Developing a Direct-To-Consumer Brand, Ecommerce Stack, and Marketing Strategy for a New York Fashion Company

Developing a Direct-To-Consumer Brand, Ecommerce Stack, and Marketing Strategy for a New York Fashion Company

Developing a Direct-To-Consumer Brand, Ecommerce Stack, and Marketing Strategy for a New York Fashion Company


The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns brought turmoil into the retail industry. Companies who had strong relationships selling business-to-business were suddenly flipped upside down as those retail outlets had to close… many forever. Companies with visionary leadership immediately identified their vulnerability and understood that they had to invest in diversifying sales beyond the retail outlets that may or many not exist in the next couple of years… they had to develop a brand that had a relationship directly with their end-customers.

When Highbridge met our fashion client (who wishes to remain anonymous), they were down the road on buying an ecommerce and marketing stack that wasn’t the right fit. They were looking at a headless, global system that could manage millions of SKUs. It would require millions of dollars in licensing and development before they could sell their first outfit online. Highbridge was open and honest with them, pushing them away from a solution that – in all honesty – would have been a very lucrative contract.

Instead, because they were domestic, had about 100 SKUs, and wanted to begin selling quickly, we advised our client to build a brand and utilize Shopify Plus as the appropriate solution. Over the next few months, we assisted and drove the digital transformation of this company by:

  • Brand – utilizing a female market research company, we developed and presented dozens of branding concepts to the client and iterated through them until we found a winner that represented the company, their products, and was welcomed by their target audience. The deliverable was a full branding guide with physical product neck tags, hanging tags, product packaging, and website mockups.

  • Company – we assisted the company in building out their new LLC, worked with their finance, legal, and IT teams to develop a new company within their doors that was autonomous and basically another client of their parent company.
  • Stack – we fully implemented their ecommerce, customer support, logistics, marketing automation, and performance reporting stacks so that we could leverage all digital mediums and channels to drive sales for the company.
  • Campaign Execution – we developed and implemented their marketing strategy, are working to incorporate their sales calendar, and are assisting with traditional marketing efforts to drive online sales. The company has a large base of customers that they have done business with in the past under the parent company’s name, so we did a full data analysis of their customer base, reverse appends of email addresses, and are incorporating both direct mail and marketing automation flows to introduce the customers to the new brand.

Their technology stack includes (but is not limited to):

  • Avalara AvaTax – products are grouped into tax classifications and this platform takes care of automatically applying and charging the proper taxes based on the buyer’s purchase location. It also takes into consideration the parent company’s multiple distribution locations.
  • Customer Privacy – Add privacy preferences management options for CCPA/GDPR. We are domestic so GDPR isn’t an issue. We also take advantage of Shopify Plus’ Policy interface and had our policies reviewed and approved by the client’s attorneys.
  • Facebook – Integrated Shopify with Facebook and Instagram ecommerce integrations.
  • Google – Integrated Shopify with Google Shopping via the Google Merchant Center. Required that we classify each product for age and gender. In Google Merchant Center, we also set up our branding so purchases can be made directly from Google through Shopify seamlessly.
  • Gorgias – Integrated a live chat bot and support center where our FAQs are published. Gorgias has a ticketing system to track the customer that’s integrated with Shopify. We also have a beta integration so our Gorgias support tickets can be branded via Klaviyo.
  • Klaviyo – Is a high-end marketing automation system for SMS and Email where we can set up flows, including abandoned shopping cart, re-engagement campaigns, upsells, newsletters, etc. The system has some manual steps that we integrated so that we could personalize the products in emails for subscribers.
  • Easy GDPR + Cookie Bar – in order to run ads with Google, had to add this cookie permission opt-in to the site. Even though we don’t sell to the EU, it sets a location for GDPR compliance to the United States in the site’s meta data.
  • Metafields Guru – A bulk editing tool for meta fields that is integrated with our Shopify Theme. It allows us to add metafields without programming.
  • Nudgify – A social proof system integrated with Shopify that displays “nudges” on screen that show visitors browsing, what’s been purchased the most, what’s browsed the most, shipping deadlines, etc.
  • Product Reviews – Once we get to a nice threshold of sales – dozens per day, we’ll add product reviews to the site.
  • ReferralCandy – An email and Shopify-integrated referral and affiliate marketing app that is open to all visitors, customers, affiliate marketers, and influencers.
  • Rewind Backups – Shopify, nor Shopify Plus, have any off-site backups. That’s pretty dangerous. Rewind Backups is a system that backs up every aspect of Shopify and has some automated restore capabilities.
  • Shopify Flow – Shopify Flow is free with Shopify Plus and allows us to build in notifications and other automation capabilities. For example, if a product was put live with no images, we could send an email alert to someone. We have some inventory alerts right now.
  • ThemePlus – Adds additional functionality to our theme.

Outside of the Shopify Apps, we also implemented:

  • Product Photos and Videos – we advised the client on product and lifestyle shots that we could utilize throughout the site and marketing efforts. They work with an outstanding company.
  • Custom Responsive Email Notifications – within Shopify that match the brand and are fully integrated.
  • Shop Pay – Implemented Shopify’s payment system (powered by Affirm) that allows consumers to make multiple payments on their purchase.
  • Shop – Implemented their Shop App branding so the store is fully available within the Shop App upon approval.
  • A2000 – Assisted in the integration and testing of their logistics platform, A2000. We tested purchases, gift cards, returns, etc.
  • FedEx – Integrated their shipping account, geography, and removed any shipping calculations since they offer 2-day free shipping on all purchases.
  • Google Merchandise Center – Implemented their instance of Google Merchandise Center and ensured all products were properly classified for sale via Google Shopping and via promotions.
  • Google Tag Manager – Implemented for third-party script integration.
  • Google Analytics  – Event Management, Goals, Funnel Visualizations, Conversion tracking were all configured manually.
  • Hotjar – Screen recording and surveys.
  • Google Data Studio – Dashboards and reporting
  • SEMrush – Organic Search tracking, competitive tracking for paid and organic search optimization.
  • LoyalHarbour – We process all product images to ensure they’re adequately compressed and the alternative text tags are dynamically created upon uploading them.
  • Canva – Enterprise with multi-login and sharing. We implemented their branding kit and some base templates for their social media marketing manager to easily develop image and video-based campaigns for social media.

TALENT, Process, Execution

We are the digital transformation advisors for this company. It’s a true partnership. They have incredible industry professionals working within the company that we rely on for fashion industry advice, and they lean on us for developing their internal talent, guidance in developing processes, and the execution of their marketing efforts. 

Instead of taking a year to implement their online brand, we spent the better part of 5 months to go from ideation to selling their first products online. There’s little doubt we saved the company over a million dollars and they are already driving revenue with their investment. Soon they will see the full return on that investment as we assist them in the growth stage of their new direct-to-consumer brand.

If you’d like to see the end result for yourself, use code HIGHBRIDGE for a 30% discount on your next purchase at Closet52:

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest