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Coldwater Creek Case Study

True Interactive Turns Around Apparel Retailer’s SEM Program


Company Background

Coldwater Creek is a retailer of casual women’s clothing and accessories. Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho and founded in 1984, the company sells its products via stores, catalogs and online.


Competition for search traffic among women’s clothing retailers is fierce. It is projected that US retail apparel ecommerce sales will reach $64.5 Billion in 2014 (eMarketer, 4/24/13), with an increasing percentage of total retail sales shifting from brick and mortar to online channels. Given the considerable opportunity, Coldwater Creek’s search engine marketing programs were underperforming.


Coldwater Creek engaged True Interactive to help the company turn around its search engine marketing programs. An audit of the retailer’s existing campaigns uncovered an over-reliance on brand-related and general apparel search terms. This approach attracted online shoppers that already know the Coldwater Creek name and those broadly searching for clothing, but neglected to capture consumers searching for and focused on purchasing very specific types of women’s apparel.

For this reason, True Interactive :

  • Built more than 100,000 new and cost-effective search terms and strings, emphasizing those focused on styles, sizes and apparel type qualifiers.
  • Separated out campaigns by apparel type to push budgets to better performing apparel.
  • Adjusted SEM spend and product type keywords for seasonality, limiting unnecessary spend.

After implementing the new strategies and programs developed by True Interactive, Coldwater Creek’s revenue improved by nearly 40%, year over year, fueled by a 45% increase in orders.

The retailer also was able to stretch its SEM budget farther with a more effective SEM program, improving Return on Spend by more than 10%.

Coldwater Creek testimonial

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