Case Studies | Force Wear

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Force Wear Case Study

Client Overview

£300 a day in sales to £5000 a day in sales. Force Wear started printing T-shirts in their shed and have now grown to £5000 a day in sales through Paid Social Advertising. Upbeat has taken them on a journey utilising the best practises to scaling a brand and maintaining a strong ROI.

Highlighted Results

product

Generated 49,000 purchases

Social Media

Transformed side project into seven-figure business

Maintained high 4.5+ ROAS for 2 years

Reached every member of the military in the UK

approved

Responsible for massive hiring and premises upgrades

Record-breaking £150k revenue BFCM weekend

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Established infinitely repeatable revenue flywheeel​

Client Overview​

Force Wear is a military-themed apparel store owned and operated by veterans, offering high quality military-themed apparel and accessories. Their designs sport emblems, weapons and words steeped in military culture, and that legitimacy has built them a fiercely loyal following.

 

With thousands of happy customers, a highly trained squad of ex-military veteran employees and a host of charities and groups they support, Force Wear is doing an exceptional job of lifting up those that serve in Her Majesty’s forces.

Before Upbeat

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Force Wear was originally a passion project for the founders. They loved their military background and helping their communities through their clothes store, but were looking for an agency to harness their raw potential.

 

When they came to us…

  • They had boosted occasional posts on Facebook and Instagram for engagement but had never run a conversion-optimised campaign.
  • Their store was built in the BigCommerce ecommerce platform, which was causing them a lot of problems, including bad tracking on their website pixel.
  • They saw semi-regular organic sales of a few hundred pounds, especially when announcing new designs.

In short, they were seeing good results on a small scale, but it was a hamster wheel – they had to keep churning out new designs and had no way to build momentum or reach new customers at will. Despite all the work they’d put in to warm up their audience and give their page followers a good experience, like many companies they were unaware of how to capitalise on this.

Before meeting Upbeat, Forcewear started out in a shed in the founder’s garden with a single screen-printing machine.
Force Wear - location 1
Two years later they were moving into their second warehouse, setting up new offices and bringing in lorry loads of products to prepare for another big year.
Read below to find out how we did it.

Website Overhaul

Force Wear had consulted with several expensive BigCommerce experts in trying to fix their site, so instead of fighting an uphill battle we guided them through migrating their BigCommerce site onto the Shopify ecommerce platform. Shopify allowed them to very quickly spec out a revised store, and the Shopify App Store enabled them to implement a complete set of custom features with minimal development time.

 

We knew that If we could help them create a more attractive, more conversion-optimised site, with great product offers, clean navigation, engaging apps, and just-in-time upsells we would get better conversion rates than the competitors which means we could win in Facebooks auctions.

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The First Scale

With the client’s new Shopify site all ready to roll, we produced ads that spotlighted their best sellers, their hot new designs and their most attention-grabbing product images.

Link ads worked extremely well, especially those with high social engagement, but the biggest hitters were our Catalogue Sales ads. By feeding Facebook a tracked product catalogue, we let the machine-learning algorithm make on-the-fly decisions about which user would like which design.

 

This gave us not only a high ROAS with plenty of headroom for scaling up, but also consistency. While regular optimisations were necessary for our single product ads to make sure the offering stayed fresh and attractive, our Catalogue Sales ads were crushing it with nearly double the prospecting ROAS (our required ROAS for breakeven was 1.5).

 

With everything aligned, we had the opportunity for non-linear, immediate growth. Within 3 days, we went from spending £170 to £620 a day, while maintaining a ROAS over 5.

Our ads were generating £3000+ a day in return, with their email retargeting bringing an additional £1000 – £2000 a day.

Maxing Out From The First Scale

As we approached D-Day’s anniversary (June 6th), we had planned ahead of time to pull back the D-Day design ads so everyone would receive their items on time and nobody would be disappointed.

