Air & Grace, a premier shoe retailer, started in 2014 with a vision: to craft women's shoes that effortlessly blend style and comfort. Recognising the long-standing dilemma of sacrificing one for the other, the founder introduced innovation known as Tender Air technology. This proprietary technology allows wearers to experience the sensation of walking on air without compromising on style.
The brand first grew organically on social media – building a loyal community of followers, celebrities & influencers who loved the shoes Air & Grace were creating. Harnessing the momentum, Air & Grace expanded their marketing mix, using a wider variety of digital channels to reach new audiences, including paid advertising and affiliates.
In 2022, Air & Grace looked to build on the success and test new approaches that would capture the attention of a wider audience to drive sales.
In October 2022, Air & Grace tested their first catalogue. As a primarily digital brand, the aim was to understand whether a more traditional channel would have a positive impact on their core, online marketing mix.
“We hoped the catalogue would introduce the brand to new audiences and allow us to showcase our collection in a more traditional manner. As a pure-play brand, we’re digital-first, but we thought it would also benefit our current audience to see the collection beautifully laid out in print.” - Abby Fry, Head of Brand Marketing, Air & Grace
Air & Grace’s starting point was to use their current database to build a geodemographic profile of the ideal Air & Grace shopper and then find look-a-like prospects to mail. By doing so they were able to create a highly targeted list of prospect customers who would most likely shop the range. The list was topped up with a selection of the retailer’s best customers to explore whether mailing them would generate further interest.
In October 2022, Air & Grace mailed their first catalogue. Beautifully crafted, the A5 catalogue stylishly showcased a selection of the range alongside a 10% discount that was prominent on the front cover. Inside, the retailer took the opportunity to share their social media handles in order to continue to build on their active following.
To track the success of the campaign, customers were directed to a campaign specific URL and were also given a unique discount code. This allowed them to track both how effective the catalogue was in driving people to the website, as well as capturing sales from customers who had received the catalogue and shopped from the main site.
Buoyed by the success of the October catalogue, Air & Grace sent another catalogue in November 2022 – using insights from those who responded in October to further refine targeting.
“We learnt a lot about warm vs cold data responses and how we can (and did) refine the cold data, working with the right third parties, to generate the most effective data lists.” - Abby Fry, Head of Brand Marketing, Air & Grace
Air & Grace’s first trial of a catalogue delivered successful sales.
Average order value (AOV) for the October catalogue was +4% higher than digital sales. When the underperforming lists were removed, the AOV was +26% higher than all digital sales.
Streamlining their data to focus on the hottest prospects in the November campaign significantly improved results, delivering an AOV that was +18% above digital sales.
“The catalogue worked for Air & Grace. I believe it’s the fact it’s something physical, with appealing imagery and content, that can be re-visited (hopefully something customers leave on their coffee table!) and shared amongst friends.” - Abby Fry, Head of Brand Marketing, Air & Grace
Source: Abby Fry, Head of Brand Marketing, Air & Grace