of performance. This history continues to inform our brand identity today as we remain committed to developing products that genuinely help athletes perform and look great at the same time. My goal with deploying a reviews solution like Okendo was to enable our customers to share their experiences with Virus products in a way that both reinforces this message of high-quality, high-performance products while also functioning as a reference point our shoppers could use to identify and selects products that will be fit for their requirements”, explains Ryan.
A vibrant and energized customer community
Virus identified Okendo as the right technology partner to achieve these specific objectives. “We selected Okendo on the basis that it had the both the functionality we were looking and the high standard of customer support we wanted. As a fast growing business now operating at pretty significant scale we need to be sure that all of our technology partners have the operational capabilities needed to support our ongoing requirements and that if we have an issue we can pick up the phone and there’ll be a voice on the other end willing and able to help. That can be a difficult aspect to assess during the early stages of vendor discussions.”
To demonstrate to Virus that Okendo could meet their requirements, the Okendo team create a preview of how the Virus store would look if they chose to capture and publish reviews using the Okendo platform. This meant a tight integration with their heavily customized Shopify theme and a specific configuration of the Okendo system to play nicely with the complex Virus product architecture. It also included a configuration of Okendo’s unique Customer Profiles and Product Attributes feature to suit Virus products. This enabled a number a of demonstration reviews to be created and deployed to the store preview using Okendo’s site widgets that had been customized to match to the Virus brand environment.
“Okendo’s willingness to rapidly back up their claims via the theme preview was impressive and aligned with our values of action and excellence. It gave our team the chance to test the review capture process from the perspective of our customers and to then see how this content would in turn be experienced by shoppers when published to our site. During this step, we also had the chance to identify aspects of the system we needed changed or customized before being able to consider going live”, says Marketing Manager, Brittany.
Once the Virus team were satisfied Okendo ticked all the boxes in terms of features and support capabilities, the next step was to prove the extent to which these features were able to achieves Virus’ objectives and deliver actual commercial value via 30-day free trial. Once launched, it didn’t take long for Virus to begin capturing massive amounts of powerful customer content and showcasing throughout their site. By the time 30-day trial had finished, Virus was generating more 30 customer reviews and 10 customer photos/videos per day, time on site was up and, most importantly, so too was product page conversions.