How Eyewear Brands Grew Web Traffic by +19% in the USA and +37% in Canada

Content & Messaging
Paid Search
Cross-Channel
Instagram
Facebook
February 1, 2022
Beauty & Selfcare

Key Takeaways

Eyewear brands (Ray-Ban, Oakley, Costa, and Maui Jim) drove +19% more web traffic in the US and +37% more in Canada. 

Here’s how:

The brands in the competitive set doubled their advertising spend YoY.

  • Brands rely on Instagram, Facebook, and paid search to deliver their messages to target consumers: The brands in the competitive set are quite aligned when it comes to advertising distribution channels. All three run Facebook, Instagram, and paid search ads, while they don’t rely much on building awareness with display or video ads.
  • Instagram investment grew quarter over quarter: In 2021, Ray-Ban and Costa spent more than half of their digital budget to run Instagram ads. 
  • Brands communicate specific brand messages over prolonged periods to break through the noise and build awareness: All brands in the competitive set supported the same message quarter over quarter to build specific brand attributes.


The following companies are included in the competitive set for this analysis:

The websites in the competitive set received 9X more traffic from the US than from Canada between January 2020 and December 2021.  

Year on year US traffic to the competitive set websites increased by +19%.

Looking into seasonal spikes, there are two peak seasons for the brands in the competitive set: May – July and November (Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales). While summer season traffic grew only by +4% YoY, 10% more people visited the eyewear websites during the November sales season.

All four brands saw their website traffic increase year on year. Oakley and Maui Jim saw the highest growth in web visits in the US — +35% and +21% respectively.

Looking into the Canadian market, the brands in the competitive set saw +37% YoY growth in web traffic. 

While seasonal (May – July) traffic grew by +7% year over year, the November sales shopping traffic decreased by -9% in Canada. 

Costa (+3%), Ray-Ban (+31%), and Maui Jim (+31%) gained the most traffic from 2020 to 2021.

Websites in the competitive set saw even more traffic coming from mobile devices in 2021. At the same time, Canadian shoppers shifted faster to mobile shopping by +5 percentage points (pp) vs. +2 pp in the US.

In 2021, brands in the competitive set invested 16X more advertising dollars to target US consumers than Canadians. In 2021 eyewear brands invested +148% more advertising dollars to reach US consumers and +75% more to target Canadian buyers.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Canada spend doesn’t include Instagram and Twitter. Paid search accounts only for desktop spend.

Brands adhere to the same seasonality patterns when it comes to their digital ad budget distribution — the most dollars are being spent in Q4, followed by Q3. 

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Canada spend doesn’t include Instagram and Twitter. Paid search accounts only for desktop spend.

Notably, in 2021 eyewear brands invested +216% more money to run ads during the sales season. Advertising budgets also doubled in Q1 and Q2.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Canada spend doesn’t include Instagram and Twitter. Paid search accounts only for desktop spend.

When it comes to the Canadian market, brands were not as consistent in their budget distribution. 

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Canada spend doesn’t include Instagram and Twitter. Paid search accounts only for desktop spend.

Eyewear companies decreased their digital ad spending in Q3 of 2021 by -52%, and increased spend by 6X in Q4 2021.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Canada spend doesn’t include Instagram and Twitter. Paid search accounts only for desktop spend.

Ray-Ban invested the most advertising dollars to reach US consumers in 2021. The brand invested $21M in 2021, which is 73% of the total digital ad spend of the competitive set.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Canada spend doesn’t include Instagram and Twitter. Paid search accounts only for desktop spend.

Ray-Ban is the only brand in the competitive set that ran digital ads worth more than $1M in 2021 to target Canadian shoppers. Oakley spent $974K to run advertising, which is -6% than the previous year. Neither Maui Jim nor Costa invest significant amounts to target Canadians

Instagram, Facebook, and paid search are the top three preferred channels to advertise to target consumers. In the last two quarters of 2021, the competitive set invested more than half (52% in Q3 and 58% in Q4) advertising dollars to run Instagram ads. 

Canadian market excluded from the analyses due to the lack of Instagram and Twitter spend data.

