St. Bernard Sports’ on Instagram for eCommerce
Community is something St. Bernard Sports takes seriously. Having conversations and authentic interactions with their shoppers has been one of their top priorities from inception, and this has continued on with the growth of their e-commerce and social presence. Their commitment to community made us excited to work with them to power their shoppable Instagram hub.
We had the opportunity to chat with St. Bernard Sports COO Charlie Goyer about fostering community online and Instagram’s place in the commerce world. Read the full Q&A below!
Q: To start off, can you give a brief introduction to St. Bernard Sports?
A: St. Bernard Sports is a family owned luxury ski, swim and apparel retailer. We opened in Dallas in 1978, answering the need for a customer focused, full service ski shop for travelers looking to arrive at the mountain with the most advanced equipment and apparel on hand, ready for a great trip. As we grew with our customer, we continued to bring our expertise in finding the best and most unique product for other avenues of their lives, adding full resort and swim collections and contemporary fashion. We now have a thriving, multi-department store that offers everything from ski and snowboard tune-ups in our Dallas and Austin stores to designer apparel and footwear. Our product diversity and focus on the customer has earned us a loyal customer base, and we specialize in getting them ready for the adventures that await them on the mountain, at the beach or around town.
Q: How do you balance both remaining true to your Texas roots and community while also appealing to a wider audience online?
A: Knowing our customer, valuing our relationship with them and working to find them the absolute best product has been our success in our stores, and we’ve worked to create the same experience online. Our customers know when shopping at St. Bernard Sports, they will have our full attention and be introduced to the product that is the best fit for their style and needs. As we’ve grown online, we’ve fostered those same relationships with our online shoppers with a customer service team that knows our product well and can make recommendations over email and live chat, just like if you were in our store. We hand write thank you notes to our top online customers and offer free three day shipping and returns to show that we fully stand behind our products.
Q: Can you talk to what you’ve seen as some of the biggest strengths (and hurdles) on Instagram when it comes to marketing a commerce brand?
A: Since our customer relationships are the heart of our store, social media, especially Instagram, is a wonderful additional touch point with our shoppers. We outfit our customers for new travels and adventures, so a visual platform like Instagram is the ideal way to highlight that. Relating and sharing with our customer comes naturally to us, and it’s been easy to transfer that to social media. Our brand catalog is so diverse, featuring everything from snowboards and designer swimwear to kids’ pajamas, so being able to relate to a diverse customer base with every post can be a hurdle, but we’ve been able to navigate it and keep many personalities engaged.
Q: How do you measure success of a social platform like Instagram?
A: We’ve measured our success on Instagram so far by engagement and response from our shopper. We find our posting to be interactive and the beginning of a conversation, and it is satisfying to see our customers participating with us. Adding Chute to our Instagram outreach is allowing us to measure the success of our Instagram page through sales conversions as well, which is an interesting new avenue for us.
Q: We’re really excited to be powering St. Bernard Sports’ shoppable Instagram feed! What first interested your team to make the feed shoppable through Chute?
A: Making our Instagram posts easily shoppable for our customer aligns our feed with the same boutique and personalized experience we offer when shopping in our stores or directly on our website. To be able to highlight specific products on our Instagram feed and then easily direct our customers to them brings our personalized shopping experience to our social media channels, which is something we’ve always hoped to accomplish.
Q: Are there any highlights or anything you’d be able to share about your experience using Chute so far?
A: Launching our shoppable Instagram with Chute has been a very pleasant experience for us thanks to the business development and support teams who are invested in our success. The team at Chute made setting up our feed and learning the program easy and has been in contact since with follow up and ways to continue to grow our use of the platform. In many ways, the experience has been what we strive to offer our own customers. It is always refreshing and easy to work on a new project with like minded individuals.