There’s a significant benefit to TechStyle Fashion Group leveraging Facebook Inc.’s latest ad formats and tools, says Aubrie Richey, the retailer’s senior director, paid social media.
The retailer, No. 71 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000 , is the parent company of a number of brands such as fashion brand JustFab and athleisure brand Fabletics, and it is growing quickly. Its five-year ecommerce compound annual growth rate is 52.5%, according to Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com. Sustaining that growth requires it to move quickly. “We know that at our scale we need to be the first to jump on new technologies because the [cost per thousand impressions] is so much lower when a product is first released,” she says. “The onus is on us to move quickly.”
But moving quickly is easier said than done. With five brands—Fabletics, JustFab, JustKids, SavageexFenty and ShoeDazzle—that leverage membership models that charge consumers a monthly subscription fee in exchange for credits they can spend on discounted items—the company’s marketing strategy focuses heavily on customer acquisition. Adding new members is important given that the average consumer maintains her membership for seven to 18 months. But the retailer’s ability to add new members is heavily dependent on the quality of the content it produces, Richey says.
“The creative drives everything we do,” she says.
Creating thousands of pieces of ad content is time consuming, especially because Facebook ad formats, such as dynamic ads, require the retailer to adjust image sizes to ensure they render properly.
As it looked for a better approach, it turned to digital marketing vendor Smartly.io to automate the process. Smartly.io’s platform pulls still images and video assets from a retailer’s product catalog that the retailer shares with Smartly.io and integrates those elements into its ad templates. Retailers like TechStyle then can use Facebook’s targeting options to aim the ads at specific consumers or they can leverage Smartly’s artificial intelligence-powered automation technology to choose a goal, say drive sales, and set a budget. The technology then tests the retailer’s ad campaigns to determine the optimal budget distribution for the stated goal.
Because the tool lets TechStyle quickly create a number of ads, including video ads, it can use the tool to test how consumers respond to elements within the ads, such as multiple products within one video, she says. That’s enabled the retailer to run A/B tests to determine which elements shoppers respond to. It can then tweak its video templates based on shoppers’ actions.
Smartly.io has also helped TechStyle take advantage of its next opportunity, which is ads within Facebook and Instagram’s Stories features, she says. The Stories feature enables brands and users to post content that is only available for 24 hours. Using Smartly.io’s templates, it quickly ramped up its spending on those ads thanks to the low CPM. Depending on the month, Stories now account for up to a quarter of its Facebook ad spending.
The ability to quickly create ads is crucial for a merchant like TechStyle given that its product catalog is regularly changing. Now, roughly 30% of the retailer’s ads are created via the Smartly.io platform. That’s helped boost the retailer’s click-through rate on Facebook ads to nearly 1.0%, roughly double its previous 0.5% rate.Favorite