Desktop video and display are the next two most preferred advertising channels for the brands in the competitive set.

Canadian market excluded from the analyses due to the lack of Instagram and Twitter spend data.

Ray-Ban almost tripled (+196%) its investment in digital advertising in 2021.

Looking into specific channels, Ray-Ban reinvested its Facebook and paid search budget into Instagram. In 2021, the brand spent half of its advertising budget to run Instagram ads.

Ray-Ban started 2021 by running a “You’re On” campaign. During the first quarter of the year, the brand spent $78K (11%) of its total quarterly budget to run “You’re On” ads on Facebook (80%) and Instagram (20%).

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In Q2 2021, Ray-Ban continued leading with the “You’re On” campaign and increased the spending to $160K. The brand also allocated $68K to run ads promoting sunglasses for kids.

Throughout Q3 2021, the brand focused on promoting Ray-Ban Stories, its first generation of smart glasses. Ray-Ban invested $1.4M (45% of its total Q3 spend) to run Facebook, Instagram, and display ads.

When it comes to paid search, Ray-Ban focused on running ads targeting branded keywords and invested in more product rather than text search ads.

The top text ads promoted a discount, while the product ads showcased the most popular models.

Oakley significantly increased its advertising spend in Q1 (+268%), while cutting its digital ad spend in Q3 of 2021.

In 2021, Oakley invested ~90% of its total digital budget in running Instagram, Facebook, and paid search ads.

In Q1 2021, Oakley promoted its free shipping and ran a campaign that advertised signature series created in collaboration with different athletes. All Signature Series ads aired with the #fortheloveofsports hashtag.

During the second quarter of 2021, Oakley continued to advertise Free shipping and run some ads to promote prescription glasses. 

In Q3 2021, Oakley spent $1.6M to run digital ads, which is -38% less than the previous quarter, and promoted free shipping.  

Oakley targeted primarily branded keywords and ran more variants of product search ads than text ones.

Some of Oakley’s top search text ads promoted lenses replacement and 50% off select styles.

Costa almost doubled its advertising budget in the last two quarters of 2021 compared to the previous year, while spending less advertising dollars in Q2 2021 ($390K) compared to Q2 2020 ($619K).

Costa spent most of its digital advertising budget on Instagram, Facebook, and paid search ads. In 2021, the brand started to invest more money into Instagram while spending less on Facebook and paid search.

During the first quarter of 2021, Costa ran ads to promote discounts on select items, primarily publishing them on Facebook.

Costa continued promoting exclusive discounts throughout Q2 2021, allocating to it 23% of its total Q2 digital ad budget. At the same time, the brand started running “For those who need water to breathe” campaign creatives. 

In Q3 2021, Costa continued running “For Those Who Need Water to Breathe” campaign ads, spending $177K to distribute them across Instagram. 

Just like the other brands, Costa primarily targeted branded keywords and launched more products than text ads.

Some of Costa’s paid search ads promoted exclusive online deals and a variety of frames.

Maui Jim invested 4X more USD to run ads in Q3 2021. The brand spent $420K compared to $87K last year. Notably, Maui Jim didn’t hold up its annual digital budget to aggressively tap into November sales season like other brands in the competitive set did.

Unlike other brands, Maui Jim prefers paid search and Facebook ads over Instagram advertising. In 2021, the brand invested more than half of its total ad budget to run ads on Facebook.

Maui Jim started 2021 by running ads that promoted hiring to the Ophthalmic Sales Team. The brand invested $36K to support its hiring efforts. At the same time, the company communicated the “vibrant color and clarity” with Maui Jim lenses.

By Q2 2021, the brand increased its investment into the “vibrant color and clarity” campaign and spent $42K to communicate this message to consumers. At the same time, the brand ran ads that advertised Maui Jim’s high contrast lenses.

Throughout Q3 2021, the highest-spending quarter for the brand, Maui Jim continued to promote the “vibrant color and clarity” message and published $116K worth of Facebook ads to distribute this message.

In line with the approach of the other brands in the competitive set, Maui Jim targeted branded searches and aired more products that test search ad variations.

Some examples of Maui Jim’s top search ads communicated free shipping and returns of brand's products.


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