How Stylepit increased ROAS by 70% without the cookie

Working with marketing agency Atcore, Stylepit leveraged a first-party customer data strategy to power new digital retail initiatives and rethink existing advertising strategies.

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“Segment proved to us that our first-party data was more valuable than any third-party data – even third-party tracking cookies – could provide. We couldn’t believe the advertising results we witnessed by using in-house data models and Segment.”

— Martin Brummerstedt, Data Scientist & Digital Project Manager at Stylepit

For over 20 years, Stylepit has offered modern, style-forward fashion to digital consumers at amazing prices. Now serving over 20 countries in Europe, Stylepit’s team knew it needed to keep up with the acceleration of digital commerce by moving from a barebones marketing stack to a robust customer engagement strategy.

In light of growing consumer privacy initiatives, from GDPR to the death of the third-party cookie, Stylepit worked with Atcore, a leading Danish marketing agency, to transition into a new era of digital marketing, starting with the foundation: a customer data platform that could power growth across a reliable, performant, and compliant stack. 

According to Sebastian Gullak, Partner at Atcore, "In a world where GDPR, ITP, other digital consumer privacy initiatives call for cookie-less advertising, customer data has taken the throne as the top strategic priority for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve and drive cost-efficient, data-driven, and multi-channel marketing."

With Segment, Atcore empowered Stylepit to propel its growth strategy and even improve its advertising performance with an exclusively first-party, no-cookie customer data strategy, witnessing results in less than a year:

  • 1.7x increase in ROAS

  • Unlocked faster time-to-value from collaboration between data science and marketing

  • Doubled marketing stack and activation in less than a year

  • Maintained compliance and even optimized email spend with real-time exclusion lists

Transforming a legacy marketing stack into the new era of digital marketing

Prior to Segment, Stylepit had a minimal stack of the basics. Google Tag Manager collected all website data and was connected to a limited number of marketing and analytics tools, including Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Google Analytics.

Stylepit Customer Story: Before Stack

“We were fairly immature in our customer data collection because we simply didn’t understand the massive opportunity that Segment could provide,” said Martin Brummerstedt, Data Scientist & Digital Project Manager at Stylepit, who started as a consultant at Atcore before being hired on to the Stylepit team to lead the company’s digital transformation through Segment.

Especially with the explosion of digital commerce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin knew that Stylepit needed a new customer data platform to enable its transition away from a dependence on Google Tag Manager and to assert more control over its data collection.

By implementing Segment at the center of its technology stack, Stylepit now easily and quickly executes new initiatives, nearly doubling its marketing toolset in less than a year. Segment’s comprehensive catalog of integrations has even inspired Stylepit to experiment with new systems and projects, including gamification strategies through Leadfamly and consumer reviews through Trustpilot.

“With Segment’s powerful capabilities to unify and control the delivery of trusted, consistent customer data, we took this opportunity to greatly expand our marketing stack for new projects, from on-site surveys, advertising improvements, and even a loyalty program,” Martin claims.

Empowering both technical and business users with machine learning intelligence

To truly uplevel its customer data strategy, Atcore unlocked the value of data science for Stylepit, with Martin at the helm. Now, Stylepit has a team of data scientists dedicated to building predictive models based on customer data. As Stylepit transferred its data infrastructure from on-prem servers to Google BigQuery’s cloud data warehouse with the help of Atcore, the data team relied on Segment to seamlessly sync customer data into its new warehouse.

At the same time, Stylepit’s data team knew that all their work would be wasted if marketing and customer experience teams couldn’t benefit from their insights to power customer engagement. 

As a data scientist, Martin now doesn’t haven’t to worry about his work being left behind in the warehouse; with Segment’s Personas SQL Traits, Martin easily passes his sophisticated data models to power new marketing campaigns.

Stylepit Customer Story: BigQuery to Personas

“Before, business users had to go through IT for every new initiative,” he said. “With Segment, we’ve been able to move a lot quicker across technical and business teams because Segment makes data easily available to all users.”

For example, Martin sends the outputs of his RFM and customer lifetime value models in Google BigQuery to Segment Personas via SQL Traits. From there, the marketing team builds audience segments directly in the Segment UI to sync to a suite of ad platforms, including Google, Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

Decreasing spend while powering growth in advertising without the cookie

With GDPR and the pending death of the third-party cookie, the entire marketing team at Stylepit needed to get ahead of the changes and rethink its strategies. Whether accurately tracking email exclusion lists or suppressing purchasers from ad retargeting, Segment supports compliant communications across the stack, enabling Stylepit to keep moving ahead with new initiatives without slowing down.

In partnership with Atcore, Stylepit’s paid media team performed an experiment to test a no-cookie advertising strategy with Segment and Facebook Ads for its holiday 2020 campaign. In the previous year’s holiday campaign, Stylepit used the Facebook pixel to create lookalike audiences based on all customers. This time, they’d rely exclusively on their first-party customer data.

Leveraging advanced data science models from Martin’s team, the paid media team built value-based audiences in Segment Personas based on customer lifetime value and churn probability. The audiences ranged from high value (CLV in Top 25% and Churn Probability Low) to low (CLV in Bottom 25% and Churn Probability High).

From there, the Segment Personas audiences that represented the top 25% of Stylepit customers were sent to Facebook Ads for lookalike targeting across the 2020 holiday season.

Compared to the previous year, the holiday 2020 advertising experiment convinced Stylepit that their own first-party data was more powerful and valuable than any third-party data could provide. The team witnessed:

  • 1.6x increase in holiday orders

  • 1.7x increase in ROAS

  • 7x increase in CTR

  • 14% decrease in total ad spend

Advancing customer data maturity, one experiment at a time

Suffice it to say, Segment has unlocked a host of new opportunities for Stylepit. 

Moving forward, Stylepit’s roadmap includes varied experiments to derive more value from its first-party customer data, including advertising tests on different audience segments; personalized discounting based on price sensitivity; and even optimized email send times based on conversion patterns. Whatever new innovation Stylepit tests, Segment is the foundational piece to connecting teams and tech together.

Industry: Retail
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark