Retail Brands Dominating Digital Marketing

Jan 14, 2016 | 3  min
author Pyxl Development

In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, it can be nearly impossible to reign supreme. So, what exactly are these four retail brands doing to stay on top? Pyxl investigates.

Beauty Behemoth: Birchbox

When your brand uses its products to exclusively drive content inspiration, beware; it can easily travel down a slippery slope guaranteed to end in a salesy landfill. However, e-commerce beauty brand Birchbox continues to prove time and time again that consumers are willing to engage with product-based content.

Their hard-sale tactics prove successful, and Sr. Manager of Trends and Content Development Lorelei Orfeo attributes said success to employee-focused content strategically planned out to match every stage of the buyer’s journey. Most recently, they’ve focused on video content to increase conversions, creating makeup tutorials, box reveals and product demonstrations, using current employees to give a glimpse into their own beauty routines. “Since most of the people in our videos are people that work at Birchbox and not professional models or makeup artists, they make our brand more authentic and personable to customers…Our customers watch these and think, ‘If they work for her, maybe they’ll work for me,’” says Orfeo. To watch her latest webinar on Birchbox’s video strategy, click here.

REI’s Real Factor

Months after the 2015 Black Friday super deal frenzy has died, REI’s #OptOutside campaign remains top-of-mind. When consumers think of superstar brands, they’re not thinking Walmart because they continue to open earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving to drive sales. REI had ten times more conversations during this holiday than any other brand, and 96 percent of social posts mentioning the brand were positive, according to Shelley Bransten, senior vice president of retail for

The first rule of digital marketing? It’s a long play. While other brands forgot this and may have sold out, both figuratively and literally, REI stayed true to its roots and it paid off. Into the New Year, they continue to follow their own path, creating dynamic digital trail guides and podcast series titled Mileposts, while also sponsoring IMAX 3D film National Parks Adventure, to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.

No Gimmicks: Dot & Bo

From the very beginning, homegoods retailer Dot & Bo has positioned itself as a media company monetizing through commerce. The brand banks of the idea that thoughtful content is necessary to decision making, doing the legwork to create curated design collections to help assuage home decor purchase paralysis. From mid-century modern ski trip to industrial space expedition, Dot & Bo creates unique mashups daily in a shotgun approach to filling the top of the funnel. “No one’s really done a great job of actually creating demand at the top of the funnel, where people need research and people need to kind of figure out what they’re shopping for, and at Dot & Bo that’s what we’re trying to go after,” says CEO Anthony Soohoo in a Wall Street Journal interview.

Promoted pins have played well with this tactic, with curated collections slightly reworked into visually appealing pins. Since the brand began a strategic pin promotion, the average daily clicks to their website have increased by a whopping 18,000 percent and repinners have multiplied more than 6,000 percent.


New Kid on the Block: S’well

Although environmentally friendly water bottles are no new invention, S’well has quickly unlocked new market potential through strategic digital marketing. By following pillars of the fashion industry—quality design, new lines released seasonally, lookbooks and lifestyle images elevating the product—S’well has quickly become the must-have choice for fashionistas and celebrities (and those who wish to emulate them). “The story of how S’well became a sensation is a combination of the right product at the right time with the right message,” writes Daniel Roberts in Fortune.

Relying heavily on its cool factor, S’well has taken platforms like Instagram and Pinterest by storm. You can coordinate your crocodile S’well with your favorite girls’-night-out lipstick, match your new reflective sunnies to the chrome bottle and bring your cheeky “put an egg on it” S’well to Sunday brunch.

Retail brands with great digital marketing share a handful of common skills: the ability to tell authentic stories to the right audience, at the right time, the understanding of the value long-term relationships bring, and the ability to adopt new methods. If you’re looking to improve your retail digital marketing presence, Pyxl can help — contact us today!

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

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