“Searchlogic never gave us excuses, only solutions. Their hunger, rigorous optimizations, and dedication to getting results have turned them into our trusted partners.”
- Virgil Ghic, Director of Digital, KicksUSA
Founded in 2002, KicksUSA is an authority on urban footwear and apparel. In addition to their busy online store, the company has over 40 locations across Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York.
There’s nothing more frustrating than when an agency promises the moon but can’t deliver.
As the Director of Digital at KicksUSA, Virgil Ghic has his hands full overseeing everything to do with the company’s busy online store, including the marketing. Since he only has so many hours in the day, Virgil brought in outside expertise to complement the work he was doing and guide the company’s paid media efforts.
Sadly, he’d been let down by agencies who touted impressive and proprietary technologies, but delivered mediocre returns.
These other vendors kept saying that you couldn't beat what they were doing but that wasn't true because it just wasn't at the level that we needed,” Virgil explains. “We never felt that they maximized the potential of our marketing. Growth was insanely slow and it became clear that it wasn't the long term solution for us.
Part of the challenge was that KicksUSA’s product offering is extremely diverse, with products that appeal to very different demographics.
The big agencies Virgil had worked with in the past completely missed the nuances of KicksUSA’s niche, instead resorting to expensive ‘catch-all’ approaches that drove flimsy results.
For paid media to be a viable long-term channel, Virgil needed a partner who could push their cost of sale down to 10%, a target none of his past partners had come close to hitting.
“For more than a year, they were never able to bring us below a 30 percent cost of sale,” Virgil explains. “At that point, we knew we couldn't continue this way because it cost us too much to make a sale.”
Virgil needed a partner who wouldn’t just settle for average or one-size-fits-all. He needed a team who could mind the small details and tailor their approach to each different audience.
So when a trusted peer recommended Searchlogic, he decided to give them an opportunity to prove they could deliver.
Other agencies kept relying on very high-level, ‘buzzwordy’ strategies that just weren’t achieving our goals.
From the very first consultation, Virgil knew he had made the right choice contacting Searchlogic.
“The number one thing was the hunger,” he says. “You can tell when someone is just trying to make a sale and just have an additional customer, and you can tell when someone is actually excited to do the best for you.”
To avoid repeating past failures, Searchlogic completely deconstructed past ad performance, looking for bottlenecks and analyzing underperforming campaigns.
They then took what they learned and developed a comprehensive and detailed strategy for KicksUSA’s paid marketing.
Searchlogic’s first priority was maximizing returns on advertising spending (ROAS) by focusing on brand-related terms with the lowest cost-per-click.
Campaigns were completely restructured, and creative segmenting gave KicksUSA the power to push product lines to Google with more tailored targeting.
To do this well, Searchlogic had to maintain a strong and current awareness of new products coming to market, and mark evolving trends to ensure that well-performing SKUs maintained high visibility.
“They provided a very deep analysis and a very good strategy for what could be implemented within the first two months, and it was way better than what our last agency provided,” Virgil says.
Not only that, but Searchlogic offered this deeper level of service at a more reasonable cost point. “We were very happy about their pricing, it was way better than what other agencies were offering us.”
With lines of niche, limited edition products, Searchlogic couldn’t afford to waste money pushing these items to the wrong kinds of customers.
What’s more, budgets and allocations needed to be shifted carefully to promote hot products coming to market, while at the same time keeping revenue and visibility high other high-performing SKUs.
“The approach of advertising those products can be completely different,” Virgil explains. “But with Searchlogic, they worked to micro-optimize every product.” Unlike the big agencies Virgil had worked with, Searchlogic was constantly assessing their success and optimizing for better results. Weekly meetings to address challenges and present solutions meant Virgil was always in the loop.
“Working that close and having that much communication over a week, it's just so informative,” Virgil says. “They were very responsive and with any complication they were outstanding with walking us through them. It's basically what's allowed us to reach these targets.”
Searchlogic feels like a natural extension of our team. Right from the get-go, we saw the hunger in them. They were always optimizing and not just setting and forgetting it. That enthusiasm from the beginning has followed with us, even until today.
For three years, Searchlogic’s relentless pursuit of results has paid off for KicksUSA — often in ways they never imagined.
Over the course of their first year, Virgil says they were able to drop their cost over sale to below 10%.
“It seemed like such an unreachable goal,” he exclaims. “We were really excited.”
But cost of sale is just one part of the greater success. During the 2015 holiday season, Searchlogic’s marketing campaign helped KicksUSA achieve a 117% increase in revenue with 110% more transactions over the previous season.
By comparison, direct paid media revenue was increased by 83% over that same period.
During the 2016 season, direct paid media conversions increased by 53.5% year over year with a 19.5% increase in average order value. Searchlogic also increased assisted conversions by 74% over the previous year.
“Searchlogic never gave us excuses, only solutions,” Virgil says. “Their hunger, rigorous optimizations, and dedication to getting results have turned them into our trusted partners.”
Looking to the future, Virgil is relieved to have found a partner that minds the details and takes the results they generate personally.
It’s like having a good employee: Our success is their success. Searchlogic is always hungry to achieve more, optimize further, try out new ideas. They are always looking to improve. It’s insanely hard to find such a motivated partner.