Airship Elevates Hagebau Connect’s Marketing Efforts

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Hagebau Connect is the digital subsidiary of Hagebau, a German home and garden do-it-yourself retailer. As such, it not only sells products directly to consumers but also supports the company’s nearly 400 brick-and-mortar stores across Germany and Austria.

While the Hagebau Connect app was working well, it didn’t have any marketing power behind it, according to Atilla Wohllebe, senior app marketing manager.

Additionally, Hagebau Connect was looking for a way to better support the company’s physical stores. “Digitalization in marketing was something we had been seeing for the past couple of years, but the pandemic made that development even stronger,” Wohllebe says.

The search for a marketing partner started about 30 months ago. Executives wanted a partner that could provide digital marketing with strong personalization to strengthen Hagebau’s location-based marketing and push notification strategies, which had taken a one-size-fits-all approach.

“There are a lot of different providers on the market. I was looking for something that was very well-documented, was easy to integrate, and was easy for our developers,” Wohllebe says.

Hagebau Connect eventually selected Airship, integrating its solution within a couple of months and going live in mid-2020. Company executives liked Airship’s easy and intuitive application programming interfaces and software developer kits.

“We started with a very simple data point—whether or not a customer used a loyalty card,” Wohllebe says. Since that simple beginning, the retailer has continued to add an increasing amount of data to customize its many marketing efforts.

Airship’s open data model enables Hagebau to access a large amount of data for targeting and personalization.

Now, rather than sending out blast marketing messages, Hagebau Connect can deliver push notifications and in-app automation based on personalization and segmentation. Hagebau Connect is running more than 100 automated campaigns with personalization based on customers’ locations, CRM data, transaction and purchase histories, and other factors. All of the data is easy to incorporate into the web interface and provides very accurate targeting and personalization, according to Wohllebe.

The results to date have been extremely positive, Wohllebe points out. Engagement rates have increased more than fourfold since implementing Airship’s personalization capabilities.

“This is really amazing, because you have to imagine that every push notification you get from an app [tends to be] disturbing, so we had to find a way to deliver relevant content and annoy our users as little as possible,” Wohllebe says. “Based on our engagement rates, I would say we have found this approach.”

Airship has also increased Hagebau’s customer satisfaction scores, based on Trustpilot ratings, by as much as 30 percent, according to Wohllebe.

Loyalty card membership has increased as well. “If you don’t have a loyalty card within a certain time after you sign up on our app, we send you a message to register for one,” Wohllebe says. The message includes all of the benefits the loyalty card offers, a message that has resonated with app users who didn’t have the card, boosting the number of loyalty members between 25 percent and 30 percent.

Wohllebe expects Hagebau Connect to benefit further as it starts taking advantage of Airship’s cross-channel marketing capabilities, including SMS and email. “This not only provides a very good experience for our users within the app, but also takes into account all the other marketing channels that are there to target users in a personal way,” Wohllebe says. 

The Payoff

Since implementing Airship's marketing automation, Hagebau Connect has seen the following results:

  • engagement rates have increased by a factor of 4 to 5;
  • customer satisfaction scores have increased by as much as 30 percent; and
  • loyalty membership has increased by up to 30 percent.

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