The Woody Guthrie Center came to our team with an ambitious goal: Massively grow online e-commerce sales for the museum gift store where over 90% of revenue was coming from in-person visitors to the museum. This was important for three reasons. The first, spread the words and ideas of Woody to more people across the nation. The second, as a non-profit, more sales would directly fund more exhibits and activities. Third, COVID-19 was limiting in-person visits.
01 — The Challenge
Digital marketing in the past had not moved the needle much. All the variables were on the table to experiment with: SEO, targeting and audience definition, ad channels, ad types, content, photography, and even product designs. Could we find the formula for big growth?
02 — The Result
One year later, WGC celebrated a record-breaking 1,291% increase in online merchandise sales. Online sales now comprise 70% of all merchandise revenue.
03 — Our Method
Strategic and fast experimentation.
A straightforward goal with many avenues to explore on executing. Woody Guthrie celebrated a record-breaking year for sales with a 1291% increase in online store sales. How did we get there? We began with an audit of their online store, cleaned up their SEO terms for organic searchers, edited online store product photos and explored Shopify plug-ins to enhance the customer experience.
Now for the fun part: experimenting with different consumer-facing strategies. Our team explored Google shopping, Google Search Ads, Twitter ads, and eventually found success with the most direct ability to reach our target audience through Facebook and Instagram ads.
When compiling our end of year report, we discovered an insight that attributed even more value to Facebook ads than we originally believed: 86% of revenue from the year can be tied to Facebook ad impressions. What does that mean? Nearly 9 out of 10 people that purchased from the online store, first saw a Facebook or Instagram ad from one of our campaigns. Not only that, but return on ad spend for the year hovered around the 4.0 mark. The industry average for e-commerce is 2.8.
We learned from launching different campaign content and riding the ebbs and flows of campaign fluctuations. For example, we pulled our in-house photographer and team to experiment with a lightweight lifestyle photoshoot. Lifestyle photography improved campaign performance largely, some ad sets seeing a 7x increase compared to product photos alone.