Online Shopping
Retail Success in the COVID-19 Era
Growing a company using e-commerce during a global pandemic 

Frederick Mountain Group has consulted with this client for several years before being hired in August 2020. The client is an artisan who builds high-end leather accessories. She has reached out to FMG on previous occasions for strategic advice on growing her company.

Retail Success in the COVID-19 Era

Summary

Frederick Mountain Group has consulted with this client for several years before being hired in August 2020. The client is an artisan who builds high-end leather accessories. She has reached out to FMG on previous occasions for strategic advice on growing her company.

 

COVID-19 and the economic fallout hit this entrepreneur hard. Within days of state and federal quarantine orders being issued, the entrepreneur lost over $50,000 in orders.

Woman on her Phone

As she has done before, she contacted us in July for advice. We gave her our suggestions. The suggestions worked so well she hired us formally in August. Through our efforts, sales started increasing. With shipping delays and supply chain interruptions, the Christmas sales season was in jeopardy. We helped structure a sales strategy to capitalize on holiday shopping.

 

As a result of hard work and good strategy, the company's 2020 gross sales increased 51% over 2019.

The Challenges

 

- Covid-19 outbreak resulted in cancelled sales & cancelled in-person events

 

- Disorganized digital marketing

 

-Connecting with customers online

The Challenges 

The client is an established company that creates high-end, handmade leather goods. The entrepreneur has extensive expertise in branding and visuals. The company had excellent visual marketing collateral, a fully developed e-commerce website, and a loyal client following.

 

2020 was suppose to be the company's most successful year, after three years of steady growth. The entrepreneur had about $50,000 in custom orders that vanished within the first days of the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak in March.

 

The entrepreneur had some success with email marketing and a few online sales. However, by late June sales volume had significantly slowed.

 

Trunk shows and other in-person events at boutiques across the inter-mountain west were usually the best sales outlets. However, COVID-19 precautions meant that in-person sales were out of the question.

How We Helped

Website/News/Blogs

The entrepreneurs' past success was due in no small part to her ability to create beautiful products and also beautiful marketing materials. The entrepreneur made significant investments in product photos and videos.

 

We leveraged the existing collateral to tell interactive stories in paid advertising on Facebook/Instagram and Google.

Email Marketing

 

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful marketing tools. We took the product photos and videos in reformatted the email. The emails prominently display the products with easy calls to action and one-click purchase options.

 

Customized 360 Marketing Package

 

- Two to three blog articles per month

 

- Organic social media calendar creation as well as daily engagement on social media accounts

 

- Weekly Email Marketing

 

- Google Ads-creation and management

 

- Facebook Business Manager ad creation, audience targeting, adjustment and monitoring

 

- Website updates and integration with Facebook Business Manager and Google Ads

 

- Weekly Google My Business posting and management

 

- Monthly reporting to client

Facebook & Google Ads

 

With millions of people shifting to online shopping because of COVID-19 safety protocols, the online shopping space is more crowded than ever.

We set a $2000 per month budget to spend between Facebook Business Manager and Google Ads.

 

We targeted high-income zip codes around the country. Because the product is a high-end luxury good, the price point is not for the causal shopper. We had to ensure the re-targeting and customer capture was converting so we could continue to engage and convert the customer.

 

Within 30 days, we started seeing new customers. We also significantly increased the email subscriber list.

 

A New Sales Model

 

As with many businesses, the company experienced significant supply chain interruptions and shipping delays. These issues came to a head at the end of the 3rd quarter when it was clear the manufacture would not get the company its raw supplies for construction until December.

 

We implemented the "scarcity" model pioneered by SUPREME. Our solution was to set up everything for "pre-order" with a promise of delivery by Christmas Day. We helped the company redesign their website to enable orders before the product was on hand.

 

Customers were excited to be first to get a chance to order these hand-crafted, limited quantity goods.

 

By using honesty, working with the supplier, and helping the company organize their staff for a final push, every order was delivered on-time.

Results by the Numbers

 

To grow a company in the middle of a global pandemic and economic recession is no small feat.

 

However, after growing many business during and after the 2008 recession, we knew how to help.

 

We embraced the shift in consumer behavior. COVID-19 shuttered most retail operations for months. Even after restrictions relaxed during the summer months, consumers were not comfortable in tradition retail spaces. Moreover, most art fairs and trunk shows were cancelled for safety.

 

More customers were online than ever before and we seized the opportunity to tell the company's story. We promoted the quality, the ethical sourcing, and made online purchasing easy. We told a good story through the digital marketing and made it easy for customers to quickly get their product, even during a crisis.

Results 

51% Increase in gross sales in 2020 over 2019.
51% increase in gross sales (2020 v 2019) by fully pivoting to e-commerce, supported with digital advertising
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