True Religion Apparel Inc. is aiming for a big holiday season. The denim retailer recorded triple digit traffic growth to TrueReligion.com in September, says CEO Michael Buckley. Now, its looking to capitalize off that momentum with a holiday campaign.
True Religion ranks No. 892 in the Top 1000. The database is Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the largest online retailers in North America.
True Religion’s holiday plans
True Religion’s digital holiday campaign is called “Style is a gift,” says Kristen D’Arcy, chief marketing officer. It’s based around the idea of giving True Religion jeans as a gift. The campaign will incorporate influencers, musical artist Quavo, and the Los Angeles Rams leading up to the holiday season.
Like many retailers, True Religion typically records its highest sales volume of the year in the fourth quarter, D’Arcy says. That makes successful holiday marketing even more important, because of the potential for even more sales and gifting.
True Religion’s holiday campaign will involve influencers with varying follower counts, D’Arcy says, from larger influencers to micro- and nano-influencers. Each week, a different influencer will take over True Religion’s Instagram account to post about the retailer as a gifting destination.
Customer engagement is important to True Religion this year, D’Arcy says. In addition to the Instagram takeovers, the brand will launch a meme generator to encourage consumers to engage directly with it.
“So they [users] will be able to take a picture of absolutely anything. And then we will auto-generate a word to complete the line. Blank is a gift,” D’Arcy says.
True Religion launched its holiday campaign in October, earlier than in previous years. That was an intentional choice, D’Arcy says. The retailer studied consumer behavior and Google search trends, alongside information from consumer research firms like McKinsey and Deloitte.
“What they are all saying across the board is that people are going to shop earlier, but there’s still a bulk of people that will wait for the big deal moment in November,” she says.
So, True Religion launched an early holiday campaign to enter consumers’ consideration for gifting, with plans to unveil further deals in the traditional Cyber 5 period.
Traffic growth across channels
True Religion is doing well with brand awareness, but it takes an extra push to get consumers to consider the retailer for holiday gifting, D’Arcy says. That’s where the holiday campaign comes in. True Religion started setting the stage for the campaign earlier, with efforts to boost web traffic.
D’Arcy attributes traffic growth to several factors. First, True Religion is in the middle of a repositioning of who its core customer is. The retailer is now targeting 25- to 45-year-olds, and styling photos and campaigns more attuned to that audience as a result.
Second, True Religion gained online traction from its involvement in New York Fashion Week in the form of comments and mentions on social media, D’Arcy says. Follower counts began rising 10% week over week, the highest it had experienced in a long time, she said without specifying further.
Then, a “tremendous amount of traffic” started coming to the website from consumers going directly to the retailer’s URL, she said. At the same time, paid social ads started to perform better, and organic social traffic grew to numbers normally only seen during the holidays. So far, October web traffic is up double digits over last year, she says.
The growing traffic and engagement are already turning into sales, D’Arcy says without giving more details. The engagement and social media mentions create a “halo effect” that continues itself, she says.
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