No matter your niche or industry, having an online presence is non-negotiable.
It allows consumers to discover you and helps them learn more about your brand’s reputation. Eventually, all of this information will play a key role in your customer’s ultimate purchasing decision.
One online retailer who’s mastered the art of ecommerce marketing is Cuts, a Los Angeles-based t-shirt company founded by Steven Borrelli.
In this post, I’ll cover all of the major steps and ecommerce marketing tactics Cuts used to increase its growth by 200%.
Let’s dive right in!
What We’ll Cover:
What is Cuts?
After struggling to find a t-shirt that not only fit well but was versatile enough to be worn both at work and on a night out, Cuts CEO Steven Borelli decided to take matters into his own hands in 2016.
He and the Cuts team designed a t-shirt unlike any other on the market—one that doesn’t compromise quality, comfort, or style.
While the brand’s designs are minimalist, they’re cut (pun intended) from Pyca, a custom-engineered, high stretch fabric derived from a tri-blend of cotton, polyester, and rayon. This combination offers color retention, wrinkle protection, durability, and lasting softness.
Cuts even provides their customers the option to “Shop by Cut,” where shoppers can choose between three bottom cuts (regular, split-hem, and elongated) and three collar options (crew, v-neck, and henley).
For Cuts, customizability is the name of the game.
Although mobile leads in traffic, desktop is what delivers sales. In fact, the average value for transactions made on desktop is 24% more than transactions made on mobile.
That’s why your ecommerce marketing strategy needs to encompass mobile and desktop. Cuts has definitely gotten it right with both.
The first thing you notice on their homepage is how much they’ve invested in high-quality creative. This works wonders for building trust and credibility with your target audience.
The video banner towards the top shows their clothing in action with models sporting a collection of Cuts t-shirts, sweaters, and polos, accompanied by a “25% OFF SITE-WIDE” header and a “Shop Now” call to action.
Right underneath the banner is the company’s mission statement—“We’re here to outfit the world’s most ambitious people”— followed by a list of best sellers and new releases.
And if you’re unsure of which cut is best for you, Cuts has “Cuts Comparison” that breaks down the differences between styles:
Scroll further down and you’ll also see that Cuts has integrated Instagram lifestyle shots into their landing page, along with the hashtag #madethecut. By showing the everyday consumer in their natural element wearing Cuts clothing, it brings the products to life and conveys the message that Cuts is not just a clothing company, but a lifestyle brand.
Speaking of branding, as you move down the page, you’ll notice the Cuts logo fixed in the lower right-hand corner. This is their new live chat feature, which gives customers the opportunity to chat one-on-one with staff and troubleshoot common customer service-related issues.
Make your way to the category pages and the high-quality ecommerce marketing strategy continues. If a particular Cuts shirt comes in 6 different colors, you can see what it looks like on 6 different models. That’s fairly unprecedented for an online retailer.
Another thing that’s unique about this page is that if you’re trying to add a product to your cart, you can immediately select the size and color without having to be redirected to another product page. The less pages and hoops a user has to navigate or jump through, the more likely they are to complete the purchase.
Ecommerce Marketing Strategy: SEO
When it comes to online sales, SEO is an ecommerce marketing tactic that often gets overlooked, especially when you throw paid ads and email marketing into the mix.
But with so many users researching new brands through Google, both at home and on the go, retailers simply can’t compete without having an optimized website and product pages.
Although Cuts doesn’t rank incredibly well from an SEO perspective, there are plenty of ways they can boost their rankings that won’t break the bank.
A few that come to mind include writing click-worthy titles and meta descriptions, removing unnecessary code, and fixing any broken links.
Luckily, Cuts does integrate multimedia into their blogs like images and videos, making for a more engaging read than if they just had text on the page.
Google Display Ads
When it comes to ecommerce marketing, there is often a dispute over whether it’s better to use search or display ads. Cuts uses both.
A display ad is always an interruption. But when well-timed and relevant, it can be a positive interruption that results in a purchase.
For this type of campaign, an ecommerce marketer can target shoppers according to site demographics, page topics, keywords, affinity audiences, and more.
With Cuts display ads, they place a heavy emphasis on discounts and promotions. After all, users will respond much better to an interruption that saves them money.
Ultimately, you should consider creating display ads if your goal is to retarget people who might have already come across your brand. These types of ads make it easier to nurture potential customers further and further down the sales funnel.
Keep in mind that this is a long-term strategy and you should be prepared to run display ads all the time.
Google Search Ads
With search ads, the user is intent on finding whichever product they were searching for on Google.
For example, if a shopper searches for “most comfortable blue sweater,” that shopper has the intent to either research or purchase a blue sweater.
When we look at Cuts’ search ads, they take the same approach as they did with the display ads—bringing attention to upcoming sales and promoting gift cards.
While this is definitely a step in the right direction, one ecommerce marketing tactic they can explore is trying to find branded keywords and run ads on those specific keywords to get them to rank higher in search results.
Or, they can consider focusing on their highest converting products first and/or creating an optimized landing page for each ad group.
DIVE DEEPER: What Spending Over 10 Million On Branded Search Taught Me
It may seem that popular platforms like Amazon and eBay make it easier than ever to sell products, but a multifaceted Facebook marketing strategy can also go a long way in achieving ecommerce marketing success.
Cuts is investing quite a bit in this area, which is most likely what is driving their sales. They’re incorporating a lot of creative imagery into their Facebook ads that juxtapose the product with the person who’s actually wearing the product.
In addition, Cuts is taking a unique approach to promoting lifestyle creative. In one example, there’s a series of different shots where the same gentleman is walking down the stairs in different types of clothing–sweaters, jackets, t-shirts, etc.
Then they took those individual shots, spliced them all together, sped it up, and converted it into one cohesive lifestyle ad. Find the full ad here.
Your website needs to be responsive for SEO reasons, and it needs to load fast. More than half of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
While Cuts’ mobile site looks great, it runs a little slower than it should. However, this is understandable considering all the additional media they have on their homepage and blog.
Cuts website is essentially a condensed version of the main desktop site. With the launch of their fall collection on the horizon, those are some of the first products you see. They’re also promoting their 5th-anniversary sale, commemorating 5 years in business.
During the mobile checkout, Cuts uses a payment processor called “Poof,” which tells you exactly who has recently purchased the product, bringing in more social proof and as a result, more conversions.
Since it can enable Cash App, PayPal, and Stripe payment integration directly into your website, it has become one of the fastest ways to accept payments.
When browsing Cuts on mobile, they offer 15% off to anyone who enters their email address, which is a surefire way to grow an existing email list.
From there, Cuts marketers can advertise to them, set up an email drip campaign, and store their information in a database.
To sum up, Cuts managed to stand out in a crowded ecommerce market by maximizing value for the customer. They told their brand story in the best way possible—using high-quality images, videos, and compelling content to draw them in.
While perfecting your ecommerce marketing strategy and reaching Cuts’ level of success is certainly a tall order, luckily, most aspects of customer value optimization are interconnected.
So once you begin identifying your website’s strengths and weaknesses, it will be much easier to take your ecommerce marketing to new heights and amplify your ROI.