Growing Market Share and Sales at Crocs with Perpetua’s Advanced Targeting

By Kristie Schmuck on May 14th, 2019

As a world leader in casual footwear, Crocs is well-known for ingenuity and innovation. Fans of Crocs experience what lies at the core of the company’s DNA -- that everyone should be comfortable in their own shoes.

The company’s fresh reputation and strong brand presence are fortified by the strategic decision making of its dedicated teams. This dynamic is critical to the growth of Crocs, as their sales and marketing teams unite to tackle complex go-to-market challenges that are unique to the footwear and apparel category.

While many retailers are still questioning their Amazon strategy, Crocs has been leading the charge for over a decade. Steadily collaborating to ensure that the right products are selected and updated according to the business needs are the Etail Sales and Etail Distributor's teams. Key players of these two teams include; Ben Newson, Sr. Manager Etail & Distributors, Megan Mohr, Associate Manager 3rd Party Etail and Distributors, Anthony Milkus, Senior Director of Etail Sales and Lora Boss, Key Account Manager.

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The Crocs team was seeking a technology partner to help them scale their Amazon Advertising operations to gain market share, defend their brand and improve their Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Since launching with Perpetua, the Crocs team has achieved the following results:

  • Improved team efficiency

  • Ability to focus and scale on bringing incremental sales and consumers to the brand

  • More time for strategic initiatives

  • Incremental lift on expected and predicted consumer behavior

While offline channels have contributed to the resurgence of the Crocs brand in recent years, digital is where they are reaching consumers.

"Our digital commerce strategy is made of three focus areas. Crocs owned and operated e-commerce sites, online sales through wholesale Etail accounts, and direct participation on global marketplaces." Says Anthony. "We work to ensure our message is appearing to our target consumers wherever they engage with the brands that matter to them. This evolves as consumer behavior shifts."

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Measuring and controlling that shift in consumer behavior is a focus for the Crocs team, who feel strongly that their digital efforts should change consumer behavior.

"As digital marketers and platform managers, our efforts should be measured on the changes we make to what we know or expect to happen. Validating our hypothesis through marketing is not enough." - Ben Newson

The Challenge: Using AI to change consumer behavior.

Before Perpetua, the Crocs team were spending 30-50% of their time spot-checking keyword bids, weeding out poor performers and increasing bids for strong-performing keywords. They were looking for a partner who could help them:

  • Scale Bid Optimizations

  • Reduce the time spent managing campaigns

  • Improve performance visibility and attribution

  • Better target ads to drive incremental top-line revenue

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"Time was a constraint that we realized could be helped by bringing on a partner." Explains Ben. "We were looking to manage our bid optimizations at scale for the thousands of keywords we use and demonstrate incremental lift on expected and predicted consumer behavior, and drive minimum threshold return on incremental lift from marketing."

As the team continued to see returns and build momentum on Amazon, they found themselves at a crossroads. More specifically, they needed to streamline operationally so they could focus less time on campaign setup and execution and more time developing targeting strategies that would generate incremental top-line revenue.

We never want to completely remove the human element, but scale was a challenge for bid optimizations. Also, we wanted to prove out what our investment in search was doing for the overall business. Making sure we weren’t stepping in front of sales, but actually changing the behavior of consumers. - Megan Mohr.

The Solution: AI Automation for Amazon Ads

With more time to test campaign strategies, Crocs worked with Perpetua to pilot Advanced Targeting on two product lines - a feature that is exclusive to Perpetua’s platform.

We liked Perpetua’s machine learning approach and their focus on incremental sales. Perpetua optimizes bids in a timelier manner and a more programmatic and accurate way than we can. We now have time to focus on strategies, testing, and analysis. - Megan Mohr

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Perpetua’s Advanced Targeting feature segments keywords and targeted ASINs based on their inclusion of branded trademarks. This segmentation allows strategic control over your investment in brand protection vs. new customer acquisition at scale.

The Etail team was already seeing success with a branded keyword strategy but were looking to gain incremental lift and grow market share. Perpetua helped Crocs optimize their AMS strategy by using data and insights that map how customers search for, discover, and buy Crocs.

"Amazon allows brands to showcase their products when someone searches for a different brand’s keywords. We call this “conquesting.” Explains Ben Newson. "Understanding this tactic helps us protect our brand and strategically utilizing this tactic helps us drive new consumer acquisition."

Leveraging Perpetua’s Advanced Targeting allowed Crocs to efficiently bid on unbranded category and competitor keywords. The results were quick and significant.

Perpetua began with a small test budget, which garnered favorable results in the first 10 days for two product lines. Crocs then increased their budget to focus on growth and prove that Perpetua could scale.

Phase 1 Results:

  • Flatlined weekly sales increased by +100% for Product Line #1

  • Flatlined weekly sales increased by +120% for Product Line #2

  • Incremental Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 3:1

Crocs can now approach brand strategy across product lines with incrementality as their guiding light.

“We want to be present to meet brand demand across our various silhouettes. We also focus on where we can capture more demand from unbranded terms to drive new customer acquisition.” – Megan Mohr

The result: Advanced Amazon Ad strategies and outcomes are now attainable

"We’ve been impressed that Perpetua has been able to meet our goals for return on incremental sales for branded and unbranded campaigns." Anthony mentions.

From an efficiency standpoint, Perpetua’s app makes product set up and goal set up very streamlined. - Megan Mohr

The Crocs Etail team is now able to focus time on campaign planning and analysis instead of campaign setup and execution. These improvements enable the Crocs Etail team to reach new consumers and meet their main organizational goal -- to help everyone be comfortable in their own shoes.

Ben concludes, "Scale and new customer acquisition are evergreen objectives for our e-commerce businesses. Perpetua keeps us pointed in this direction".

To learn more or speak with one of our account strategists, contact us at hello@perpetua.io.