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La Maison Simons

The challenge

For several years, we have worked with iconic Canadian fast-fashion retailer La Maison Simons. In February 2020, Simons’ brand revenue goals were very clear: 23% growth YoY in revenue, with paid media efforts from DAC accounting for approximately a third of that.

Then the pandemic set in. When lockdowns came into effect, fashion ecommerce followed most major industries with spend, revenue, and conversion rates all dropping to monthly lows. Yet our goal remained the same: strive towards the same level of performance, return on ad spend (ROAS), and revenue targets despite the pandemic’s impact—and do it with 40% lower media budget from March to July 2020.

The solution

In times of crisis, expenses must be cut and it is no secret that all marketing activities are often in the hot seat. In the retail industry, the majority of companies drastically reduced their marketing expenses (and even stopped them completely) when lockdowns were announced in March 2020.

For a brand to keep on investing in ecommerce in this incredibly tough period, there needs to be clear performance value. Keeping in mind the market’s unpredictability and the fact that every dollar we invested could have been the last, it was imperative for our team to demonstrate a major return on investment with a more limited budget. Our motto became: Optimize every dollar, focus on the essentials.

Three elements were key to our success:

  1. Secure brand revenues

    • Maximize the budget to capture people who are already looking for the brand
    • Ensure that the brand retains top position in paid spots
    • Diligently manage the bids to reflect competitive landscape changes; less competition means lower cost per click and the possibility that other brands bid against ours to appear on top
  2. Control brand exposure

    • Focus on the safest markets, where the brand has established notoriety (Quebec) and consumers are strong advocates.
    • Target key audiences who are closer to conversion, then gradually expanding farther up the funnel
    • Focus on specific channels and tactics that bring in the highest return for each dollar invested
    • Allocate our advertising spend on high-revenue product categories based on data history and COVID purchase trends observed in other channels
  3. Collaborate closely

    • Collaboration and frequent communication with our client was the key to remaining agile against changing market and online purchase behaviors
    • Manage and communicate inventory availabilities in real time, unlocking the ability to promote the right products at the right time
    • Be agile in budget management and investments, making sure that each dollar is spent in the most profitable area of return

On top of that, we decided to strengthen our performance-measurement structures to provide the client with more in-depth means of monitoring data. We created new dashboards that allowed the comparison of income, ROAS, expenses, and budget pacing against our objectives. These improvements in data accessibility and visibility enabled much faster decision making.

The impact

Against all odds, we drove amazing results in ROAS and revenue growth during the months that COVID-19 was at its initial peak (March to June 2020).


increase in ROAS in comparison to 2019


the Black Friday-Cyber Monday ROAS achieved in the first three months of the pandemic


increase in revenues generated in Q1 and Q2