Just as the shift towards digital has impacted marketing, it has had a profound impact on the retail industry. Brick and mortar stores are still critical, but with an industry-wide emphasis on ecommerce and the online shopping experience, brands are struggling to stand out in the crowd.
According to BigCommerce, 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop online. However, the most-cited reason for not shopping online is the lack of tactile connection to the product before purchase. Digital and in-person are both extremely important in the retail industry, and maintaining consistent branding in both realms can prove challenging.
For one of our retail clients, a national apparel company, the challenge lay chiefly in brand awareness. Because of the critical importance of good, consistent branding, this company struggled with a whole host of other issues related brand awareness, like low web traffic and ineffective marketing initiatives.
Read on to see how we worked with this client to boost their brand recognition, initiate a robust content marketing strategy, and increase both their online and brick-and-mortar sales.
A retail company relies on customer revenue to stay afloat, and this client was simply not reaching their sales goals. Contributing to this problem were issues in branding, strategy, and marketing initiatives.
Because consumers need an average of 5-7 touches with a brand before they’ll remember it, branding is of the utmost importance. It is essential to capitalize on every opportunity to reinforce your brand. This apparel company’s branding was inconsistent, with a variety of logos, colors, fonts, and tone used with abandon. The result was an unfocused presentation that failed to resonate with consumers.
They lacked a comprehensive marketing strategy for driving sales to their website and encouraging visitors to their brick-and-mortar location. Any strategy they did engage with was siloed and reactionary, typically involving flash sales or one-off attempts to drive traffic. They simply didn’t have the bandwidth to create content consistently, and they were feeling the effects.
Lastly, as part of their strategy woes, they struggled to leverage the digital space to expand brick-and-mortar sales along with online sales.
We began by consolidating their voice, tone, and brand messaging across channels. By bringing the brand into focus, we were able to lay the foundation for future growth and begin boosting brand recognition almost immediately.
Next, we consolidated their digital and traditional marketing initiatives into one holistic strategic marketing approach. This involved implementing a robust social media strategy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram along with creative collateral development for traditional marketing initiatives, like hangtags and in-store displays.
A critical element of our overall marketing strategy was a focus on email marketing. Email accounts for 20% of all ecommerce traffic, so by neglecting an email strategy, this apparel company was missing out on a key source of revenue. We implemented a consistent email strategy to keep this apparel company top-of-mind, provide helpful information, and forge connections with customers.
In order for the consolidated marketing strategy to be effective, marketing and operations needed alignment. We opened channels of communication and optimized hand-offs between marketing, sales, and operations to increase conversions and boost customer satisfaction.
We also tackled their community management, ensuring consistent responses to their reviews and upkeep of their listings on other websites and platforms.
In an effort to spread brand awareness to previously untapped or desirable populations, we also diversified their targeted digital advertising.
All of our strategic marketing initiatives with this apparel company relied heavily on tracking and analytics.
With our concentrated efforts on bringing branding into focus, consolidating all marketing efforts, and aligning different departments under the same growth goals, this national apparel company started to see big results.
Conversions on their website increased by 73% with a total sales increase of 27%.
Their email open rates increased from 2% to 8% with clicks increasing from 4% to 18%.
As a result of a consistent and robust social media strategy, this national apparel company saw a 123% increase in social media traffic to their website year over year.
Lastly, their annual sales increased by 38% - reason enough to celebrate the magic of inbound marketing.
With a refocusing of brand and a consistent marketing strategy, this apparel company saw big growth across channels and in their bottom line. Retail is competitive, and ecommerce isn’t going anywhere, but with agile, proactive marketing and the right strategy, retail companies will see success.