With the aim to have a $250 million e-commerce business over the next four years, True Religion has made it clear that digital retail will be powering the brand throughout its third wind. Although it still operates 50 stores, digital is the way forward as the company seeks to bridge two generations of consumers, according to Scott McCabe, senior vice president, e-commerce at True Religion.
The denim stalwart is looking to go younger to complement the older Millennial bracket that put the label on the map two decades ago. And in attracting that demo, True Religion has undergone a heavy push into mobile and social media, with the former now generating nearly 90 percent of website traffic.
“The True customer is very much a mobile customer,” McCabe said. “They are on their mobile device, whether through browsing or purchasing, and because of that, we’re focusing more of our digital marketing dollars into platforms where those customers are.”
To capture both the older and younger generations, the brand accompanied its Facebook and YouTube presences with interactive social networks like Snapchat and TikTok, both of which are designed to engage creators.
McCabe has headed up the denim icon’s digital transformation efforts after taking on the role in March 2022 after four years at Columbia Sportswear, where e-commerce sales tripled during his tenure. Upon coming over to the denim brand, McCabe now has similar goals on his plate — namely tripling online revenues and achieving 50 percent e-commerce sales penetration at the label by 2025. E-commerce sales were approximately 37 percent of the True Religion business in 2021.
As consumer shopping habits evolved during the pandemic, it has become clear to McCabe that customer data is the true catalyst to making any of these transformations possible.
“It’s all about the data that we have on our customer and being able to listen to our consumer about what their wants and needs are,” McCabe said. “There’s always the observation of the consumer — what they say versus what they do, and what they want versus what they do. This meant that we had to put processes in place to evolve and grow with them and deliver the right products at the right time in the right place, and the way that they want it, whether it’s in a store or if it’s in the digital format.”
In 2022, the brand has updated numerous areas within its tech stack, including migration to a new email service provider and SMS platform, both of which can help bolster the consumer engagement experience.
“We’re looking at segmentation for journeys as well as for a campaign,” McCabe said. “It’s getting the right customer who’s going to buy the right product or buy the product that they want. It’s being able to talk to you about what you want to hear about versus the blast of ‘Here’s everything you need to know.’”
The company also leverages Salesforce Commerce Cloud to power its personalization and recommendation engines on the e-commerce site and is currently optimizing its site search engine.
As True Religion seeks younger consumers, the brand knows that these engines will be important in driving customer acquisition, McCabe said. This technology can help the denim sellers better answer questions like: “Where are we showing up in our paid channels for acquisition?” and “How do we get the right audience, and the right ad in front of them?”
“The customer changes and the technology changes as well,” McCabe said. “There are things that I can do at True Religion today, that weren’t available to me to do at other brands that I’ve helped grow, so it’s always exciting to me.”