The Vintage Bar achieves 6x growth with a futureproof tech stack and constant experimentation

To supercharge its explosive growth, The Vintage Bar leverages Segment to power on-site experiments, first-party advertising strategies, and customer journey building.

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“Segment has empowered our company to make decisions smarter and faster to give our customers the best experience possible. With constant experimentation, sophisticated customer data models, and journey mapping, we can deliver personalization at scale and across all channels.”

— Nikolaj Toxværd, Chief Marketing Officer at The Vintage Bar

Established in 2017, The Vintage Bar is a premier online destination for pre-loved luxury pieces for the fashion conscious shopper. With growing operations across Europe, the consignment-based retailer witnessed a surge in the circular economy and needed the right technology foundation to support its explosive growth.

With Segment, The Vintage Bar exceeds its digital acceleration initiatives with a culture of constant on-site experimentation and a privacy-first approach to advertising, contributing to:

  • More than 6x inventory growth in less than 6 months

  • Increased order conversion by 34% with personalized recommendations on product detail pages

  • Increased order conversion by 12% with personalized search results on product listing pages

Choosing the right building blocks for digital acceleration

Recognizing the consumer zeitgeist for fashion consignment, The Vintage Bar started as a traditional direct-to-consumer retailer before focusing in on its consignment-based model. The company knew it had to act quickly with the sizable market opportunity in front of it.

“We knew to achieve the growth we strive for, we needed to be data-driven in all of our decisions,” Nikolaj explains. “Rather than use our gut feeling, every decision needs to be calculated on the basis of opportunity cost.” 

The company immediately ruled out building a customer data platform themselves. “We need to move fast, and so does our tech stack,” explains Nikolaj Toxværd, Chief Marketing Officer at The Vintage Bar. “If a software solution isn’t performing, we need to be able to switch quickly without losing time or historical data. To have a CDP like Segment is the key to having the possibility to scale quickly.”

The Vintage Bar knew it needed Segment. Segment is now an integral piece to the company’s acceleration. With Segment, The Vintage Bar has connected, unified, and even switched through various customer experience solutions in order to design a purpose-built tech stack and deliver differentiated experiences. 

“Segment was the obvious choice to gather everything and be our single source of truth,” Nikolaj says. “With Segment, we can make customer-first decisions based on trustworthy, complete customer data to build fast and power our growth.”

Partnering with Segment’s Professional Services was important to The Vintage Bar’s implementation journey. Segment provided expert guidance and strategic tools during the planning, implementation and quality assurance stages. This delivered deep knowledge transfer on data collection, democratization, unification and privacy that could be applied by Vintage Bar going forward.

Nikolaj believes that, “Onboarding with Segment Professional Services accelerated our data maturity journey with structure and daily standups. This ensured we progressed in our implementation and development of employees to work with Segment.”

Differentiation through personalization & experimentation

Now that Segment is collecting and delivering customer data across the stack, The Vintage Bar has adopted a strong data-driven approach to customer experience optimizations. Regardless of where the customer is in their journey, The Vintage Bar has tested and added on-site personalization to drive purchases.

For example, across the industry, 30-60% of all e-commerce site revenue is generated by on-site searchers. Knowing the importance of the search experience, The Vintage Bar connects its customer data from Segment to Algolia to power personalized listings recommendations. 

With Segment, the company routes user behavioral and preference data, like most viewed or favorite brands, styles, colors, etc., in real-time to Algolia. From there, Algolia’s AI-powered search & discovery platform delivers personalized listings based on what the user is most likely to purchase. When implemented, The Vintage Bar witnessed a 12% increase in overall site conversion rate, as well as improved retention rates.

“All of this data from Segment, coming in essentially in real-time, enhances our picture of the user’s persona in order to deliver a better on-site experience,” Nikolaj says. “Real-time personalization is important to us because of how heavily we’ve scaled our product catalog. Not only does on-site personalization help that session’s engagement and conversion, but it keeps our visitors coming back.”

In another example, The Vintage Bar ran an A/B test through Optimizely on its product detail pages (PDPs). Previously, its "You may also like" and "Similar styles" widgets featured generic recommendations; however, with Segment and Optimizely, The Vintage Bar leveraged Segment’s profile and real-time eventstream data from Segment to implement two recommendation algorithms through Optimizely:

  • Co-browse algorithm for the "Similar Styles": This algorithm recommends items similar to those a visitor has recently viewed in-session, with a condition of the same category. For example, "Visitors who viewed this product also viewed these other products."

  • Collaborative filtering algorithm for "You May Also Like": This algorithm serves recommendations based on the combined browsing history of the user and other similar users. For example, "You browsed similar products as this group of website visitors, and they tended to like these products."

The Vintage Bar - On-site Optimizely Personalization

Compared to the more generic recommendations, the team’s personalized recommendations, powered by Optimizely with Segment data, showed significantly positive results:

  • +8.25% increase in PDP to cart conversion

  • +15.26% increase in checkout started conversion

  • +33.82% increase in overall order conversion

With quick experiments like these, The Vintage Bar can quickly validate new ideas to support investment decisions and continue to innovate in the retail customer experience.

Delivering customer-first engagement with Audiences & Journeys in Personas

In addition to on-site personalization, The Vintage Bar personalizes its customer engagement across all channels with Personas

Now equipped with unified, first-party customer data, the company got ahead of the growing privacy changes like GDPR and the death of the third-party cookie in its advertising strategy. The Vintage Bar now runs sophisticated data models with their customer data in order to grow both acquisition and retention. 

For example, the company synchronizes its customer data from Segment into a Postgres destination, where the team then develops Recency, Frequency, and Monetary scores to enrich every profile. Then, using SQL Traits, the scores are appended to customer profiles in Personas, and the team builds Audiences to route “best and loyal” customers to advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to run lookalike audiences for new customer acquisition.

The Vintage Bar - RFM Table

In addition to advertising through Audiences, The Vintage Bar uses Journeys to design intelligent customer engagement to drive engagement post-purchase. For example, consignment-based businesses need to deliver flawless seller and buyer experiences, as the circular fashion economy depends on consumers participating in both giving and receiving.

As Nikolaj explains, “We want to create a platform, one in which consumers become sellers, and sellers become consumers. That’s the vision for a zero-waste, circular future.”

With Journeys, The Vintage Bar now orchestrates sophisticated customer journeys to foster engagement around the circular economy. For example, the company has designed a multi-step onboarding journey to encourage recent buyers to join its platform as a private seller, as well as a winback series based on “sleeping” customers identified through its RFM modeling.

On-site or not, The Vintage Bar personalizes at scale

Whether through advertising or communications, on-site or on social media, The Vintage Bar incorporates personalization into every piece of the customer journey to deepen customer relationships.

Powered by Segment, the company has effectively fostered a culture of fast experiments and data-driven decision making, which has been critical in its continued growth and vision. As the company continues to lead the circular fashion economy, Segment empowers the team to move faster and innovate at every customer touchpoint.

Industry: Retail
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark