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Category: Our Ideas

How Forever21 Was Crushed By eCommerce

How Forever 21 Was Crushed by eCommerce

Nearly a decade ago, even before #InstagramInfluencers existed, Forever 21 helped young girls embody teenage dreams and suit up fashion havens. Girls, young and young-at-heart, had the chance to dress up like celebrities but for an affordable price! Through the years, Forever 21 grew aggressively, but like what business analysts warned them about, if the time ever came for F21’s “coolness factor” to fade, the company will struggle to get back up. And that’s exactly what happened – now, gone are the days of Forever 21’s sunshine and la la la’s.

On the morning of September 30, an announcement struck headlines. It was F21 filing for bankruptcy, deciding to cease the store operations of over 350 branches across 40 countries worldwide. According to the company’s Executive Vice President, Linda Chang, 

“This was an important and necessary step to secure the future of the company, which will enable us to recognize our business and reposition Forever 21.” 

Amid speculations, theories, and gossip-mongering, what could be the possible reason as to why the once-called retail giant suddenly became bankrupt?

According to the New York Times, Forever 21 is said to be losing young shoppers. The fashion company was originally themed to be a youth-driven fashion haven which helped popularize youthful fashion in the 2000s by hawking trendy and affordable clothes before they even made it to the runway. But throughout the years, the company struggled to be in tune of what is in or out, trendy or cool and eventually the company just couldn’t figure out how to reach their young shoppers.  

Unlike other affordable but highly fashionable clothing brands like Zara, Penshoppe and Uniqlo, Forever 21 lost track of the millennials and Generation Z when 90% of their population combined shifted their expenses to Internet fashion retailers and e-commerce powerhouses such as Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora. This sudden shift is what these generations call the “Retail Apocalypse”, a threatening term used to describe how the Internet has changed consumers’ shopping habits, which have, in turn, affected retail brick and mortar stores.

To stop you from wondering further, here’s a breakdown of two other reasons that might have led to F21’s downfall.

Online Shopping is Killing Traditional Retailing Because of Young Shoppers

The strong growth of e-commerce and the slow sales in physical stores threaten a doom to traditional retailing.

According to, 75% of Gen Z and Millennials combined populations enjoy online shopping more than moving around stores. In the past few years, as many retailers have moved shop online, Forever 21 continued to build more brick and mortar stores and continued to expand their footprint offline. In this regard, they have forgotten who their target market really is — the millennials and Generation Z – the generation who immediately adapted to online shopping!

E-commerce websites such as Lazada, Shopee, Zalora experience more than a hundred million monthly website traffic in the Philippines alone. This one data is a testimony that e-commerce is the only way to capture a mass market, especially the Gen Z, which are considered to be a consumer powerhouse and valued to be the biggest retail market cohort sharing $44-billion in the market yearly.

As e-commerce continues to boom, traditional retailers like Forever 21 continue to struggle to adapt to changing consumer behaviors.

Bad Publicity and Ineffective Marketing Strategy

Whether created by huge designers or small indie brands, Forever 21 has made a signature version of customer purchase. However, in recent years, F21 has been accused of a series of copyright infringement lawsuits from more exclusive and expensive clothing lines and famous celebrities. Their stained reputation is on the edge.

The clothing chain has faced more than 50 copyright lawsuits for stealing the works of designers like Gwen Stefani, Anna Sui, and Trovata and violated some publicity laws.

The world-famous singer and record-breaking artist, Arianna Grande sued F21 both under state law and federal law, claiming that Forever 21 is guilty of false endorsement, copyright, and trademark infringement. Forever 21 was set to feature Grande in one of their campaigns, however, in the end, they were unwilling to pay Grande for she was worth too much. F21 then retracted the contract but still went ahead and launched the campaign, merely substituting another model that looks like Grande, but continuing to use the posts and themes heavily related to Grande on Forever 21’s Twitter and Instagram pages.  

Another lawsuit filed against F21 was by the International fashion house, Gucci. For more than half a century, the clothing line has been known for its iconic stripes in blue-red-blue and green-red-green. But earlier on, familiar designs with similar stripes were seen on F21 stores. Now Gucci is suing the fast-fashion retailer for trademark infringement, reports CBS News’ Dana Jacobson.

