thrift store retailer case study
thrift store retailer



The thrift store industry is counter-cyclical – basically, when economic trends like income and national employment are up, the industry is down, and vice-versa. In 2009, revenue for the industry rose nearly 10%, and increased every year until last year. As the economy improves, revenue for the thrift store industry falls.

In addition to economic issues, shifts in marketing trends have affected the industry, and thrift stores have to shift their focus to a new generation of buyers – millennials and generation X. To target the younger generations, the traditional mentality of this industries marketing efforts needed to be evolved into more modern marketing strategies with a significant presence in the digital world where thrift stores can engage with their audience like they never have before.


Historically, our client depended on traditional media to engage with their audiences and to drive more sales and engagement to their stores. As trends shifted, the client saw a need for more consistent digital marketing efforts to frequently drive site/store traffic, and increase sales year over year.

The client was struggling with their digital footprint and the ability to track their success with traditional media. They had a lot of data available to use at their fingertips, but didn’t know the best way to gain further insights into their audience. With our guidance, they learned that a new approach and positioning was much needed for their marketing efforts moving into 2016 and the future.


Our strategy consisted of two parts: The first part was a digital campaign to promote the thrift
store retailer’s quarterly coupon promotion. The coupons were promoted for one week prior to the  promotion and during the two weeks that the promotion was active. The digital strategy consisted of:

  • Display: Targeting of potential shoppers based on the overlapping of 1st and 3rd party data and the CRM data that the retailer had provided.
  • Email Marketing: the coupon was featured in a weekly promotional email that highlights deals.
  • Print: Coupons were also distributed through print during higher circulation days, driving interest in the promotion to the more traditional audience.
  • Video: Created videos were targeted towards the identified audience and engagement and interaction were measured via Preroll, Postroll and RRM.

The second part of the strategy was a brand awareness campaign that took the strategy one step further through:

  • Video: Targeted video that highlighted shopping coupons, donation locations, and the retailer’s social media. Engagement and interaction was measured via Preroll, Postroll and RRM.
  • Display: A wider target was cast to generate brand awareness and interest through display ads.
  • Content Marketing: Focused on where the thrift store retailer’s dollars go and promoted the organization.
  • SEO: An ongoing focus on increasing organic search results, something that is not necessarily measurable by immediate results.


  • Increase redemptions of quarterly coupon promotion
  • Increase brand awareness and engagement with thrift store retailer’s shopping and donating locations and educating people on who their donations actually benefit


  • A 53% increase in coupon redemption rate from 2015 for an increase in ROI from sales of 87% in Q1-2016
  • A 285% increase in coupon redemption rate from 2015 for an increase in ROI from sales of 385% in Q2-2016
  • Increased brand awareness, including driving more than 5,900 additional visitors to the thrift store retailer’s website.