As a nearly 60-year-old heritage brand, Jack Rogers realized last year that while the brand was resonating with consumers up and down the East Coast, from New Hampshire and Maine to Florida, it wasn’t doing enough to connect with the rest of the country, and the world. It also needed to be smarter about how and where it connected with millennial shoppers, who make up 57% of its customer base.
In response, the brand worked with creative agency Air Paris on a major rebrand in January, complete with a new logo, new product styles outside of its signature flat sandals to appeal to a wider customer base (including espadrilles) and a more tech-first approach across the board. The company pushed out the new look and feel on search and social, with a focus on both paid ads and organic content, to ensure it reached as many shoppers as possible. Just four months into the rebrand, Jack Rogers’ CEO, Lydia Park Luis, said the efforts are already paying off.
Post-launch, 57% of sales are coming from new shoppers, while sales from the brand’s new spring collection are up 433% from the previous year. Plus, California is now a top-ten market, thanks to a big investment in paid, targeted marketing across search and social. The brand declined to share specific numbers behind its marketing efforts.
One major focus area for Jack Rogers, and where the brand is seeing a lot of payoff, is on mobile.
“We used to convert most of our sales on desktop, but today, everybody lives on their phones. Our old mobile site was very hard to transact on, so we needed to figure out how to make the shopping experience easier for the customer,” said Park Luis. To improve the experience, Jack Rogers first cut down the number of steps in the mobile checkout process. Just last week, the company rolled out a “buy now” button on mobile below the “add to cart” button on individual product pages, which Park Luis said is already helping the brand convert sales online. “Buy now” leads shoppers directly to either Apple Pay or PayPal options to avoid inputting a credit card and shipping details.
“We made the load times a lot faster on mobile, we worked a lot on the navigation, and we made sure everything fit on that first screen on the phone,” she said. That home screen includes the latest styles and trends, trending products and a stream of customer photos from Instagram to spark inspiration. As for navigation, the brand added larger fonts on mobile, streamlined categories and added product detail pages to hide product description and details for faster navigation. The focus on retooling mobile has led to a 15% increase in mobile sales, which make up 50% of the brand’s overall sales. It’s also led to a 26% increase in first-visit conversions.
“The truth is that we can no longer draw these boundaries: digital versus traditional, or mobile-first versus desktop-friendly. Our consumers aren’t. Her smartphone is the first thing she touches when she wakes up and the last thing she checks before she falls asleep. Her life is mobile-first, and we must accommodate it,” said Maria Vorovich, chief strategy officer of Air Paris.
Park Luis said she believes much of the success with the rebrand is coming from the brand’s focus on continuing to incorporate data into its decision-making process across the business, from the experience on mobile to the decision to sell espadrilles. Plus, as the brand looks to become more global and expand from being just a seasonal sandal company, Jack Rogers will launch hiking boots and cold-weather shoes this fall.
“It’s not like you rebrand, and you’re done,” said Park Luis. “Since we launched in January we’ve probably made about 50 changes already to our UX/UI design. It’s all about testing and learning. How can we make the checkout process a lot faster for our customer on mobile? We give it two weeks, and if it’s not working, we scrap it and try something new.”