F21 is not alone. There are many other fast-fashion giants whose stock prices continue to plunge amid drops in revenue as young shoppers continue to shop more online. Take this case study from the once retail giant, Forever 21. Don’t disregard the shopping habits and patterns of the millennials and gen Z consumers. Don’t let your business get left behind. 

Want to launch your own eCommerce website? We can help! Drop us an email at or call us today at (+632) 3490 0000. 

Google Display Network for Brand Awareness

When getting started with digital marketing tools, chances are you’ve probably already heard of Google Ads. What not a lot know though is that they branch out into two – Search and Display. While a search campaign shows text ads on search engine results (Search Network), a Google Display campaign is the more visual approach of showing banner/video ads in over 2 million partner websites, videos, and apps (Display Network).

A valuable marketing platform, Google’s Display Networks reaches over 90% of internet users and it takes the form of visual banner ads as seen below.

Google Display Network

Search Ads vs. Display Ads

What sets both networks apart?

While the Search Ads taps into users directly and actively searching into Google’s Search Engine or other partner search sites. This means that there is already intent in the minds of the users to search for that particular item.

Display Ads, on the other hand, are more passive as they usually appear when users are just going about their usual internet activity such as skimming through a news article, watching video clips, and the like. These ads are mainly small banners or boxes following you around as you scroll through a site. This means that the primary interest of the user is the website content itself and the display ads are just merely secondary. The main difference is that the users aren’t directly on ‘shopping mode’ and may not be familiar with your brand at all. This is because the Google Display Network is a tool that can be used for prospecting and brand awareness.

Due to the low-intent nature of the users when encountering Display Ads, the click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rate are often below 1%. But the advantage here is the wide array of targeting options that go beyond keywords, and the ability to access a good portion of internet users due to the numerous website placements. The result is finding a tighter network audience with more relevant targeting.

Prospecting and Remarketing

There are two ways to target using Google Display Ads:

(1) First is through prospecting which happens when internet users who may have no previous knowledge of your brand, product, or services are targeted.

(2) The other is through remarketing, which targets users who have engaged with your website in some form previously.

The latter is often referred to as the best way to optimize Display Ads, this option makes use of the audiences found in Google Analytics to help find your target market. These remarketed audiences take place in many forms such as website visitors, users who downloaded content or submitted forms, users who signed up for free trials or other offers, and users who have completed transactions previously. This is why it is said that remarketing completes the circle of engagement as it helps keep past visitors who took interest in a certain product or service to see targeted ads and eventually lead them to make that purchase.


We have laid out the basic need-to-knows about Google’s Display Network, perfect for any business that wants to get their brand or service out there to wider audiences. While Search Ads target those actively looking for products, who knows if you might bag the right market with you through the more passive Display Ads.

In the end, it all depends on your company’s marketing goals and knowing what type of ad or strategy to utilize. While it may seem scary to venture into Google Ads alone, there are always agencies out there to help you with your marketing goals. iManila is a Google Partner agency that can help you navigate Google’s diverse marketing platforms to reach your audience and deliver optimal results! Feel free to drop us a message at and kick start your digital marketing journey with us.

How to Choose A Digital Marketing Agency

How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency

Choosing the right Digital Marketing Agency for your company, like any other business decisions, should be thought of with careful considerations. Only a bad entrepreneur will invest his money in an agency without doing a little research first.

Below we’ve listed down a few things that you should consider when looking for the best digital marketing agency:


Decide what services you need

Before approaching digital marketing agencies, you must first decide and write down what you’re going to ask from them. Take a good look at your marketing and business objectives and then plot the strategies you think you’re going to need. 

  • Set an expectation for your digital campaign (Do you want more leads or are you just looking to build brand awareness?);
  • A project duration (Is this for a long-term project or something more urgent like an upcoming sale?);
  • and/or a specialty (Does your business have a website or is it heavier on social media?)


