In the eCommerce world, mobile is becoming an increasingly important environment. Primarily, shoppers use their smartphones as research tools today--but more and more, they're actually shopping directly from these devices rather than waiting to make purchases on a desktop computer or in-store, according to data from SmartInsights.
And while mobile shopping still lags in comparison to desktop overall, some brands are taking note of this shift in buyer preferences--and they're adjusting their marketing approach accordingly.
With the help of social media ads (like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ads), brands are able to target specific customer demographics and study important insights into what's working and what's not, thanks to the analytics available through these channels. And one specific eCommerce retailer has found a strategy that's delivering impressive results.
Spearmint Love, an online retailer of infant clothing and accessories, has increased its annual revenue by a whopping 991% thanks to a Facebook ad strategy developed by founder Shari Lott's husband, and now CFO and COO, John Lott. Leveraging a background in finance, Lott discovered that by using cohort analysis and an ad strategy that evolves as the customer evolves, he was able to boost the brand's return on advertising spend by 5-10x.
Over the course of about three years, Lott has perfected the strategy--and Spearmint Love's cost per customer acquisition is down to $5. As a result, the brand grew from doing just $150,000 in annual sales in 2015 to $1.5 million in 2016--an increase of about 900 percent. Even Facebook has taken note of the brand's success. The platform has launched beta tests around this unique approach, and the Lotts have been named to the 2017 Facebook Advisory Council.
"The tremendous growth we've experienced is directly related to Facebook ads," John Lott explained. "The business operated on zero paid advertising before this point, but once we implemented our Facebook ad strategy, it just took off."
Rapid growth does come with challenges, however. The Lotts explained that as a bootstrapped operation, capital has been tight--and they have to be vigilant about watching their cash flow. Additionally, they've had to figure out how to rapidly scale up their business, hire additional employees--and, of course, competitors have taken note of their effective strategy and have begun to mimic their approach. "We just try to stay focused on our own brand and not worry about what anyone else is doing," Shari Lott said.
To other small to mid-sized online retailers working with Facebook ads, John Lott says, "Start small, and don't give up if you don't see quick results. Start with a budget of $50-$100 per week rather than spending your entire budget on a single campaign, and be willing to learn."