How Touchland Uses Data to Drive Brand Expansion
Touchland was founded on the belief that common acts of personal care should feel luxurious, not like necessary chores. Thanks to its core product — stylishly packaged, “beauty forward” hand sanitizers crafted in partnership with the well-known Givaudan perfume house — the brand achieved a $60+ average order value (AOV) from its inception in 2018. Touchland’s rapid growth has inspired founder and CEO Andrea Lisbona to invest in a robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that supports scalable, data-driven expansion.
Lisbona attributes a share of her brand’s rapid rise to its early adoption of NetSuite, which laid a “strong foundation” for more analytical business operations and real-time decision-making. “A well-crafted data strategy is the elixir to growth, especially for fast-growing brands with a strong omnichannel strategy,” Lisbona said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Every initiative that aims to support acquisition and retention should be grounded in empirical rationality and statistical significance.”
Consumers can now browse and buy Touchland sanitizer across multiple channels, including the brand’s DTC ecommerce site, marketplaces like Faire and even on the shelves of big-name retailers like Ulta, Target and Sephora. The mainstream appeal of its hand sanitizers also has sparked new revenue streams via corporate gifting and even partnerships with business clients like Equinox, Marriott Group and Victoria’s Secret.
The distinct look, feel and smell of Touchland sanitizers also sparked an incredibly loyal base of individual brand fans. Kris Jenner and Naomi Campbell are among the growing list of celebrities sharing unpaid social posts featuring the brand.
Building a Foundation for Growth
With rapid buzz comes a distinct need to understand and respond to demand, especially as new sales channels launch.
After six months of B2C sales in the U.S., Touchland analyzed data to understand consumer behaviors and found that shoppers were buying six or seven units at a time. This data helped the brand show potential retail and business partners that consumers were buying hand sanitizers not out of necessity, but out of a desire for that specific product. They were often buying multiple scents at a time for themselves, their friends and their families.
In 2019, Touchland closed deals with notable retail partners like Urban Outfitters, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. Ulta launched Touchland in 1,300 stores in January 2020 — and its products sold out within two weeks. The brand previously relied on disparate tools and software to support distinct functions, and there was little connection between its core accounting software and additional data created by operations, marketing and other teams. The company implemented NetSuite ERP to create more efficient processes and establish a more integrated view of operations.
Within 12 months of implementing NetSuite, Touchland was in 4,000 retail store doors and growing at triple digits, even as sales within the hand sanitizer category decreased by 6%. The brand had a 56,000-person waitlist, growing social media community and garnered positive performance in stores.
Cleaning Up Operations and Improving Brand Experiences
NetSuite has helped Touchland interconnect and streamline operations. As orders come in across its partner ecosystem, Touchland routes them seamlessly through the warehouse for distribution.
NetSuite Connector allows Touchland to sync with Amazon as well as other online marketplaces and logistics providers to track inventory across warehouses and automate ecommerce-related accounting tasks, like recording transactions and managing payables. Touchland also implemented NetSuite Demand Planning to better gauge consumer demand across its network of wholesale partners so i t can tightly manage the inventory it keeps in stock. Insights help the brand ensure that products are fulfilled in a timely fashion and that the company knows when to place POs with vendors as well as which items to include in those POs.
Touchland will continue to proactively refine its workflows with NetSuite ERP, according to Lisbona, using data and insights to understand how consumers interact with the brand across different channels. “The most important datasets are those that show consumer purchase patterns within the brand’s website or other channels,” she said. “This is the key to growth.”
Lisbona explained that having a robust and accurate record of customer touch points can significantly improve the way brands engage with consumers across marketing, advertising and service channels. “The brand can invest in acquiring customers digitally and analyze on a weekly basis the halo effect of our digital acquisition initiatives throughout the different sales channels,” she said. “We can see how geo-localized marketing initiatives boost sales in specific geographies within the U.S. and ultimately scale our marketing efforts for specific channels and locations.”