Firepush push notifications generate over $1 million in revenue for Shopify Plus fashion store Ivory Ella

Firepush, Ivory Ella.

“Having generated over $1m in sales, Firepush has made an important contribution to our growth and, most importantly, to customer retention.”

Ivory Ella Co-Founder, Ryan Duranso

“If we have a day when I’m concerned that our budget is not going to be quite enough on the advertising side, I always do a Firepush notification. I look at it as incremental revenue that we might not have gotten otherwise.” Rachel Bulla, VP Client Partnerships at Buckland CO, the agency responsible for Ivory Ella’s marketing.

Key results

  • Total revenue generated from Firepush push notifications: $1,024,180
  • Total number of push subscribers: 168,638
  • Average total revenue generated per push subscriber: $6.1
  • Most popular push notification type used: Promo Push
  • Most successful push notification type by revenue generated per push: Abandoned cart
  • Conversion rate on abandoned cart pushes: 19%

What’s coming up in this case study?

Ecommerce challenges for fashion stores Ivory Ella’s push notification strategy Introducing Ivory EllaGrowing lists and audience engagement Audiences and channels Customer lifetime value Firepush helps with lifetime valueThe right remarketing mixResult: +$1 million additional revenueFirepush Black Friday strategyRachel’s best practice tips

Ivory ella fashionable hoodie

Fashion and apparel Shopify Plus store Ivory Ella produce high quality tees, hoodies, accessories and more, with 10% of profits going to charity. Firepush push notifications have brought in over $1 million in revenue for the brand.

Fashion and apparel ecommerce – the challenge of customer lifetime value

Once Shopify Plus stores have passed the initial stage of their development, they are faced with a difficult decision. Do they continue growing by finding new customers, or by getting more value from the customers they already have?

Many chose the first option because this is what they are used to. They have ads set up and they know how to run awareness campaigns. But this approach has a number of drawbacks:

  • It gets more and more expensive to keep finding new customers;
  • Profitability can be hit by high ad spend;
  • The market for your products may be close to saturation, so finding new customers can be very difficult.

Increasing lifetime value is a smart way to grow because it can be super affordable – acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than retaining an existing one. Retargeting channels and tools are also more cost competitive than advertising typically is.

For some types of ecommerce stores, such as coffee subscription clubs or niche consumer electronics retailers, getting customers to return is pretty straightforward.

But for fashion and apparel stores, increase lifetime value is not so easy.

While customers definitely build affinity with certain brands, the reality is that purchases from fashion retailers are often one-offs. Fashion and apparel trends come and go, and what might be a must have item one season can be an afterthought the following season or year. And with so much competition from both ecommerce stores and traditional retail, staying relevant and top of mind is not easy.

The solution is to build lasting relationships with customers. In terms of marketing, this means a switch from top-of-funnel messaging to consideration and conversion stage content. It also means an omnichannel approach is necessary – the channel that you first engaged a customer on may not be the most suitable for developing a further relationship with them. Adding more channels to your mix gives you a better chance of engaging with customers on a platform that suits them.

This is exactly the approach that ecommerce fashion store Ivory Ella is following. And the results are just huge. In this case study we’ll take a detailed look at Ivory Ella’s strategy, and hear some expert tips from marketer Rachel … .

Before we do that, let’s have a quick look at the push notification strategy Ivory Ella is using so successfully.

A push notification strategy for fashion and apparel brands like Ivory Ella

Here’s a quick breakdown of the push notification strategy Ivory Ella use to generate these impressive figures.

  • A welcome push notification to all new push subscribers
  • Power Pushes to raise awareness of limited edition products
  • Promo Pushes with countdown timers for deals and offers
  • Abandoned Cart push notifications to convert leads into sales

Push notifications fit into a broad remarketing mix that Ivory Ella use, which includes:

  • Dynamic product ads on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms
  • SMS marketing
  • Email newsletters

Now we’ve got an overview of the strategy, it’s time for an in depth look at Ivory Ella and how they successfully use push notifications.

