In 2022, French Toast shifted its marketing dollars across paid media to Google and other paid social channels. Previously, the retailer focused on email and paid search alone.

Social media is a focal point for French Toast, a children’s uniform and apparel retailer, says Alyson Shapero, vice president of brand, digital and wholesale marketing. After tough years of supply chain issues in 2020 and 2021, the merchant’s focus shifted to how to divvy up its advertising budget in 2022.

French Toast is No. 1496 in Digital Commerce 360’s Next 1000 retailer rankings. The 2022 Next 1000 includes online retailers that generated annual ecommerce revenue between roughly $1 million and just over $39 million in 2021.

In 2022, French Toast spent its marketing dollars across paid media to Google and other paid social channels. That’s a shift from 2020 and 2021, where the retailer devoted its marketing budget toward email and paid search alone, Shapero says.

French Toast devoted 20% to 25% of its marketing budget to paid social in 2022. The merchant is projecting a 40% increase year over year in overall marketing-related advertising expenses, Shapero says.

“We’re very focused on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube,” she says.


That focus includes campaigns with micro-influencers to promote merchandise. Shapero did not share what portion of the retailer’s marketing budget is devoted to these campaigns.

Online sales are projected to increase 40% year over year in 2022, Shapero says. French Toast’s average order value is projected to stay flat in 2022 compared with 2021.

Consumers remain comfortable shopping from their phones

During the height of the pandemic, consumers changed the way they shopped. Consumers became even more comfortable shopping from the convenience of their homes. That behavior continued into 2021 but not at the level of 2020.

Mobile continues to grow in popularity among Next 1000 merchants. The collective share of Next 1000 traffic from mobile devices reached 68.4% in 2021, compared with 65.5% in 2020.


French Toast finds that mobile is essential to its future appeal to customers.

“We’ve identified a technology company we want to work with over the next year [2023] to help us launch a loyalty program,” Shapero says. “We consider ourselves a mobile-first brand, so we’re excited to invest in trackable data with a points/loyalty system for our mobile users.”

This is an excerpt from the 2022 Next 1000 Report. The report can be downloaded now as a PDF for $499. Digital Commerce 360 Gold and Platinum Members receive a complimentary copy of this report as a part of their membership.


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