Los Angeles-based online clothing retailer Revolve is known for promoting its clothing through a network of 3,500 mid- to macro-influencers to target millennial and Gen Z women. Last week, the company raised $212 million in an initial public offering (IPO). Revolve first announced its plans to go public last October but plans were delayed due to a dropping stock market at the end of last year.
Revolve outlined in its filing that in 2018, it had 9.4 million unique visitors to its website per month, with an average order value of $279 and around 79% of sales delivered at full price. Last year it grew net sales to $499 million and net income to $31 million. This incredible growth has been fuelled by using social media influencers and data.
Adopting influencer marketing
Revolve was an early adopter of influencer marketing. In 2009, the company began working with fashion bloggers to showcase its products. Fast forward to 2018 and influencer marketing made up for 70% of sales and it has an Instagram following of 3.1 million.
These influencers are often taken on trips and invited to exclusive parties, where they photograph themselves in Revolve merchandise and post the content on the brand’s channels as well as their own. According to InfluencerDB, Revolve doesn’t pay influencers to post but instead create experiences for them to create content. Its annual invite-only Revolve Festival at Coachella, for example, is all about exclusivity. Celebrities, models and influencers such as Kylie Jenner, Aimee Song, Emily Ratajkowski, Alessandra Ambrosio, Nicole Richie and Chiara Ferragni have all been in attendance.
Revolve has created a fascination with young shoppers who see the brand on social media platforms and want to become part of the Revolve lifestyle, and then post about it on their own channels knowing that the brand champions its customers’ user-generated content.
However, after the IPO, how it will continue that growth has been in question. For now, the brand will continue to invest heavily in influencer marketing as it looks to drive more brand awareness. Apparently, Revolve’s chief brand officer Raissa Gerona had to tell a lot of investors exactly what influencer marketing is and why it is so powerful. Communicating this to them will be key in moving forward, she thinks.
Private label brands will also be a potential area for growth at Revolve.
Currently Revolve has 21 in-house brands, which account for about one-third of stakes. Only last month, the brand partnered with fashion influencer Aimee Song of Songs of Style to launch an exclusive in-house collection, which helped grow the brand’s profile even further. Although these partnerships are new for the brand, it is an area for growth. At the end of the month, the company will launch its second exclusive collection with an influencer. This time it will be with Camila Coelho, who currently has 7.9 million Instagram followers.