Introducing Ivory Ella: making a difference to the planet, one sale at a time

Ivory Ella was founded in 2015 by six young US entrepreneurs with a mission to build a sustainable and hip clothing brand that had a strong environmental message. With a minimum of 10% of all their profits going to Save the Elephants and other charities, the brand has so far managed to donate an incredible $1.7 millions dollars.

Ivorry ella charity donation in Africa

Ivory Ella believe in “Good clothes for a good cause,” with much of the $1.7 million they have donated going to elephant conservation projects

Their mix of strong social message and stylish range of loungewear that includes t-shirts, hoodies, bags, accessories, and hats, has been a hit with their predominantly female Gen Z audience.


Growing lists and audience engagement

Ivory Ella’s early (and rapid) growth came predominantly thanks to a high profile on social media. These channels were the best place to engage with the store’s target demographic, and Ivory Ella’s social conscience and campaigning meant posts got strong traction on social channels.

However, as Ivory Ella grew and remarketing became a bigger priority, the need to create customer lists increased, as Co-Founder Ryan Duranso explains. “My partners and I were very focused on social media but we knew it was extremely important to funnel customers into lists that we had control over.”

Doing this was not so straightforward, however, due to the age of Ivory Ella’s main customer base. “We were seeing that our young customers didn't respond as well to email as they did to push notifications and SMS,” says Ryan. So Ivory Ella started looking for a solution.

“While searching through the app store on Shopify, I found Firepush and we've worked together ever since. Installing the app was a breeze and the UI is very intuitive.”

“I spoke with Tom, the CEO at Firepush, and his understanding and willingness to help us succeed was clear from the beginning. It was the biggest reason we've continued to remain loyal all this time.”

Ivory Ella Co-Founder, Ryan Duranso

This was back in 2016, just a year after Ivory Ella was established. Since then its audience and marketing needs have changed and evolved – and so has its use of Firepush.

Two target audiences on multiple channels

Helping Ivory Ella to stay on top is Buckland Co., a US-based growth strategy agency that partners with them to manage their marketing. When they came on board in 2019, they inherited an interesting conundrum.

There was already huge brand awareness out there for Ivory Ella and a strong following on social media.

Ivory Ella instagram page

Ivory Ella has a strong presence on social media, and focuses much of its marketing efforts on channels like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.

The challenge was not only to build on that awareness, but to make sure they had a presence on the right channels for their young target audience.

Rachel from Buckland Co. explains this succinctly: “Twitter was really important for Ivory Ella for the first few years. But Twitter is not so popular with this audience as it was even 2 years ago. And so they couldn’t rely on some of the organic social awareness and upper funnel tactics as they had used in the past.”

But that’s only part of it, with their key demographic skewing 18-25, a lot of the purchases on their site are made by parents on behalf of their kids. “We have multiple parallel audiences. There’s one that you’re trying to keep excited about the brand, then there’s one that you’re actually trying to get to pull their credit card out. And often they are not aligned.”

Ivory Ella gift for free stud earrings

Ivory Ella need to communicate with both their target audiences – the Gen Z females who wear their apparel, and the parents who are often the ones making the purchase.

Nevertheless, while awareness still mattered, the situation was not critical: “there was no shortage of awareness of the brand when we walked in,” explains Rachel.

The question of customer lifetime value

Of more pressing concern was the average lifetime value of Ivory Ella’s customers. Like most fashion and apparel brands, getting customers to return and make repeated purchases was not straightforward. The fact that Ivory Ella apparel was often purchased as a gift made this challenge more acute still.

On the positive side, opportunities to boost profitability are hugely valuable to a brand like Ivory Ella. The higher their profits, the more charitable donations they can make. So any way to boost customer lifetime value was well worth pursuing, as Rachel explains:

“We are looking to increase lifetime value and awareness about the cause. Ultimately, the more profitable Ivory Ella is, the more they are able to donate, and so it’s really important for Ivory Ella to have strong lifetime value for each customer because it makes them more profitable and they get to donate more.”

Ivorry Ella donation to childs with cancer

Boosting profitability through higher lifetime customer value means more money to donate to good causes like teenage cancer awareness

Firepush helping to drive customer lifetime value

Push notifications have been a valuable tool for Ivory Ella in terms of increasing lifetime value.

