Retail eComm Client

Revolutionizing eCommerce during COVID-19

This popular retail company designs, develops and markets a diverse range of lifestyle and performance footwear, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and children. The brand has a very large international footprint, as it is available in more than 170 countries and territories through thousands of first and third-party retail stores and eCommerce websites.

image of people's feet with running sneakers


Growth in website traffic


Increase in brand interest


Increase in website conversion rate

Revolutionizing the traditional brick-and-mortar business

The company had historically managed its marketing in-house, but decided to partner with DEPT® in mid-2019 to improve their digital marketing models and grow an immature eCommerce business. After just a few months, we helped the brand build upon a solid digital foundation.

This timing was extremely fortunate, as COVID-19 became a major headwind for the business at the beginning of 2020. In response to the pandemic, the company temporarily closed all of their brick-and-mortar locations, and their massive wholesale channel partners pulled back orders. Almost overnight, their website had become the main driver of the company’s entire sales efforts. As such, the brand needed to rely on growth marketing to shift to a direct-to-consumer (D2C) push.

Taking the next step with a multi-faceted approach

We ® recommended a two-stage approach to grow the brand’s D2C/eCommerce revenue.

Stage 1: Rapid analysis and immediate actions.

Our dedicated team analyzed customer personas, competitive landscape, and promotion effectiveness. Purchaser and persona analysis revealed the following:

  • Large revenue opportunities in D2C at the bottom of the marketing funnel (search & shop)
  • People’s immediate desperate need for walking, running, comfort, and work shoes
  • Two major purchase groups previously undervalued by the client
  • Critical differences between the two underserved personas
  • Several common characteristics among all the brand’s purchasers
  • Specific products that aligned perfectly with each persona’s buying criteria

Next, we conducted an analysis of promotional ad fatigue to discover the optimal promotion strategy to maximize Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). This also included the analysis of competitors’ ad spend and budget distribution.

Based on the rapid, in-depth research results, the client followed our core recommendations. They immediately ramped up their media budget and heavily promoted products to suit both the at-home and at-work consumers who were searching and shopping online. They scaled search, display, and shopping budgets from March to June of 2020, the core lockdown period for most of the world, and also supported price markdowns and promotional savings to become price-competitive in the market.

Key to these efforts was the development of the company’s two undervalued personas for more effective targeting. Using these personas, we built an activation plan around the client’s first and third-party audiences, leveraging DMP implementation to build richer customer and lookalike profiles.

Stage 2: Brand awareness and ongoing growth.

Following the initial marketing push, we shifted focus to boosting brand awareness for the second half of 2020. The first step was implementing targeted ads on various platforms including YouTube, Hulu, TikTok, and Pinterest. The efficacy of each channel was then measured by studying brand and search lift. DEPT® also ran a series of ongoing growth initiatives, including:

  • Using algorithmic data to target consumers at the ideal touchpoints in their journey
  • Forecasting monthly performance and media mix budgets based on the rapidly-evolving business climate
  • Partnering with the brand’s internal business intelligence team to support enhanced reporting workflows

Following this, the client launched a new website for the back-to-school season. DEPT®’s experts developed a conversion rate optimization roadmap for that site, which led to improved shopper UX and higher conversion rates. With the new site performing well, DEPT® was able to help the brand support the markets that remained open during the holiday selling period with TV commercials and digital advertising.

image of someone's feet with sneakers and jeans
two people walking away from camera next to each other

Firing on all cylinders

This intense focus on digital growth marketing for the client D2C business paid off. Domestic U.S. eCommerce sales in Q4 of 2020 increased 142% YoY from 2019, reflecting multiple impressive data points – all driven by DEPT®’s push for limitless growth. This included:

255% growth in website traffic

99% increase in brand interest

38% rise in the website conversion rate


VP of Growth

Lou Amodeo

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