Case Study: cabi

Validating a New DTC Revenue Stream for an Established Women’s Clothing Brand

How we built and utilized a custom measurement framework to optimize paid and social campaigns for scalable customer acquisition and ecommerce profitability.

The Partner

cabi is an online clothing retailer for women. cabi offers personal styling services where independent, commission-based brand representatives host in-home or virtual fashion shows to showcase the latest cabi collections. These stylists provide personalized styling advice and sell products directly to clients.

To scale, cabi identified the need to build a new revenue stream and invested heavily in their DTC online store with an e-commerce growth marketing strategy.

Tuff Services

A Quick Look

up arrow 68.5%

Increase in Total New Customers

up arrow 66%

Increase in Revenue Share from New Customers

down arrow 33%

Decrease in CAC

TL;DR: Between September and December 2022, we implemented a cross-functional customer acquisition strategy with a custom-built reporting framework to drive new customer growth and showcase the profitability potential of cabi’s ecommerce site. Our customized analytics enabled us to measure success within individual channels and platforms to optimize spend and increase new customer accounts and revenue by 60%+ MoM.

The Challenge

Build a winning ecommerce strategy: drive first-time buyers to cabi’s online store to expand customer base and validate ecommerce profitability.

Prior to partnering with Tuff, cabi Stylist sales were their top revenue contributor. And while cabi achieved positive results with its social selling model, its team wanted to capitalize on a new revenue opportunity, ecommerce.

Until August 2022, their team had limited success in driving new customer traffic to the site via paid media campaigns. This was in large part due to their campaign and data feed setup.

Auditing their campaigns, we found that they’d allocated most of their social ad spend (63.4%) toward bottom-funnel efforts. We also learned that their Google Ads data feed was not optimized for non-branded search terms, restricting cabi’s ability to target and attract prospects unfamiliar with the brand.

In addition to paid media, cabi only ranked for branded keywords in organic search. As a result, organic traffic did very little to generate new customer growth.

So, how did we optimize paid and organic strategies to drive true new customers to the cabi site – all while proving the efficacy of our strategies via clear and concise reporting? Let’s find out ↓.

The Strategy

Lockstep cross-functional collaboration and a precise measurement framework.

Our first priority was reporting. We needed to align on an optimal attribution model to accurately deliver insights on individual channel performance and new net revenue.

Once aligned on our measurement process, we quickly calibrated our paid social campaigns toward prospecting audiences instead of retargeting. We identified interests within the ad platform (e.g., “luxury apparel”) that closely matched their ideal customer profile to reach new audiences on Meta.

Next, we turned to Google. Our PPC team built a custom, non-branded data feed that leveraged more common search terms for their inventory. This strategy allowed us to capitalize on broader search terms with a higher search volume and put shopping ads in front of new audiences.

Lastly, our SEO team mapped out an organic strategy to improve new customer growth, identifying relevant keywords with attainable keyword difficulty and building a content strategy around targeting those top-of-funnel search terms.

What We Did:

  1. Identify the right attribution model for cabi’s ecommerce site based on revenue goals
  2. Design a cross-functional strategy to attract and convert new audiences
  3. Implement high-impact customer acquisition campaigns across all channels
  4. Analyze the data to extract key audience insights and prove campaign efficacy
  5. Optimize according to performance data, zeroing in on winning strategies to scale results

*Since YouTube is not the strongest driver of last-click attribution, we designed custom reports that used organic traffic and sign-ups to measure impact and campaign success.

After four months of testing, here’s what we found. ↓

The Results

Strong reporting drives MoM growth: a 68.5% increase in total new customers while reducing new CAC by 33%.

In four months, our channel specialists generated significant new customer growth, validating strategy performance and the profitability of ecommerce for cabi. Our Paid Media team fine-tuned audience targeting tactics to reach the right prospects with relevant content, while our SEO team simultaneously deployed tactical optimizations to increase search visibility and drive growth organically.

After launching campaigns in September, our teams quickly started to pinpoint the specific channels through which new customers were consistently engaging, enabling us to allocate ad spend more strategically and scale results over time.

Leveraging a comprehensive measurement framework, we seamlessly executed and refined strategies while providing our partner with concise, actionable insights at every stage.

The Data

Key Takeaways

Precise measurement turns insights into decisive action: a clear and comprehensive approach to measurement allows you to identify strengths, pinpoint areas for improvement, and optimize strategies to scale results quickly and efficiently.

A balanced, full-funnel strategy maximizes growth potential: while the ROI on retargeting campaigns is undeniable, a balanced approach that blends customer retention with targeted acquisition strategies is key to expanding growth horizons and cultivating a loyal customer base.

Build scalable evergreen organic strategies: Since cabi has a seasonal product inventory, gaining momentum with organic rankings was tricky. To alleviate this, we created an evergreen content strategy that targeted top-of-funnel search terms to reach a broader audience and keep organic rankings intact season after season.

Meet prospects where they’re at on search: including non-branded data feeds in your growth strategy is critical to reaching TOFU audiences. For brands with nuanced brand language, non-branded feeds open up new opportunities to drive engagement, awareness, and conversions for prospecting audiences.

Not all ROAs are created equal: Take the time to drill down into the data to measure performance at a source, medium, and campaign level. That way, you can do a better job of setting a target CPA, target ROAs, etc., for those channels respectively.

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