This is especially true when it comes to connecting with younger customers, who are reluctant to sign up for emails:

“Firepush helps with lifetime value and also conversion rate. We use it for push notifications on desktop or Android,” says Rachel. “Some of our audience, especially the younger demographic, they won’t sign up for email right away, but they will accept desktop notifications. So, it’s a nice way to remind people of a brand later on that they are aware of, and whose site they have visited. So I kind of look at Firepush as incremental revenue for each day.”

The extra revenue that push notifications deliver can also help to improve return on ad spend, as Rachel demonstrates:

“If we have a day when I’m concerned that our budget is not going to be quite enough on the advertising side to make the number, I always do a Firepush notification. I look at it as incremental revenue that we might not have gotten otherwise.”

In other words, Firepush helps Ivory Ella to ensure they have a stream of sales that enable them to grow steadily and consistently. If one channel is underperforming, push notifications are an instant solution that can quickly boost order volume.

Arriving at the right remarketing mix

With a diverse audience composed of parents and their children, Ivory Ella employs a marketing mix that leans more heavily into traditional email marketing for older customers (the parents) and push notifications for their younger female audience.

“When customers come to the site, Firepush can pick them up and ask them to allow notifications. Firepush drives a lot of traffic to the site.”

Once signed up, subscribers receive a range of push notification types.

“We do a lot of welcome pushes for subscribers. We do Power Pushes and promotion pushes. We started going exclusively to Power Pushes though because they were giving us better returns.”

“Ivory Ella release a lot of limited edition items, like a Valentine’s Day T-shirt for example. They’re great gifts to give to a daughter, granddaughter, or even a boyfriend to his girlfriend. So we will use a Power Push to let people know about those.”

Ivory Ella limited edition clothes

Ivory Ella use push notifications to boost awareness of limited edition items, like this Valentine’s Day T.

“We also have abandoned cart push notifications set up. We have also tried the countdown setting with promo before and it’s worked well.”

Here’s a quick breakdown of Ivory Ella’s retargeting mix:

  • Email newsletters focused on parents
  • A welcome push notification to all new push subscribers
  • Power Pushes to raise awareness of limited edition products
  • Promo Pushes with countdown timers for deals and offers
  • Abandoned Cart push notifications to convert leads into sales

The result – over $1 million in revenue from push notifications

The headline figures of Ivory Ella’s use of push notifications are impressive. In fact, co-founder Ryan Duranso would go so far as to say Firepush has played an important role in Ivory Ella’s overall sales growth.

“Having generated over $1m in sales through Firepush, it has made an important contribution to our growth and most importantly, to customer retention over the years.”

Ivory Ella Co-Founder, Ryan Duranso

$1,024,180 in revenue has been generated for Ivory Ella by Firepush push notifications. This has come from 168,632 subscribers. This means Ivory Ella have generated over $6 in revenue for every push subscriber they have, with roughly one order placed for every 10 subscribers.

In terms of their goal of increasing customer lifetime value, these figures are very encouraging.

Let’s take a look at the specific push notification types and how each one has performed.

Welcome pushes achieve high engagement

Firepush welcome push notifications statistics

Welcome messages are sent to new push notification subscribers. These pushes are aimed at building a relationship with the new subscriber, and potentially driving a sale as well. The key metric for a successful welcome message is engagement – you want users to open these messages and discover more about your store and your values.

And Ivory Ella’s welcome pushes perform well in this respect, with an open rate of over 6%. They have also generated more than $100,000 in revenue directly from their welcome messages.

Power Pushes and Promo Pushes driving huge order volume

Firepush power and promotional web pushe notifications statistics

As Rachel explained, Ivory Ella mainly use Power Pushes and Promo Pushes to raise awareness of deals and limited edition inventory. On the advice of Firepush’s CEO Tom, they have switched more to Power Pushes in recent months. These pushes include a high quality image of a specific product, so they are ideally suited to the limited edition campaigns Ivory Ella run.

