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NoBull focuses on video to drive mobile conversions

Fitness footwear and apparel online retailer NoBull is kicking up its mobile video strategy as it looks to take advantage of the merging of commerce and content.

After Google Analytics showed a significant portion of customers were engaging with the brand’s content on mobile and then purchasing on desktop, NoBull decided to refocus its efforts around mobile. Mobile is an exploding area for NoBull, which sells its own private label brand, with approximately 80 percent of its traffic coming from here.

“We are creating content that is optimized for mobile and social,” said Marcus Wilson, founder of NoBull. “Photo, video content that is designed and created for mobile.

“It has really helped us in terms of increasing our conversion rates,” he said.

“We’ve been really excited about the success we have had so far from a mobile perspective and it has opened our eyes to the opportunity. We feel like we have barely scratched the surface for what can be done.”

The content advantage
The NoBull brand is less than a year-and-a-half old, but the company used to own a marketing and design agency. That side of the business has now been shut down, but the company is using this experience with creating content to gain an advantage over other startups in the quickly evolving fitness apparel sector.

Currently, the brand is redesigning its Web site with a mobile-first approach. The project was initiated after it became clear there were some bottlenecks in the mobile user experience, such as download times, which were being bogged down by some of the content.

Going forward, all content will be optimized for mobile, reflecting how the fitness consumer is engaging with the brand at the gym, at work and on-the-go.

The company also reports that Instagram and search are areas of strength. NoBull does giveaways before a new product launches and then advertises to these leads and lookalikes once the product becomes available.

Looking ahead, NoBull is working with Google on expanding its efforts to be more comprehensive from an AdWords perspective.

The power of images
Video content and YouTube are an important focus.

The idea is to use photography and video that makes a broad statement and is impactful as this is much easier to understand on mobile. NoBull feels that its customers are not spending time reading content on mobile.

This image-heavy approach is supported by NoBull’s tests showing that the more photography and the less copy there is, the better conversion rates are on mobile.

While some traditional fitness shoe and apparel retailers struggling – Sports Authority, for example, recently shut down – digital marketers are looking to take advantage of the popularity of fitness apps designed to help users reach their goals by combining this content with commerce.

For example, Under Armour recently bulked up on mobile by adding a shopping application to the brand’s array of fitness titles, providing more than 170 million users with a personalized experience based on their workout history (see story).

“We initially didn’t think about download times from a mobile perspective,” Mr. Wilson said. “As we saw traffic and conversions for mobile growing, we started to optimize those things.

“We’ve put in guidelines internally around how that needs to be set up,” he said.

“We are starting to get into video in a very big way. What do we need to do to make it powerful on mobile as opposed to the desktop experience.”