Roots & Holt Renfrew
Leading Iconic Canadian Brands into the Digital Landscape
Giving “window shopping” a whole new meaning
At Arcane, retail marketing across digital has been a focus for us since day one. Arcane’s foundation across digital marketing and storytelling would provide a connection to consumers that had been long and difficult to obtain in a more traditional retail sense. Early in the Arcane days, we focused on leading regional Ontario-based retail brands such as iVision, Covers Canada, Copp’s Buildall, Cataraqui Mall and others. Our goal was to add a mix of social media activation, lead generation, and integration across brick-and-mortar needs while mapping and connecting multi-location inside-owned locations and REITs of all sizes. Each brand provided different issues and opportunities to track revenue and profit early in digital marketing (2011-2013) and, as showrooming proved challenging across many of our clients and partners, online shopping grew.
Pushing digital media strategies, tracking store level purchases through promotional incentives, needed to be manually tracked and mapped to show only fuzzy ROI in the early days. We would draw from our work with GoodLife Fitness, as a significant national Canadian brand, that enlisted Arcane as their DAOR in 2011 to help build and own their online lead generation requirements. These early days provided a foundation of tactics in regional markets that in 2014, drove our team to explore other national retail partners facing similar growth challenges online. After all, we envisioned that many other great and iconic retail brands must surely be facing similar challenges and issues entering into the digital space, and we were ready to offer a compelling solution.
Fig. III.I.I - Retail
Go big or go home
We set our sites on the one brand that we were fortunate enough to have a personal connection with – Roots Canada. A truly iconic brand that every Canadian across the globe knew - we moved quickly, and a meeting was set with the founder of Roots to discuss our experience. After a fantastic encounter, our timing couldn’t have been better and we found common ground to start that would lead the way to building the foundation of the Roots brand across the digital landscape. We worked alongside the Roots internal team and managed all paid digital marketing tactics and handled the distribution of assets to crucial REIT partners that housed Roots stores. Arcane also consistently advised on the ever-moving technical nuances and changes of the digital landscape in Canada and across the USA, with a highly detailed competitive landscape analysis.
Fig. III.I.II - Retail
Fast forward one year and, in mid 2015, Arcane would assist Holt Renfrew – another iconic Canadian brand entering into the digital landscape for the first time.
Fig. III.I.III - Retail
Laying the foundations for growth
Arcane took our role in this story very seriously, and we automatically fell in love with what the brand meant and how it felt. Shortly after launch in 2016, our technical SEO efforts proved successful, and the Arcane team continued doing what we do best: uncovering net new growth opportunities to drive ROI. We were fortunate enough to establish a compelling digital acquisition strategy that was accepted and, as a result, Arcane took over all digital acquisition and media planning alongside our SEO approach. This holistic view of digital marketing would help to bridge the in-store and retail experiences, which was a crucial driver in the growth of the Holt’s brand online.
Fig. III.I.IV - Retail
Mapping the shopping journey
From the annual Roots sweat anniversary sale, BTS, Cyber Weekends and Holidays, our work from 2014 - early 2017 across the Roots channels was impressive. As the brand transitioned to new ownership and investors, the culmination of our collective hard work would be applied in the Fall of 2017. The massive, bold, and integrated “Nice” campaign would allow the world to touch the Roots brand and enable a global audience to be Canadian. SEO was always a massive part of past successes, but with more customers, a larger media spend, and algorithmic changes from search engines, we developed a more in-depth focus on the entire organic web user journey as an ROI metric. Our teams met weekly and delivered technical on- and off-page recommendations, to ensure that Roots owned every SERP instance possible - tracking back organic traffic to ROI and driving revenue.
Fig. III.I.V - Retail
Checking out the user’s cart
One major initiative that all of our retail partners shared (including Holt Renfrew and Roots) was the holy grail of retail: the ability to track in-store purchases attributed to digital touch-points. How could a retail brand invest in online, digital strategies, follow a first touch-point in Facebook - to Instagram - to a Google search - to then walking in-store to buy? How could LTV be attributed and mapped to show this purchase behaviour? In 2017, Google would release its store visits beta that our team was fortunate enough to test with these iconic brands.
At Arcane, we love working alongside growth brands in the retail space. We know just how hard it is to live inside an entrepreneurial brand and we like nothing more than to take that passion and uncover digital business opportunities that make revenue goals possible. The devil is in the DEtail, and it’s not REtail anymore.