Compression socks isn’t the first category that comes to mind when thinking of innovative, fast-growing, direct-to-consumer brands. However, as 2020 saw many healthcare workers in the US and worldwide putting in extra shifts to deal with the pandemic, and fitness fans turned to running in the absence of gyms, Sockwell recognized greater potential demand for their product. As a manufacturer of scientifically designed compression socks that help people stay on their feet and feel better after long days, Sockwell turned to Quantcast to take advantage of the market opportunity by identifying new audiences and reaching them online. 

When the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic began to materialize, Sockwell’s leadership team understood the challenges that lay ahead for their business. Brick-and-mortar retailers had represented a major sales channel for the business and, as stores closed and people stayed home, this small US-based manufacturer saw orders drop rapidly. As temporary store closures became permanent, the Sockwell team knew they would be more reliant on their fledgling online business than they ever could have predicted. 

Sockwell partnered with Quantcast to help navigate the complex and fast-changing world of online consumer behavior. Working with our team, Sockwell leveraged Quantcast’s unique real-time data, drawn from more than 100M online destinations, to identify ways to reach younger consumers and identify yet-untapped opportunities. Key to this was repositioning compression socks in people’s minds, turning them from a drab medical necessity to a colorful and desirable product that can help support a wide variety of active lifestyles. 

Quantcast tapped into two unique new audience groups: medical professionals and pregnant women. For the first audience, Sockwell reached out to healthcare workers during Nurses Week 2021, launching an “Honor Our Heroes” campaign. Sockwell’s founding partner, Jim Markley, wanted to acknowledge the daily sacrifices of the frontline healthcare workers during the early days of the pandemic and asked people to nominate heroes in April. The response went far beyond what they expected: more than 7,000 nominations were submitted globally in less than three weeks. Sockwell also created a special design for a new sock with an “Honor Our Heroes” logo, donating $1 from each sale to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing. They raised $1,650, which the school used to buy additional personal protective equipment for students. The campaign was successful for the company as well, helping Sockwell achieve 4x gross revenues compared to the same period in 2020. 

Sockwell also identified pregnant women in the US as an entirely new and underserved audience and reached them with benefits messaging that aligned with their unique needs and mindset. By discovering and nurturing these audiences, Quantcast drove qualified consumers to their site at only $3 per lead, translating to a weekly onlines sales increase of 75% with a 3.5x return on ad spend (ROAS). The company is consistently engaging a new, younger 30-35-year-old age group and is on track to double online sales this year.

Sockwell achieved their goal of reaching consumers who can most appreciate their products. As Co-Founder Thomas Lee explains, “Sockwell was the first company to combine compression socks with beautiful designs. Quantcast has been essential to us connecting with a wider audience that can now benefit from, and do more of what they love, thanks to our products.” 

According to Sockwell’s Digital Marketing Strategist John Faircloth, “Quantcast consistently beats every other channel when it comes to driving online sales for Sockwell. We’re very happy with not just the quantity but also the quality of the audience they deliver for us.” 

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