Free People uses paid search to understand the type of consumers coming to its Web site, along with non-branded campaigns that generate new customer sales. It's not so unusual to monitor traffic from paid search, but it prompted the marketing department to open up the analytics package and review all the traffic coming to the site through all media channels.
Company marketers not only buy branded keywords "free people," but also market branded keywords like Ash and Jeffrey Campbell, two shoe manufacturers whose products the store sells. Sometimes paid-search ads are used as an introduction to the Free People brand. Aside from selling clothes through Nordstrom, Macy's and other big retail store chains, Free People has 71 boutiques across the U.S. and two planned for Canada within the next couple of months.
Through Adlucent's Shopping Analytics, Free People gains access to custom reports detailing keywords and categories driving the most converting new customers to their site, including brand vs. non-brand comparisons by customer segment. The data provides insights about how much the company's marketers spend on paid search and other media segments.
The company can analyze average order value (AOV), along with the variations between customer segments. A repeat customer typically has a higher AOV compared with new customers.
Shopping Analytics also allows marketers to analyze data to determine the types of consumers who are purchasing more per order. The platform helps Free People determine the price the company will pay for each conversion.
Those conversions also happen as a result of social media. Social ecommerce has become a strategy for Free People. The clothing manufacturer relies on sites like Facebook to increase sales and awareness.
The biggest problem: Facebook's search engine creates obstacles. "Facebook's search feature lets you find brands and friends, but it's a little bit more difficult to find product information similar to Google," said Jed Paulson, director of marketing, Free People. "I imagine their strategy is to keep site visitors on Facebook and not allow them to go out to Google's search engine. If that's the case, when will we see more search capabilities and similar paid-search advertisers that would run alongside searches?"