To drive in-store sales, the US fashion retailer ran a Facebook and Instagram video and photo ad campaign optimized for store sales, which brought 2.5% more net new customers into stores.

Optimizing for a perfect fit

Founded in 1980, Express is a leading US clothing retailer headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with a New York design studio in the heart of Manhattan. Express strives to be the style source for fashion-forward young women and men. It sells its stylish clothing via its online website, as well as in its many brick-and-mortar store locations in the US.


lift in net new in-store customers


lift in online net new customers


lift in net new total customers (online and in-store)

Our goal was to drive net new shoppers—those who had never shopped at our stores before—to our brick-and-mortar locations. Partnering with VaynerMedia, we conducted a conversion lift test to determine whether using Facebook store sales optimization feature could entice more in-store visits and purchases. The strong results prove the power of using this strategy in retail.
Boosting in-store visits

Express wanted a way to entice new shoppers to visit its brick-and-mortar store locations, and to increase in-store sales.

Something Went Wrong
We're having trouble playing this video.
Testing a new optimization feature

In late 2018, Express wanted to implement a new digital advertising campaign to entice new customers to visit its store locations. So, Express partnered with Facebook, as well as with agency VaynerMedia, to design a Facebook and Instagram ad campaign specifically focused on influencing shoppers and prompting them to make in-store visits and purchases.

Express was especially excited to test Facebook’s store sales optimization to see if it could help increase store traffic and purchases. This optimization feature uses the power of machine learning to help retailers show ads to people most likely to make in-store purchases, even if they are not existing customers.

Next, Express built a series of video and photo ads in the collection and carousel formats aimed at both men and women. The ad creative showcased a variety of mix-and-match outfits. Following Instagram’s mobile-first best practices, the ads included prominent sales offers and branding in the first few seconds. The ad messaging emphasized how the fashion merchandise was designed to fit people’s personal styles and professional schedules, and each ad had a Shop in-store now call-to-action button that opened to a store locator information page to find the closest retail location.

Express showed the ads to US adults aged 18–44, as well as to those with an interest in Express, Express’ competitors and fashion retail, in Instagram feed and Facebook News Feed. Express determined the results of this September 17–October 26, 2018 campaign using a Facebook conversion lift study, which revealed a:

  • 2.5% lift in net new in-store customers

  • 10.3% lift in online net new customers

  • 4.7% lift in net new total customers (online and in-store)

Partnering with Express on this Facebook and Instagram prospecting campaign was an exciting opportunity for us to attract new customers and boost in-store purchase. The sales optimization feature proved out how digital ads can reach the right audience and drive foot traffic to brick and mortar.