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Case Study

Digital Transformation Strategy for Teen Retailer

Fashion, On Fleek

Client:

A trend-driven clothing retailer, operating 560 doors throughout the United States, was taken private in a private equity acquisition. Our work provided a roadmap to the success of an omnichannel transformation.

Challenge

Lead a 360º market assessment and evaluation of marketing practices and to deliver a value-based view of opportunities in the competitive retailer marketplace.

The road was paved with obstacles. Quantifying past retail media buying performance with scarce data was difficult at best, and without digital media buying benchmarks available, it was challenging to create an omnichannel retail roadmap to reinvention with all available planning forecasts pegged to 5-6% annual growth in brick-and-mortar exclusively.

Insight:

Retail media buying in an age of private equity demands efficiency. We don’t advocate digital or new media strategies for the sake of novelty. What’s more, digital and ecommerce is a necessary dimension of an omnichannel retail brand — particularly one catering to a teenage consumer.

Digital investment shouldn’t come at the expense of brick-and-mortar, and it doesn’t have to. An omnichannel transformation, rather than a complete shift to digital, allows offline and online investments to work together and increases the number of way that brands can reach consumers.

Plot Twist / Solution:

Things were going to plan, yet after 15 quarters of positive comp and growth, a turning took place. As the brand hoped to hit $1B in sales, and a return to public markets, in-store sales stalled.

In this unexpected turn, initial digital campaigns, however small, showed positive outcomes. When overdue consolidation of e-commerce operations, proved feasible based on new trending, we advise a rebuild of retail media buying from the ground-up by providing a sound rationale for where, and most importantly, why, change was needed.

With a deep analysis of the media consumption and shifting consumer patterns, we won support for a holistic, digital-led approach to retail media buying – an omnichannel transformation – hitting the mark in traditional metrics of reach and frequency along the way.

Results:

With a strategy re-evaluation, we helped this teen retailer evolve away from entrenched commitments in traditional media which were not creating the market impact or differentiation sorely needed for the brand to maintain relevance with its young, female consumer.

Applauded for innovation in retail media buying, the retailer successfully met the growth objectives due to a -73% cost savings in traditional media in favor of a first retail media buying effort.

Though the turnaround has been slow, positive indications from this measurable digital transformation won the retailer the ability to restructure their debt; without this win, the retailer’s fate of bankruptcy was nearly sealed. In a small way, the brand’s digital media buying in support of omnichannel growth gave it greater control of its future.