Inside Thomas Earnshaw’s mind

Read how the classic watchmaker brand Thomas Earnshaw uses modern tools to combine reviews with customer conversations and increases sales by 10%.  


Thomas Earnshaw was an English watchmaker who simplified the process of marine chronometer production, making them available to the general public. Thomas Earnshaw the Brand is a popular upcoming eCommerce Watch Brand built on Shopify, known for their dedication to customer relationships and customer satisfaction - not only to its’ 70k monthly store visitors.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Brand building & User Generated Content
3. Facebook Messenger. Should I stay or should I go?
4. Messenger Marketing. The checklist of a premium eCommerce brand
5. Choosing the right Tool
6. Messenger Subscribers. How we built our list effectively
7. Connecting User Generated Content with Messenger Marketing
8. High Conversion & Strong Brand. No trade-offs needed
9. Messenger Marketing & Customers’ insights
10. Results (You have to read this)
11. Advice for new Shopify Stores with premium positioning




Although a classic brand, Thomas Earnshaw team soon realized the importance of using emerging martech platforms that help them stand out from the competition, differentiate themselves and grow their businesses.

Recently, Thomas Earnshaw the Brand team combined Yotpo’s tested formula of product reviews & ratings with Flashchat, the upcoming Messenger Marketing Tool for Shopify merchants. 

Their Strategy was in line with Yotpos’ recent study where it was identified that 43% of shoppers believe that text-based reviews influence their purchase decisions most.

The results? 

More than 10% sales increase within less than two months, backed from an automated conversational engine that generates $14 extra sales for every message sent to its customers!

We went behind the scenes with the Thomas Earnshaw founders & their eCommerce manager Mr. Tzitzinos to find out how they made it. 

You might find this exploration useful - especially if you want to make a difference in the forthcoming BFCM and holiday season. 



Brand building & User Generated Content

It is common knowledge that User-generated content (UGC), is a social proof element that can definitely help an online business to improve its profile, build trust and stand out from the noisy competition. When it comes to social proof and UGC, real customer reviews is the single most important content that you could ever produce as a business. 

In fact, according to 98% of online shoppers, real customer reviews are the most important factor influencing their buying decisions. 

 If Brand is important for you, User-generated content (UGC) should be your top priority.”




Thomas Earnshaw team soon enough, realized the importance of generating real customer reviews on building a premium brand. They started using Yotpo’s Marketing Platform almost since the very beginning of their business. The higher the number of positive reviews they were collecting, the higher the number of new sales were generating. Every. Single. Month. 





Even though the brand still uses just a part of the tools provided by Yotpo, like the homepage reviews widget and the related products widget on the product page, the team realized the value they consistently get from product reviews & ratings and was seeking new ways to leverage UGC. 



Facebook Messenger. Should I stay or should I go?

June 2019, the brand started exploring the Facebook Messenger Platform as an additional channel for communicating with their audience. With 1.3BN monthly users and 20BN messages exchanged between customers & businesses every month, Facebook Messenger seemed to be the right, new massive channel to help Thomas Earnshaw’ UGC reach as many customers as possible.  

At the same time, Facebook Messenger producing great open rates between 70-80% and Click-through Rates of 15-20% made Messenger look the no-brainer, next Content-to-Market channel for them. 

On the other hand, the team was hesitant of using such a powerful but quite personal channel like Facebook Messenger for its social proof purposes.

We need to make sure that we won’t harm our brand for the sake of short term benefits” 

Brand’s premium profile should not be put at risk. Here, there are no trade-offs. The team had worked hard to build a brand that customers love & trust and they did not want to sacrifice a long-lasting reputation for the sake of opportunistic profits. 

They wanted to make sure that the channel will be utilized through a credible tool and for use-cases that would help both the business and their customers get actual value.


Messenger Marketing. The checklist of a premium eCommerce brand

The team came up with a small but non-negotiable list of specific criteria they had to meet before trying to leverage the content of their reviews into the new medium. 

The Thomas Earnshaw team shared with us the specific list of criteria that the new tool should meet: 

  • Anti-Spam. No message should be sent and no conversation should be built unless customers have actively given their consent first. 
  • Customers-First. No message should be sent and no conversation should be built unless both the business and the customer can get real, tangible, measurable value from these conversations creating no extra hassle.
  • Credibility. The brand would not risk its premium profile using a non-credible tool that lacks real credentials, top partnerships or great customer support. 
  • Store Aesthetics. The store wouldn’t sacrifice its aesthetics & simplicity for the sake of new signups and list building.  
  • Time & Money. The adoption of the new tool should not harm the P&L with possible indirect or hidden costs and should not require some special know-how or time-consuming setup process. 