 

What we hadn’t counted on was exceeding the client’s maximum possible capacity for shipping orders out. Despite their fulfilment offices being 100% all hands on deck to keep up with the demand we had created, the gap was growing and they needed to catch up. It became clear they would need to hire on new staff, move to a larger premises and buy new manufacturing machinery to keep up with all the sales we were generating.

Fortunately, scaling up had given us better context for what was working, so downsizing spend while raising ROAS was very doable. We reduced back to the previous levels of spend, around £150 a day, cutting all but the very best ads and audiences, and saw our ROAS soar to 8+.

Optimising Ads – And Everything Else

This is an important part of our work. Getting everything aligned on our end gave us the opportunity to bring them this volume of profitable orders, but for the push to be sustainable, clients must have everything aligned on their end too.

 

From products, ads, audiences, data and website, through to fulfilment, customer service, in-house staff and manufacturing capabilities – everything should be geared for success if you want to scale your business without a hitch.

 

Throughout the summer we then worked closely with the client to help them re-grow their ad spend as they operational prepared for us to scale the account again. We maintained the account at a level of 5 ROAS and brought in big profits for the client while they re-invested this into their inventory and workforce.

Black Friday Rapid Scale

Having never run sales events, discounts, incentives or public holiday celebrations on their store, we recommended they put on a show for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

 

We implemented a variety of discounts across the store, and co-ordinated a campaign with them to make sure everyone knew that the Force Wear “Blackout” weekend was coming.

 

Using rapid scaling techniques, we brought in over £65,000 revenue over that single BFCM weekend period, and proved to them it was 100% worthwhile pushing the occasional promotion to get all those users considering purchasing to become customers.

Regrettably, Covid hit Force Wear hard in Q2 2020.

Forcewear had to shut down their operation for many weeks, and were unable to access their printing equipment, due to lockdown.

Eventually, by maintaining community engagement on their social profiles and keeping their customers in the loop, we saw purchasers return when Force Wear opened again. It wasn’t until June when production volume returned to the point when we could turn ads back on – and we were greeted with a strong uplift in sales at this time.

Following this we saw many strong months, including several peaks during sales periods.

… including prolonged halloween and black friday sales events – we treated Force Wear’s most engaged customers to early doors sales, resulting in a record-breaking £25.5k revenue day on 20th November.

 

2019’s BFCM weekend sale brought in an amazing £65k, and 2020’s refined approach with their warmed up audience brought in £149k.

2020 overall brought in over £1.6M, vs 2019’s £793k, resulting in over 200% growth YoY.

2019

2020

Force Wear started in a tiny shed just a few years ago, and thanks to their ability to nail their messaging and build up a passionate community – combined with the powerful ability to distribute via Facebook and Instragram ads, they were able to move premises again in early 2021.

 

Over the christmas break of 2020 the client sent over some pictures looking back on their growth. On the left is the shed the business started in, with a single screen printing machine. On the right is the new warehouse they’d started to outfit in preparation for another big year!
In 2021 we continued with business as usual, running semi-regular promotions to keep the buzz going, and working with the client to constantly iterate and improve the tshirt designs being produced.
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Keeping ads fresh is crucial, especially for Force Wear, as their audience is only so large. When users see the same ads too often, they begin to become blind to them and skip over them automatically, so refreshing is key for a long lasting successful campaign. For clothing, a lot of the appeal comes from the garment and design itself, not from selling points. We identified the common themes that made each best-seller so appealing, and tested new designs in a variety of ad formats to find more winners.
Another crucial element of keeping a campaign successful for years on end is recognising Facebook’s power as a machine learning system and how the auction works. As a result, targeting niche audiences became less of a priority, and targeting broadly while testing across different bids took over. This encourages Facebook to find the highest quality users, instead of specifying what a particular customer might behave like.

If you’re interested in finding out how we can help your e-commerce brand grow and deliver a consistent stream of new profitable customers, then simply fill in your details in the form below and we will be in touch.

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