Häagen-Dazs Uses Yext to Level Up Its Organic Search Strategy
Iconic brand Häagen-Dazs has been delighting ice cream fans since it opened its first boutique in New York back in 1976. It now delivers extraordinary moments to its customers in over 900 shops worldwide, through unique recipes, exclusive pastry creations and of course a wide variety of ice cream flavours. Its shops, perhaps better described as ‘temples of indulgence’, have been the cornerstone of its legendary brand experience since the beginning. And like all successful brands, Häagen-Dazs has had to adapt to new audiences and digital channels throughout its decades of operation.
Häagen-Dazs was focused on building a search strategy which would allow it to significantly increase its organic presence across search endpoints, allowing it to maximise revenue from specific demographics. “We wanted to invest in a global solution that would help us to organically increase our presence throughout the digital ecosystem” said Aurélie Lory, Managing Director EUAU-LATAM Häagen-Dazs shops at General Mills (parent company of Häagen-Dazs). “In order to expand our reach and target the key millennial market, we knew that we needed a partner to help us to manage our online experience and showcase our products and services in a consistent way across search endpoints.”
Häagen-Dazs chose Yext to manage its business listings, develop store and menu pages and efficiently respond and monitor reviews across over approximately 200 search endpoints. “Most of our shops across Europe and Latin America are franchised, meaning that before using Yext, it was extremely difficult and time consuming to make even one important update across multiple platforms”. The brand has over 200 individual users now leveraging the platform, and each has had bespoke training from Yext, to ensure optimum utilisation and a robust understanding of the platform.
To match the exceptional experience that customers receive in-store, Häagen-Dazs also invested in Yext Pages to create structured and discoverable location pages. “Implementing Pages has meant that we are able to truly customise and control what appears on our location pages, and we’ve seen a significant increase in views too” said Lory. “With the ability to display shop-specific menus and host a large amount of content on each page, we can deliver the same great experience online that customers get in our stores. We know that from the beginning to the end of the customer journey, customers are getting the best Häagen-Dazs experience at every touch point.”
With the challenges of a franchised model, Häagen-Dazs was also on a mission to monitor and respond to its customers’ reviews. “We wanted to give our franchisees the tools to efficiently manage their reviews strategy,” said Lory. “Using Yext Intelligent Review Response, franchisees can now quickly respond to reviews, as well as receiving an instant notification for reviews with 3 stars or less. Since enabling our franchisees with Yext, our volume of reviews has gone up 40%.”
2020 presented challenges for brands of all kinds, and working with Yext allowed Häagen-Dazs to take control of their digital experience so customers had the right information at their fingertips. “Yext was a huge help at the beginning of lockdown, when we needed to update our customers efficiently and at scale about shop closures, safety protocols and changing opening hours. We have really seen the benefit of using Yext to make changes and updates which are reflected across multiple places, and take comfort in knowing that the information will be accurate everywhere” continued Lory.
The relationship is going from strength to strength. “We have a clear roadmap for the next couple of months, and we are excited to roll out Conversion Tracking, System Optimisation and more training for our franchisees” said Lory. As the warm summer months have arrived, Häagen-Dazs has also used Yext to share its popular summer menu across the digital ecosystem – undoubtedly delighting its customers.
Between July 2019 and December 2020, 123 total users have made 170k approved updates to the information in the knowledge graph, including 45k field updates to core business information like addresses and hours, 113k updates to enhanced content like menu items, and 12k updates to branding assets, like names, descriptions, and location photos.
Häagen-Dazs identified an opportunity to put better information online via location pages and menu pages in Europe, and saw exceptional increases in website clicks, which were up 75% year over year across the entire digital estate.
Its Yext Pages also performed very well, with a 25% incremental lift in foot traffic, and 45% incremental lift in website clicks during peak season*, for locations with Pages. Additionally, it saw 236% less phone calls than expected for that period for locations with Pages, suggesting that consumers were able to find the information they were searching for without resorting to a costly phone call.
By leveraging the Yext Search Experience Cloud, Häagen-Dazs was able to get the information in the hands of the consumer faster, with less phone support inefficiencies, meaning more customers coming through the door and more extraordinary moments.
Seasonal = July & August 2020 vs. April & May 2020
Year over year = July & August 2020 vs. July & August 2019
Incremental growth = growth compared to a control group that did not implement the technology being evaluated