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Success Stories

Customer loyalty success: How Active Truth built trust in their brand

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

A team of business and technology journalists and editors who write to help Australia’s community of small and medium businesses access the technology and know-how that helps solve problems and create opportunities.

In fashion eCommerce, repeat customers are an essential part of the success and growth of your business. In this industry it may seem like there’s an endless supply of competitors with hefty advertising budgets ready to pounce on your customers. But create quality products and provide great service and they won’t need to shop anywhere else. Here’s how Active Truth, a Brisbane-based activewear company, built a loyal customer base by creating trust, being transparent and rewarding their audience in ways that resonate with them.

Nadia Tucker and Stevie Angel, the Co-founders of Active Truth, in their store.

Active Truth is an activewear brand for all women. What started in the homes of Co-founders Stevie Angel and Nadia Tucker is now a successful eCommerce store with 67.8k Instagram followers and a large warehouse in Meadowbrook, Queensland. The key to their success has been listening to their customers and drawing them back in by creating a great shopping experience. And it all started with reviews.

When Active Truth launched in 2016, they started hearing from happy customers almost immediately. Stevie explains that they didn’t have online reviews set up on their website at that point, so the bulk of this feedback came via email. “We quickly realised we needed to find a way to share these comments,” says Stevie. “People trust the opinion of a stranger on the internet more than a brand telling them how great its product is, so it’s really useful to leverage reviews across your marketing.”

The business doesn’t rely on Google reviews or platforms like Trustpilot. Instead, they publish reviews directly to their eCommerce store so their customers can see them when they’re looking to purchase. While it’s tempting to publish only the good feedback, Stevie cautions against censorship when monitoring reviews. “We publish everything, whether it’s positive or negative.” While that might sound risky, Stevie’s experience has taught her there are benefits to being open to criticism.

“We’d rather receive a negative review than have an unhappy customer and not know why,” Stevie says. She also makes the case that publishing bad reviews can lead to greater customer trust. “Customers are savvy. If you’ve only got five-star reviews, people are going to think the reviews are made up, or that you’re deleting the bad ones.”

Stevie explains that reviews aren’t just to monitor customer satisfaction. Active Truth also use them to conduct inexpensive market research that informs their product development. Stevie suggests that, while you might know why you designed a certain item, their customers have appreciated their activewear in ways they hadn’t thought about before. Stevie points to Active Truth’s compression tights as an example: the garments were originally designed for the general population, but their reviews showed they were also being used by women suffering from certain medical conditions. “As a result, we were able to reach out to charities and work with them to raise awareness about a solution that’s worked for others."

“Our range has grown into the product it is today through the continual conversation reviews let us have with our customers.”

Stevie Angel, Co-founder of Active Truth

It makes sense that the brand’s direction is led by its customers, since they’re the reason Active Truth was started in the first place. Their commitment is clear: “We want women to look to Active Truth and see someone like her – happy, active, looking and feeling amazing in her activewear. We refuse to photoshop our models and continue to challenge stereotypes and bias around body image.”

They consistently make good on this promise by tailoring products for the broad range of needs that exist but aren’t widely catered to, like clothing in sizes 16+, leggings that cater for a variety of heights, pregnancy, breastfeeding and postnatal recovery. Active Truth champion body positivity and diversity across their branding and social media. They’ve also developed an ambassador program to reflect their community, utilising the social media pages of everyone from micro influencers to bona fide celebrities.

At the checkout, they prove their value through offering perks like free express shipping and a tailored rewards program that allows customers to earn points when they shop. They also provide incentives to join their mailing list, like a 10% discount on the first order and the ability to opt-in to tailored content for pregnant people.

Active Truth show that when building your business, the simple act of listening to customers is one of the best ways to create long term relationships. If you’re feeling inspired, our article ‘5 unexpected ways to build customer loyalty’ offers new ideas on how you can create repeat business. If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage your online reviews or build an effective website, check out the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Digital Marketing.

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