Fit for business
Activewear retail brand Squatwolf didn’t just survive the pandemic – it thrived and scaled its business, thanks to the adoption of Meta business tools to harness the power of its data.
One of the biggest challenges faced by businesses when the pandemic hit was the disruption to their supply chains.
Companies were affected like never before by the inability to complete the customer purchase experience because they couldn’t get their hands on the stock that their marketing was serving up.
For fast-growing premium gym-wear brand Squatwolf, this challenge was solved by an integration that allowed it to be super focused on marketing only what it had in its inventory.
Using dynamic ads, the company controlled what it was advertising through Facebook and Instagram and saw a 74% increase in return on investment when many companies were struggling to simply hold on.
Be where customers are
This impressive boost in ROI saw the company continue to scale during the pandemic, and was all thanks to the decision to ramp up its ecommerce offering.
Combining a passion for personal fitness with entrepreneurialism, Wajdan Gul founded Squatwolf with his wife Anam Khalid in 2016 by pursuing a gap in the market for premium and stylish gym wear.
“The biggest challenge is to go where our customers are,” he says. “In the activewear industry, Instagram is where our customers live. The thing that really brought us to Meta was the targeting, the segmentation, and the insights. We are an ecommerce business, so for us, everything is about what people are adding to the carts, what they are removing, and what they’re checking out.”
In the past two years, Squatwolf has expanded to sell in more than 120 countries and is the largest gym brand in the Middle East.
The business relies on Facebook for WooCommerce* to unlock the power of Facebook and Instagram and fuel growth. It chose the platform because of the ability to customise the online experience with flexibility.
Balancing privacy with personalisation
Over the past five years of trading, Meta has become Squatwolf’s top-performing traffic driver.
Initially, the retailer had a Meta Pixel integration and would optimise for likes, with higher funnel goals such as awareness. However, as the ecosystem changed, so did the company’s strategy.
As people spent more important parts of their lives online, they understandably asked questions about how data drives the personalised experiences they see, including the ads that they see across Meta’s platforms. These questions and concerns prompted the industry to change, leading to significant changes to data privacy regulation and alterations to browsers and apps. All of which means the entire ads ecosystem, including Meta’s systems, have less data to power personalised ads.
“The more data that is shared,” says Gul, “the more accurately we can optimise our advertising campaigns and deliver personalised shopping experiences for our visitors.”
Meta has launched the Conversions API tool which supports advertisers’ efforts to respect people’s privacy and tracking choices while also continuing to offer a personal customer experience.
Where pixels rely on third-party cookies to identify customers who took actions on a website, the Conversions API creates a direct connection between a company’s own marketing data and Meta systems in order to optimise ad targeting, decrease cost per action and measure results.
“Using the enhanced Meta for WooCommerce* extension and the Conversions API tool, we don’t rely on the browser as much – we are now passing data directly from squatwolf.com to facebook.com,” says Gul.
Even when the pandemic started, the company remained focused on growth.
“When the lockdown started, we decided to go all-in on Meta dynamic ads. We turned off all our other ads and relied on Meta to suggest the right customers – and it just worked,” he says. “In the last 12 months, we have grown from a team of 10 to 45. We were not only able to survive but grow as well.”
With everybody at home on their devices, the company adopted a full-funnel approach, adapting creative strategy and product assortment, and achieved its highest Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) during the pandemic.
Instagram is a massive opportunity for Squatwolf. All of its products are shoppable and its Instagram shop shares a catalogue with Facebook. Posts are tagged to the products they feature so customers can easily buy things that inspire them.
Squatwolf is so confident in its new ecommerce set-up that it is spending the bulk of its advertising budget on Facebook and Instagram. Its spend has scaled by 75% with corresponding business growth.
“With the Conversions API, the transparency we now have in the data between WooCommerce and Meta apps has enabled us to grow,” says Gul. “We have tens of thousands of data points that get integrated. We sell to 120 countries in 13 currencies, and I can see all this data in one organised place.”
As continual change is a given in ecommerce, particularly around issues of data, the Conversions API provides a way for businesses to embed practices that allow them to respect consumer privacy and treat data as a valuable asset.
And it keeps Squatwolf fit for the future.
*Facebook for WooCommerce is in the process of transitioning to Meta for WooCommerce to reflect the parent organisation’s name change.
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