So far, Power and Promo Pushes have secured 10,701 orders, bringing in revenue of $659,120. These are huge figures, especially given Rachel’s comments that this revenue is seen as incremental, and these pushes are often used to bring in sales they “might not have gotten otherwise.” In other words, Ivory Ella might have left more than half a million dollars in revenue on the table without these push notifications.

Abandoned cart pushes offer very strong ROI

Firepush abandoned cart push notifications statistics

While Power and Promo Pushes are doing the heavy lifting for Ivory Ella in terms of driving orders, Abandoned Cart pushes are offering very strong ROI and capturing sales that might otherwise have been lost.

If a push subscriber adds an item to their cart but then does not complete the sale, they receive a push notification nudging them to purchase the item. In total, abandoned cart pushes have brought in $262,551 in additional revenue. This revenue has come from just over 300,000 pushes sent, which means these are highly cost effective pushes to use.

The click through rate on abandoned cart push notifications is at over 7%, while the conversion rate of those who click is a massive 19%. This shows that customers are happy to engage with these pushes, and they are an effective way to convert customers.

Firepush generates over $28,000 in additional revenue over Black Friday 2019

Push notifications were an important part of a comprehensive awareness and remarketing campaign over Black Friday for Ivory Ella.

The store ran a wide variety of campaigns throughout the BFCM weekend, and the ability to quickly set up and launch campaigns through Firepush was valuable for Rachel and her team.

“There were flash sales, new items, gift bundles, gifts with purchases, site wide sales. We had new things coming out all the time, and we had to communicate quickly and effectively about these deals. We ran lots of Power Pushes and Promo Pushes across the weekend.”

Ivory Ella used the following push notification mix for Black Friday:

  • Promo Pushes for each new deal
  • Power Pushes for new items
  • An abandoned cart flow with 2 messages
  • A welcome flow for new subscribers

The Promo and Power Pushes brought in the bulk of the revenue, accounting for over $20,000 in sales over the weekend.

Abandoned cart pushes also provided valuable additional revenue, driving more than $5,000 over the course of the weekend. Of the two abandoned cart pushes sent, message 1 drove the majority of the orders. The welcome pushes also played their part, bringing in $2,600 in revenue.

In total, push notifications contributed $28,169 to Ivory Ella’s Black Friday income over the whole weekend.

Tips on best practice from an experienced marketer

Ivory Ella are clearly getting the best out of push notifications as a channel. This is hardly surprising, given that Rachel has extensive experience in ecommerce marketing. She was a project manager at Burton Snowboards, helping them migrate to a full ecommerce platform. She then worked in digital marketing for the automotive industry for several years, and joined Buckland Co. to help them expand to the West Coast of the US in 2017.

And Rachel has some smart, practical ideas on using push notifications. Here are a few of her top tips:

1. Use Canva for quick resizing: “Using Canva, we can make last minute assets for a Power Push in under 5 minutes. We take the creative we used for an email campaign and can very quickly resize it

2. Don’t overthink your pushes: “We see pushes as driving incremental value that we wouldn’t have got otherwise. You can set them up in 5 minutes. So our approach is not to over think them – use visuals from an email campaign combined with short, clear copy.”

3. Pushes with a cause or message work best: “This is somewhat specific to Ivory Ella, but pushes related to a cause people care about perform really well. Recently we had messages related to a campaign with all proceeds going to help the wildlife in Australia during the bush fires, and the engagement was huge.”

Ivory Ella limited edition clothes to support of the Australian wildlife rescue

Push notifications related to a specific cause, like those promoting limited edition Ts in support of the Australian wildlife rescue, perform the best according to Rachel

And what about an overall marketing mix? Here’s what Rachel suggests.

“We use almost every digital channel out there. FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Google, and affiliate relationships. We also run biddable TikTok ads – in fact TikTok is an important part of our mix as our Gen Z audience uses TikTok a lot. Some of their earlier audience may feel they have aged out of the brand, but TikTok is a way to reengage with those who already know about the brand. It’s also a great a way to bring in new followers. We land them on the website, and then Firepush can pick them up.”

This article was originally published by our friends at FirePush.

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