2 Retailers Tap Customer Knowledge To Quickly Drive Strong Results

The extremely fast pace of modern retailing means merchants need to quickly and efficiently market their offerings in order for them to reach their full sales potential. Both TeePublic, an e-Commerce marketplace that lets artists sell their designs on a variety of products, and Topo Designs, an outdoor apparel and accessory brand, faced challenges that required rapid iteration to meet their sales goals.

Both companies harnessed AdRoll, an e-Commerce growth platform, to help tackle their challenges. TeePublic used the solution to quickly improve its personalization capabilities, while Topo Designs was able to focus on promotions while AdRoll handled the creative side.

Segmented Messages Help TeePublic’s Eclectic Selections Thrive

TeePublic’s audience is extremely diverse: the site offers more than 1 million designs from a wide range of artists, and its shoppers have an equally wide range of tastes. This makes messaging based on intent extremely important, as not even the top sellers are guaranteed to resonate with every potential customer.

“Because our business model is based on very long tail, hyper-niche design audiences, the creative can’t be scaled with static creative images sent to everyone,” said Adam Lasky, Director of Marketing at TeePublic in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We rely on dynamic creatives — based on what the customer viewed on the site, that’s what we showed them. If we were dealing with customers that maybe looked at a search page but not a specific product, we would then use the dynamic creative to have recommendations based on what they searched for.”


When TeePublic set its ROI goals for holiday 2017, the brand had just two months to hit its goal of 20% year-over-year revenue growth. AdRoll’s tools helped the retailer rapidly build out a list of former shoppers and segment them based on their previous buying habits. From there, the retailer could use targeted messages to reactivate them as recurring customers.

“That really expanded our reach,” said Lasky. “We were able to reach dormant customers and customers who we felt we could reactivate based on their previous behavior.”

The solution ultimately helped TeePublic move from batch email blasts to more personalized forms of outreach, and allowed the company to show off more than the top sellers. The results of the new campaign were impressive: the retailer more than doubled its revenue projections for November and December 2017.

Topo Designs Turns Sales Around In Less Than 24 Hours

In 2016, Topo Designs was faced with an even tighter deadline: the brand’s Black Friday Weekend results were below its goals, and Cyber Monday was less than 24 hours away. Immediate change was needed.

“We were looking at what other brands were doing, both competitors and aspirational brands we look up to, and we realized that the deal we had planned for Cyber Monday wasn’t going to be good enough,” said Abby Czarniecki, Digital Marketing Analyst at Topo Designs. “There was no way we were going to make up what we needed that weekend.”

It was too late to come up with a new plan, but AdRoll already was directing enough traffic to the site — with the outreach already handled, the challenge was turning those visits into conversions. To sweeten the existing gift card and free shipping deal, Topo Designs applied a 25% off discount to the entire site.

“We decided to beef up the deal and make it better,” said Czarniecki. “We knew there was going to be a ton of traffic and a ton of eyes on the site, so why not make it a more enticing deal when they arrive and hopefully inspire them to spend even more?”

The gift card giveaway was the result of a plan to generate more creative promotions, but the message proved difficult to express in ads, and often failed to resonate with shoppers. The sitewide discount was a return to the basics: something both easy for shoppers to understand and for the retailer to execute.

The lessons Topo Designs learned proved valuable during Black Friday Weekend in 2017: the retailer mustered a 5X return on ad spend, and smashed its Cyber Monday revenue goal by 156%.

In both instances, the key to success was understand the audience and quickly moving to generate messaging that met their needs. Retailers can’t be afraid to experiment, and proper communication with their shoppers ensures that even daunting odds can be overcome.

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