Choosing the right Tool

The team first tried to figure out the right Messenger Marketing alternative tool for them. In the beginning, they used the Shopify App Store and other popular Shopify support sources. It seemed that there were 4-5 alternatives that looked credible and potentially a good fit for their business. 

Then, they decided to go back to Yotpo’s product integrations page. They wanted to look for something that has been selected and approved by the marketing platform that has helped them build their brand. 

Searching Yotpo’s integration partners, they realized that Yotpo had hand-picked for its merchants’ massive customer base only two Messenger Marketing Platforms. 

This made the whole exploration much easier.  Now they had to go through these two Yotpo’s Messenger Marketing Partners and see which one can fulfill their criteria better. 

Assessing a new tool? See what your best Technology Partners say about them. How the new tool will work with your existing trusted platforms”

To do so, they decided to install both Messenger Marketing Apps into two different test stores. They wanted to get a taste of the onboarding experience & the set-up process, see the features that are available and check if all these elements can be compliant with their list of criteria. 

The Earnshaw team had the luck to know what they were looking for. For them, drafting a checklist of what is important for them and what isn’t, made the decision easy. 

Flashchat, the authorized Facebook Messenger Partner, was the plug & play alternative that was focusing on the most critical eCommerce pain point - cart abandonment. It was extremely easy to set up without fancy and unnecessary features, easy & fully configurable able to make the conversational experiences compatible with the brand’s tone of voice. 

At the same time, Flashchat integration seemed more complete & qualitative than the second alternative. 



Flashchat + Yotpo integration effectively incorporates product reviews, ratings, and promoted products in the automated cart abandonment messenger campaigns. This makes the end-user experience better and the conversions of the automated campaigns potentially higher.



Pricing plans also in Flashchat were more straightforward and that was an extra plus for the team. They wanted to make sure that they can clearly measure the tool’s ROI. 

They decided to go with Flashchat.


Messenger Subscribers. How we built our list effectively

Before integrating Yotpo with Flashchat and start utilizing UGC through Messenger Marketing, the team had first to decide which of Flashchat’s growth tools were more appropriate for their store. Which tool would help them build a sufficient number of messenger subscribers who would receive the abandoned cart campaigns without creating unnecessary “noise”. Store aesthetics were among the criteria they had to meet, remember? 

The team was a little bit hesitant about the add-to-cart widget. 

They knew that its’ layout would stand out and would probably have high opt-in rates but they were skeptical about potential loading time and possible disruption of visitors.

On the other hand, the simple widget seemed that maybe won’t be equally strong to collect a sufficient number of Messenger Subscribers. Though, they decided to go with the simple widget. 

They preferred to have lower Messenger opt-in rates rather than affecting the aesthetics of the product page.

Two days later, the team realized that the opt-in rates indeed were low as they had initially estimated. Only a few visitors had clicked the Flashchat Messenger checkbox and gave their consent to receive updates & campaigns on their Facebook Inbox. 

On the other hand, still the team didn’t want to risk the store’s aesthetics and wanted to keep it as clean as possible as had initially agreed.

Although there are several ways for an eCommerce brand to increase opt-ins, the team came up with the simple idea of keeping the simple widget and use its subtitle to communicate a small discount as an opt-in incentive. 

To do so, they created a new discount coupon of 5% on the Shopify admin panel. They wanted to make sure they will precisely measure the performance of this tactic as well as Flashchat as a whole.

Two days later while visiting Flashchat Subscribers dashboard, they saw that even with this small incentive, the opt-in rate got double. Visitors were easily giving their consent as an exchange of this small discount - an incentive which could be anyway given to store visitors in order to prompt sales. 


Within the first 4 days of using the 5% coupon, the inflow of new Messenger Subscribers has been established. 

Apart from the simple widget below the add-to-cart button, Flashchat provides a number of different Growth (opt-in) tools such as screen popups, add-to-cart popups, etc. The team though was satisfied with the current opt-in rates and decided not to use any other available opt-in tool - at least for the moment. 


Connecting User Generated Content with Messenger Marketing

Next step was to make sure that the automated cart abandonment messenger campaigns can effectively include Yotpo’s UGC. The team used Flashchat integration page and they set up the integration literally within less than a minute. 

This is how they made it:


High Conversion & Strong Brand. No trade-offs needed

Next step was to configure and optimize the existing templates of the automated cart abandonment campaigns. 

They wanted to make sure that text, images, tone of voice were aligned with the rest of the marketing content. 



The team as seasoned marketers, knew very well that in order to get the best possible performance from ecommerce campaigns, they had to make them as vital as it gets and have some repetition.

The team used Flashchat’s rich dashboard to activate 3 different automated cart abandonment campaigns for every cart abandoner.



At the same time, they used the text & image editors to create a completely different experience among the campaigns. Messages sent were different, customer alternative quick replies were also different. 



This would help the brand go beyond simple notifications-reminders creating a more personal and interactive experience. These campaigns would generate higher conversions as well as a qualitative feedback loop based on customers’ quick conversational responses.

Every touchpoint of the customer journey is an opportunity to communicate your brand using your UGC” 

The highly interactive fresh messages helped the brand to convert an astonishing 19% of the Messenger Subscribers into real customers while 1 out of 10 messages sent was bringing a new sale! 




A small effort to configure the content had a great impact on the performance. 



Messenger Marketing & Customers’ insights

Flashchat detailed reporting dashboard helped the team to understand the audience that responds to Messenger Marketing. What these users buy and when, what type of messages & content works better for them. 

At the same time, the quick responses alternatives that accompany every campaign and give the opportunity to recipients respond fast, was an additional way for the team to get to know their customers further. It was an additional qualitative way to assess Flashchat as a marketing tool, their content, their products, their pricing and to some extent their business overall. 

Understanding high value customers is of great importance for our business. We always try to leverage our marketing tools to build feedback loops” 

Sales made through Flashchat corresponded to approximately 8% of the store’s total revenues so you can imagine that getting immediate feedback from such a sample was a great unexpected addon for the Brand. 

Results (You have to read this)

As mentioned above, Yotpo+Flashchat integration helped the team hit some amazing targets & KPIs. Below is a summary of the most important KPIs that the team can publicly share with us: 

  • Sales increase: 10.33%
  • ROI: 37x
  • Flashchat Contribution on Total Sales: 7.60%
  • Conversion of Flashchat Messenger Subscribers: 18.79%
  • Conversion of Flashchat Messages: 10.07%
  • Revenue per Messenger Subscriber: $26
  • Revenue per Message sent: $14

❝ $26 new sales per Messenger Subscriber? That’s insane! We have never seen such a performance on any other channel & tool tested so far”  

Although the team believes that Messenger Marketing at the moment works great as a supplementary to email tool, they shared with us some interesting comparison stats on how Flashchat Messenger Marketing outperforms email in some interesting KPIs:

  • 29x higher Subscribers conversion
  • 39x higher Messages conversion
  • 13x higher Revenue per Subscriber
  • 41x higher Revenue per Subscriber


Advice for new Shopify Stores with premium positioning

Thomas Earnshaw the Brand has had awesome success and gives a lot of thanks to Shopify for making it easy for them to get started. 

At the same time, it was Users’ Generated Content that helped us build a premium brand that can justify its premium price. 

Using Yotpo’s Marketing Platform from the early days was one of the best marketing investments we have done to-date.  Yotpo’s product reviews & ratings have become the most converting elements of our marketing mix.

If you want to grow your business and stand out from the clutter you have to invest and try new tools. I have to say that we were quite skeptical and reluctant before giving Messenger Marketing a chance. We were not sure that this marketing form would fit with the premium Brand we are building at Earnshaw. 

On the other hand, as an eCommerce entrepreneur, you have to dig in and explore further before adopt or reject a tool - especially when it looks quite promising. 

Using a tool that was selected and recommended by one of the most credible eCommerce players out there, Yotpo, which has helped us so much to build our brand and our success, was extremely important. 

To be honest, we wouldn’t try a new marketing tool like Flashchat if it wasn’t included in Yotpo’s preferred integration partners. 

We were extremely happy that Yotpo with Flashchat made a right choice for its customers - that was validated from its astonishing results of 10% sales increase backed from 37x ROI. 

We would highly recommend to all new brands that want to combine brand premiumness with high conversions to use Yotpo and Flashchat and make use of their fantastic integration. 



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*For more information about the the Earnshaw Case Study and its performance, feel free to reach out Vaios@flashchat.ai  or Earnshaw’s eCommerce manager panos@dartmouthbrands.co.uk  


About the author 

Vaios Gkitsas is the Founder & CEO of Flashchat, a Conversational Marketing Platform that helps eCommerce Brands to convert & retain their audience using Automated Messenger Conversations.

Connect with him on LinkedIn. 

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