The Shop Ford Gear website that sells branded apparel and vehicle accessories for the Built Ford Tough and Ford Oval brands site was under performing. While the website’s sales and profit potential were great, orders and revenue were not coming in the way Ford had expected. Sales were simply unimpressive for such well-known brands. The client recognized it had not marketed the e-commerce site effectively. The situation was unacceptable and a correction was required.
Helm took an in-depth look at the strategy developed for Shop Ford Gear and realized a different marketing approach was required. The items on the website were not always appropriate to the brands’ images and consequently did not appeal to the customers visiting the site. Pricing was also off for the target markets.
In keeping with its commitment to continuous process improvement, Helm was ready to address the situation and create an alternative marketing strategy that would correct the situation and allow the website and its brands to flourish. After reviewing all aspects of the program, Helm overhauled its marketing tactics and initiated an aggressive campaign to draw customers to the site. The website’s look and navigation were quickly refreshed. The Helm merchandising team selected products that were more suitable—and more attractively priced—for the brands. Special monthly promotions were offered to Ford dealers and consumers through a widespread email operation. The marketing strategy was to heighten the site’s visibility, make customers aware of the changes and put Shop Ford Gear indelibly on the radar screen.
Email blasts and product-of-the-month promotions were extremely effective. There was an immediate increase in the number of site visitors. Sales climbed gradually and then exploded as they increased ten-fold in 16 months. Momentum built beyond the expectations of everyone involved. The client was extremely pleased and awarded Helm the branded merchandise and fulfillment operations for Cobra, Mustang, Focus, Racing and other Ford brands. Both Helm and Ford are happy with the outcome. Helm is particularly pleased that it had the opportunity to apply its “Beyond the Box” philosophy—in which all steps necessary for client satisfaction are taken—to create an appropriate and practical solution for a troubling situation.
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