Case Study: The Iconic and Criteo

By AdNews | 17 February 2015

As consumers browse and buy from every device available, jumping from smartphones to tablets to laptops at work, all the while being bombarded by a constant stream of distractions, online brands are in a constant battle for eyeballs – and sales.

According to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index 2014, Australians have spent around $15.7 billion on online retail in the past year. However, when there’s always a Buzzfeed article to click on, calls to answer and emails to send, success for online retailers is dependent on their ability not just to gain new customers, but to keep existing customers coming back to their site, and to reach them on whatever screen they choose to use.

Australia’s largest online fashion retailer The Iconic, and personalised retargeting and performance marketing company Criteo, partnered up in an attempt to increase the fashion site's online sales, acquire new customers, and to re-engage existing customers after they had made a purchase or navigated away.

The Challenge:

In order to increase sales in a cost-effective manner, The Iconic's challenge was two-fold - firstly, to acquire new (and relevant) customers, and secondly, to re-engage existing customers after they had made a purchase or navigated away. The retailer looked to performance marketing technology company Criteo, to help drive conversion and minimise the number of full shopping carts being ‘forgotten’ online by time-poor and easily distracted Aussies.

Co-founder and MD of The Iconic, Adam Jacobs, said: “We’re a customer-service driven brand so we steer away from marketing approaches that are disruptive to our shoppers. We sought to devise the most intelligent way to target customers, reaching the right person with the right content at the right time.”

The Solution:

Criteo’s advertising platform automatically identified The Iconic's most valuable site visitors, bidding intelligently to show them personalised creative and product recommendations. Using the company’s advanced optimisation engine, The Iconic was able to reach and re-engage customers with relevant content and bring them back to the site for conversion.

“The technology lets us take a very savvy approach to how and when we target customers – it considers how recently they shopped with us, what they bought, and then surmises how likely they are to buy again,” explained Jacobs.

“Criteo helps us show different customers different items, for example a dress for the races, ties, or denim shorts. The products we show them are based on their genuine interests and purchase history, and Criteo lets us reach them with dynamic and personalised creative wherever they go next.”

Jacobs said they were able to use the technology to not only help them identify and attract prospective customers in its target audience, but re-engage customers who have previously shopped with them in a way that actually aligns with their interests.

He said The Iconic is able to maintain its strong reputation for customer service by “delivering advertising that is helpful rather than distracting”. This means ensuring product recommendations are personalised based on that customer’s prior interaction with the site – so the ads stay relevant and the browsing and shopping experience is enjoyable.

“Using Criteo display, we won’t serve up an image of a product a customer has already bought – that’s not helpful for customers and it’s ineffective for our brand,” Jacobs said.

“Criteo enables us to serve up products from a complementary category, for example, a shopper that bought a dress might be shown a pair of shoes that works with that outfit, rather than more dresses or the same dress.”

With its young demographic of digital natives who are happy to browse and purchase using their iPhone or Android phone, he said it’s critical for The Iconic to effectively target those customers on those devices.

“Our customer is typically mobile-savvy so this is essential for driving conversion. Because our customers spend a lot of time online, they’re easier to reach with online advertising, but if we can’t reach them on every screen we’re missing out on huge opportunities,” he added.


The Iconic has seen an increase of around 300% in monthly retargeting revenue over the past six months, allowing the brand to remind customers of the specific products they browsed when visiting the page earlier, and significantly minimising the number of online shopping carts that never make it to conversion.

Criteo solutions continues to work with The Iconic to help engage new shoppers, with the brand reporting a 350% increase in new customers over that same time period.

Since working with Criteo, The Iconic has seen a significant reduction of more than 50% in customer acquisition costs, increasing its ability to scale and drive new customers to the site.

“We have been able to strategically reach and engage our target audience without being disruptive, delivering tailored ads that signal an understanding of our customers’ shopping habits, interests and style,” Jacobs said.

“We’re keen to continue working with Criteo — we’re particularly excited to take advantage of the new cross-device solution, which will let us accurately identify an individual user as he or she jumps between devices.”

Did you see our previous case study? Personalised cross-platform retargeting sees 200%.

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