E-Commerce Marketing Done Right: Harry’s Razors

I am bombarded with ads for new products every day. Rue-La-La wants me to buy Cole-Haans. Dollar Shave Club wants me to try their low-end razors. Gilt teases me with those desert boots that are out of my price range. Out of all the products I have seen in my News Feed in the past three months, one stands in out in particular. It also happens to be the only item I purchased that I can safely say I would not have without the exposure in my Facebook News Feed.

Handsomer. Sharperer. Less Expensive. I cannot count the number of times I saw this ad in my News Feed. Every time, I remember thinking “These look nice, but how good are they?” Occasionally, I would click on the Bitly and read more about Harry’s, their origins, and the pricing. I never read reviews and never made a purchase. It felt a lot like the Dollar Shave Club with less edgy marketing. I considered buying razors from Dollar Shave Club but decided against them after reading reviews. When I saw ads for Harry’s, my Dollar Shave Club bias came with me. No matter how many ads I saw, I refused to make a purchase. My bias even prevented me from reading reviews or spending more time evaluating how much money I would save by switching off my Gillette blades.

They finally got me. I saw a banner ad (can’t find a screenshot) that compared the price of Harrys blades to Gillette blades. They claimed that they were cheaper. Had I seen this ad without the context of all those Facebook News Feed ads, I would have glossed over it. But I had seen the ads for a solid two months, clicked to the website, and briefly read about the brand. The latest ad was merely another attempt to move me down the purchase funnel. And it worked but not in the way a marketer would want. I didn’t click, buy immediately, and tweet about my happiness. I made a mental note to do some more research the next day.

True to my mental note, I spent more time the next day on the Harry’s website. The blades were indeed cheaper than what I pay for Gillette blades. Not a lot cheaper, but enough for me to consider them. This time, I also searched for a independent review. I clicked on the first search result from menshair.about.com and was immediately convinced. I went back to Harrys.com, added the Truman Kit to my cart, and completed my purchase. I have not received them yet.

Harry’s did it right. Not a single friend told me about them. I never read about them in a magazine like GQ. My only exposure to them was the Facebook News Feed over a period of several months. But those ads didn’t convince me. It was not until I saw a banner ad comparing the price of a box of Harry’s razors to a box of Gillette razors did I seriously consider making the switch. The blunt comparison addressed one of my two major concerns, price and quality. A quick Google search assured me that the razors are high quality, unlike those provided by Dollar Shave Club. When I clicked purchase, it was great. Better price. Better quality.

July 3, 2014 Update: The product disappointed. I returned the razors.

So, what do you think ?