The U.S.-based lingerie e-retailer Adore Me is buying TV spots and targeted social media ads to gain traction in Canada ahead of the holiday season, and execs expect the terms of the new North American trade agreement will encourage more consumers to buy from across the border.

Adore Me Inc. is hoping Canadian online shoppers will adore it.

The lingerie e-retailer, which operates largely on a monthly subscription basis but also offers one-time purchases, sold more than $100 million in bra and panty sets to U.S. consumers last year, according to Internet Retailer estimates, ranking it No. 308 in the Top 1000 Guide. Now, a key part of the e-retailer’s growth plan is to expand sales internationally, says Iris Voltaire, business and brand development lead at Adore Me.

The brand is making Canada its first stop, where it launched a brand advertising campaign in mid-October aimed at introducing the brand to Canadian shoppers during the holiday season. A brand campaign is also in the works to launch Adore Me in Australia in 2019. Until now, AdoreMe.com has accepted orders from consumers in Canada and Australia, but it did not actively advertise in those countries.

“We see growing organic demand in Canada, and we’ve seen an opportunity for a while to strengthen our stance there,” Voltaire says.

The trilateral United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal may positively affect Adore Me’s push into Canada. The trade agreement isn’t finalized yet; however, provisions in it will make cross-border trade easier for some e-retailers and shoppers. For example, USMCA raises the de minimis shipment value threshold to C$40 from C$20, which means consumers do not have to pay tax or duty on shipments valued at C$40 or less. Adore Me’s bra and panty sets are priced below $40.

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Voltaire also anticipates Adore Me’s goods, shipped from the e-retailer’s newly opened fulfillment center in New Jersey, will cross the border more easily under the deal, and return shipments will cross the border more easily as well.

While Adore Me’s decision to invest in a brand push into Canada happened well before USMCA hit the headlines, Voltaire expects it may give the branding effort a bit of extra lift. “The USMCA deal made sense for us,” she says. “It will make it more easy for us to convince new customers to try just one set, and we can play with the offers with bundles and upsells.”

Canadian online shoppers may be responsive, as many already actively shop with online retailers based outside of Canada. 64% of Canadian shoppers say they make online purchases with retailers outside of Canada, according to PayPal Inc.’s 2018 cross-border research report. The survey included 31,000 consumers globally, including 1,000 Canadian consumers.

Adore Me’s marketing plan

Adore Me, working with Toronto-based marketing and media agency Kingstar Media, developed a series of 15- and 30-second TV advertisements that are now airing on Canadian cable channels. “We are booking hundreds of airings a week across a variety of female-focused lifestyle networks,” says Ed Crain, president and CEO of Kingstar Media. The ads, which AdoreMe and Kingstar A/B tested before deciding which to broadcast, feature the “unboxing” moment, showing off the nicely packaged apparel and includes a pitch to first-time buyers to get a bra and panty set for $25. Viewers are directed to AdoreMe.com to place an order.

Adore Me is targeting similar brand messaging to Canadian women on Facebook and Instagram, Voltaire says. Adore Me also is buying search ads on Google.

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Crain says Kingstar Media works with numerous U.S. companies for Canadian marketing programs on an ongoing basis, including home goods e-retailer Wayfair Inc., No. 13 in the Top 1000, which launched Wayfair.ca in 2016. But with the buzz surrounding USMCA he says, “our conversations [with U.S. clients] have all gotten more interesting in the last three or four weeks.”

More than half, 57%, of the 1,000 largest online retailers ranked by their North American sales sell to Canadian consumers, according to Top500Guide.com.

Hi-Babes-noprice-Canada-30s from Adore Me on Vimeo.

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