How Lululemon Powered +80% YoY Ecommerce Sales Growth With Insights.
Being the category leader in a category you yourself created is a great “problem” to have. But, it also comes with a specific set of consequences. For lululemon, this was digital growth expectation that had become difficult to meet due to near saturation of the existing category (female athleisure apparel) and new, well-resourced competitors entering the market. Lack of insight into new target audiences’ online behaviour was yet another blocker for the global brand team. They needed a way to understand their digital audience and competitive landscape—quickly and concisely, which is why they reached out to their trusted partners at RightMetric.
Category Creation and Beyond
Lululemon Athletica is a renowned athletic apparel company from Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 1998, Lululemon has gained global recognition for its premium activewear and yoga-inspired clothing—essentially creating the athleisure apparel category. The brand is characterized by its commitment to high-quality materials, innovative designs, and a holistic approach to wellness and fitness. Lululemon's distinctive blend of fashion and function has garnered a dedicated following, making it a leading player in the athleisure market, with a diverse range of products catering to various athletic pursuits and lifestyles.
Lulu made it’s mark and created it’s market in the women’s apparel space
but by the mid 2010s had expanded into menswear and was exploring a sport-specific line of running products.
Net-New Audiences, Fierce Competition
Several years into the development and launch of lululemon’s men's line, that business line wasn’t hitting targets.
At the same time, the running line was becoming a priority.
The global brand team was tasked with a strategy revamp to underpin the success of both business lines. The ultimate goal was to power ambitious increases in ecommerce revenue of both mens and running products.
There were two key challenges:
The team didn’t have a wealth of experience or data as a basis for reaching these two audiences.
Competition in the space from other menswear and running brands was fierce, to say the least.
With two net new audiences to tackle, and major competitive hurdles to overcome, the lulu team approached RightMetric for custom insights to help them better understand the digital landscape for the menswear and running footwear audience segments.
Every Great Strategy Begins With an Insight
After consulting with RightMetric’s team, the lulu brand folks aligned on a series of pieces of research that would explore both the audience and competitor whitespace for the menswear and running segments.
For Audience Insights, the research focused on who the audience is, what they talk about & engage with, and the digital whitespace opportunities to reach them.
On the Competitive Intelligence side, the research focus was on who’s winning & losing in space digitally, who competitors were targeting, what content & messaging is working for them, and where they’re focusing.
Time was of the essence, so the RightMetric team kicked into high gear and produced 20+ pieces of research in under six weeks. Speed is absolutely essential in the insights space. Insights can be accurate and actionable, but they also indeed to be timely to be useful.
Examples of The Research
Research Methodologies Applied
Powering +80% YoY ecommerce sales growth
Based on the audience and competitor insights provided by RightMetric (in addition to first party data, additional market research, and a huge dose of creative ingenuity), lululemon’s global brand team went on to design a digital strategy for both menswear and running that went on to be a smash hit.
The new content was resonating deeply with the audiences, channels were working together, targeting was on-point; and of course—results followed.Lulu’s menswear & footwear lines, powered a majority of lululemon’s +80% YoY ecommerce sales growth” in 2021. A huge win for the team.
We use RightMetric's research to quickly get an idea of content that will resonate with our audiences and the most efficient channels to deliver it on. It's been a great source of inspiration for many teams across our org.