Mar 13, 2023
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Lush cuts ad spend with big tech, focuses on app and its stores

Mar 13, 2023

Beauty and personal care retailer Lush wants to slash its online ad spend with big tech firms, instead targeting smaller tech organisations and engaging open source solutions.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

That’s the big news the high street bath and bodycare retailer presented at Texas event SXSW as part of its so-called “big tech rebellion”, reported Campaign.

The three-pronged strategy was announced by Lush chief digital officer Jack Constantine at the event and will see the retailer cut the “millions” it spends on Google ads, cut platform investment by a third, while redirecting customers onto its app and into stores.

Constantine, son of the retailer’s co-founders Mark and Mo Constantine, said Lush wants to give smaller players “an opportunity to lift off the ground.”

“We're trying to use our platform to help encourage smaller tech companies, open source movements and free software movements to grow, gain momentum and fight back against the big tech conglomerate approach to what has become a dominated and saturated market,” Constantine said in an opening keynote.

He also told Campaign US that Lush spends “millions” on Google search ads to protect its bath bomb trademark, but "we don’t want to do that anymore, so we are moving money off that completely as well”.

He said Lush’s Google budget would be better spent “on some other great new tech innovations.”

Meanwhile, Lush has also introduced a new strategy to redirect customers who visit its website to check out on its app or in-store, where it believes it can deliver a better customer experience.

“Some of the web-based stuff is not as customer-friendly as it could be and it's not necessarily where we want to invest our energies as a brand and as a company,” Constantine said. “We want to invest in the human element of what technology can represent.”

When customers check out on Lush’s website, they will be served a pop-up advising them to either download the company’s app or call a local store.

“If you give us a ring that's a human on the end of the phone, they can have a conversation with you and give exactly that same Lush customer experience. And with apps, there's just way more capability for us to create and encourage amazing customer experiences,” Constantine said.

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