Illesteva: Scaling Luxury Eyewear With Paid Media

Illesteva is an upscale eyewear line built on a tradition of unique design and contemporary styling. Designed in New York City and crafted in Italy, Illesteva began selling luxe shades in 2010, with modern twists on classic silhouettes made with top-quality materials.

The Mission

The brand came to Major Tom looking to increase online sales of their handmade Italian sunglasses. The brand felt they were missing out on a lot of opportunities to expand their reach and digital touchpoints with their audience.

Major Tom identified paid search as the easiest point to start, followed by Google Shopping, paid social through Facebook and Instagram, and display ads — for retargeting and prospecting — as ways to scale their digital advertising and drive new visitors and sales.

Being Smart with Paid Search

For paid search, the challenge was competing with some big-name players in the online retail space. Major department stores including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s, Macy’s, as well as leading designer brands such as Gucci, Prada, Versace, and Tory Burch lead to a crowded and competitive market.

Google Shopping required extensive customization and comprehensive SEO updates to put into action, after which we set up detailed reviews on various product performance to see what styles were gaining interest, and which were not showing up in online searches for eyewear.


Growing the Brand with Paid Social

Social rolled out with a different approach to targeting — deliberately avoiding those following the brand, and instead concentrating on lookalike audiences and retargeting for prospecting and reaching those yet to be familiar with Illesteva’s unique Italian eyewear.

Finally, to make sure they were measuring performance at a granular level necessary for so many products, media tactics, and complex visitor behaviors, Major Tom Team set up enhanced eCommerce Analytics tracking to monitor shopping habits and evaluate how to better improve conversion rate and user experience on the Illesteva online store.

Truth in Numbers

The initial weeks showed steady improvement in revenue and sales, before exploding after just four weeks in market. Return on ad spend (ROAS), beginning at a modest 235%, grew to 833% the following month and 1,750% the month after. Total revenue numbers continued to show an incremental increase.

With online sales hitting their stride, Major Tom could then begin to turn their attention to ongoing technical adjustments on SEO and conversion rate optimization (CRO). With paid media driving such qualified and revenue-driving traffic, Illesteva is well-positioned to continue improving results in other areas of their online store.