 Evaluate Case Studies

Review the digital marketing agency’s portfolio and previous clients’ feedback. A good agency will have positive reactions from their past clients and will also have an impressive portfolio of successful campaigns.  By doing this, you will also get a picture of the extent of their experiences and what you can expect from them.


See The Kind of People You Will Be Working With

A shared vision is the key to any successful campaign. If you have a team working for you, of course, you’d want them to understand your brand story and your goals. It is important to know whether the people in the agency are the kind of people you’d entrust your business with. So what’s the secret recipe in creating the A-Team (or should I stay DM Team)? Let me tell you:

  • Professional
  • Determined
  • Strategic
  • Creative
  • Team players


Look at the History and Reputation of the Agency

It is easy to think that young agencies are the most tech-savvy and therefore the right choice when it comes to digital strategies. But the key point here is not how young or old the company is. A great agency combines experience and development. Look at how a company started and how it is today. A company that has been in the industry for many years and is able to adapt through innovations shows that they know how to build and maintain–a company that is perfect in helping you grow your business. 

Awards and Partnerships are also a key factor in deciding which Digital Marketing Agency you should choose. An agency that has a certification or partnership with reputable companies like Google, is more likely to deliver quality service. You can also scan for news or run a quick Google search to show you everything you need to know about the Digital Marketing Agency you’re interested in.


iManila, a certified Google Partner, has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry and carries a website that is placed among the top 500 websites in the Philippines (we’re currently at Rank 460!). Competing against thousands of both small and big players on the web, iManila’s Alexa Ranking further proves our company’s credible reputation in delivering quality digital marketing services that are trusted by our clients both here and abroad. Choose iManila as your Digital Marketing partner now. Find out how by dropping us an email at or by visiting our website at #iManila #DigitalMarketing

getting to know more about wordpress

Getting to Know More About WordPress

Developing a website can be intimidating for people who are unfamiliar with the world of web development. There’s a common notion that web development is complex, hard to understand, and only for computer geeks. That might be true in the olden days, but as we progressed further in technology, people have developed easier ways to create things on the internet. And this is what the team behind WordPress has done –they’ve created a pro website builder that allows for a more convenient and less complicated way to build a website.

Introduced in 2003, WordPress has become the most popular website builder or Content Management System (CMS), if you want to get technical. WordPress comprises about 30% of the websites on the internet.

So what exactly makes WordPress so popular and why do most web developers prefer this platform above others? 

It’s free and available for everyone

Yup, you read it right. You can create your own website for FREE on WordPress. For anyone who is just starting to create their digital presence, this should be a helpful factor. You can create your free websites at where you can enjoy a limited number of free templates and plug-ins. For beginners, this is the best way to practice your web development skills. Take note that if you’re using the free version, you don’t entirely own your website meaning, your URL will look something like this: However, if you are looking to explore more, then the best option is to create your own website through Here you can have your own domain, enjoy 11,000+ templates and plug-ins. 

It’s user-friendly

No need to be intimidated! With WordPress, you don’t have to be a web developer to create your own website. All you have to do is be familiar with the tools and you’re good to go. Plus, WordPress has a ton of plug-ins that need not require coding. Some would prefer to initially have their websites done by a developer then have that developer train them to do future updates on their website. 

It’s SEO-friendly

SEO is essential to any website as this is a factor for driving organic traffic to your website. WordPress is one of the best platforms to apply a well-thought-out SEO campaign. 

It’s not just for blogging

There’s a notion that WordPress websites are only for blogging. While some websites are for personal use amongst others, businesses now have also expanded their channels to digital, specifically through websites. For brands, a website’s purpose is to build and strengthen its brand awareness. While an e-commerce website is the core of any e-commerce business. 

With all the digital advancements nowadays, everything that used to be complex and difficult is now reduced to a simple drag and drop. This is what WordPress websites can give you an easy-to-manage website that can help your business grow. 

If you’re looking into creating a website of your own, but find yourself needing some help, iManila houses the best web developers in the market who can help you create, manage, and launch your website in the digital space. Don’t hesitate to contact us at or call us at 490-0000 so we can talk about how we can help you. 

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