Started in 2009 by a husband-and-wife team, Yvonne and Vincent Goh (pictured below), Singapore-based Ministry of Retail is an online fashion store committed to sourcing and selling high-quality women’s apparel and providing a great online shopping experience. When Ministry of Retail started out, they found it hard to create brand awareness amongst consumers. To overcome this hurdle, the Ministry of Retail embarked on a Facebook advertising campaign with the aim of increasing website traffic and sales in their first year of operation.
As the online store lacked a brick and mortar store, the Ministry of Retail first set up a Facebook page to provide customers a platform for interacting with the business (a sample cover image appears below). As part of their content strategy, their posts featured products to generate interest and awareness in their offerings. The fans also saw the page as a direct way of communicating not only with the owners, but also allowed for conversation amongst like-minded people on the kind of fashion that they would like to see being sold.
The Ministry of Retail then ran Facebook advertisements to target their audience, specifically, by their age, gender and region. For as low as ten dollars a day, they were able to run Sidebar Advertisements to maximize their audience exposure by being featured in a part of a user’s browser. These Sidebar Advertisements allowed Ministry of Retail to feature visually appealing product images that are served to existing fans as well as potential customers.
To maximize their exposure, they placed advertisements in the News Feed and the right hand bar which feature visually appealing product images that are served to existing fans as well as prospects.
The Ministry of Retail surpassed its initial goals to boost sales and to create awareness as a result of Facebook Advertising. In its first year of advertising, the Ministry of Retail saw 60 per cent of their website traffic being generated exclusively from Facebook. In addition, they saw a 300 per cent increase in sales for a month, with fifty per cent of total sales revenue generated from Facebook traffic. The couple managed to get a two to three times the return on investment for their ad spend on Facebook.
As a result of its success and breaking into Malaysia with Facebook Advertising, the Singapore-based retailer is now looking to enter other regional markets traditionally beyond the reach of a company their size. Vincent Goh says that they now “spend 100 per cent of their online media budget on Facebook Advertising because it’s the most effective way to target their customers at scale”.