Illesteva is an upscale eyewear line built on a tradition of unique design and contemporary styling. Designed in New York City and crafted in Italy, Illesteva began selling luxe shades in 2010, with modern twists on classic silhouettes made with top-quality materials.
The brand came to 6S Marketing looking to increase online sales of their handmade Italian sunglasses. The results they’d been seeing over the last year were good — but not great — and the brand felt they were missing out on a lot of opportunities to expand their reach and digital touchpoints with their audience. Additionally, they felt that their last agency didn’t give them the level of attention and innovation they’d been hoping for.
We identified paid search as the easiest point to start, followed by Google Shopping, paid social through Facebook and Instagram, and finally display ads — for retargeting and prospecting — as ways to scale their digital advertising and drive new visitors and sales.
For paid search, the challenge was competing with some big-name players in the online retail space. Major department stores including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s, Macy’s, as well as leading designer brands such as Gucci, Prada, Versace, and Tory Burch lead to a crowded and competitive market.
Google Shopping, while equally competitive, required custom work to their CMS to set up a product feed that could be used. Once completed, extensive SEO optimizations were required to improve results against these big name competitors.
On social, Illesteva has a huge following; the challenge wasn’t finding ways to reach their audience, but to do so in a way that wasn’t disruptive to their already solid social media presence.
6S rolled out Illesteva’s paid search campaign in several phases, first locking down the branded content that audiences were seeking out, and making sure the brand ranked well above their various online and department store resellers. Next, we expanded into dynamic search ads, using URLs, keywords, and product names to generate ad targeting and content to reach audiences. Once we saw performance improve, we doubled and tripled our efforts (and budgets) into more general sunglasses and eyewear search terms, competing with the major brands.
Google Shopping required extensive customization and comprehensive SEO updates to put into action, after which we set up detailed reviews on various product performance to see what styles were gaining interest, and which were not showing up in online searches for eyewear.
Social rolled out with a different approach to targeting — deliberately avoiding those following the brand, and instead concentrating on lookalike audiences, retargeting, and other methods for prospecting and reaching those yet to be familiar with Illesteva’s unique Italian eyewear.
Finally, to make sure we were measuring performance at a granular level necessary for so many products, media tactics, and complex visitor behaviors, we set up enhanced eCommerce Analytics tracking to monitor shopping habits and evaluate how to better improve conversion rate and user experience on the Illesteva online store.
The initial weeks showed steady improvement on revenue and sales, before exploding after just four weeks in market. Return on ad spend (ROAS), beginning at a modest 235%, grew to 833% the following month and 1,750% the month after. Total revenue numbers continue to show incremental increase.
With online sales hitting their stride, we can begin turning our attention to ongoing technical adjustments on SEO and conversion rate optimization (CRO). With paid media driving such qualified and revenue-driving traffic, Illesteva is well positioned to continue improving results in other areas of their online store.