Sunglass Wars Part II: Blenders vs Shady Rays (August Update)

Date

I last took a look at Shady Rays vs Blenders Eyewear in the middle of July. At that point, Shady Rays was out performing Blenders in sales for a 30 day period. Here is July’s data:

I ran the numbers again on both of these companies through the end of August. Here is the data for that 45 day period:

Average daily orders for Blenders Dropped by almost 1700 (32%). Average daily orders for Shady Rays dropped by 2600 (43%). I have to imagine as summer comes to an end these companies start to head out of peak seasonality and daily/monthly revenue drops.

Change in Instagram

Since the middle of July, Blenders Eyewear has grown their Instagam following by 13K (a 2.5% increase). Shady Rays has grown their account by 3K followers (also a 2.5% increase). 

In August, Blenders Eyewear was tagged 2,205 times. Shady Rays was tagged 636 times.

Blenders has a much bigger Instagram presence. However, it does not appear it translates to getting more sales.

Email Marketing

Since my last update, Shady Rays has sent me 23 emails, and Blenders has sent me 22 emails (almost an email every other day). Shady Rays has stuck with their method of using limited-time discounts for their emails:

July 19th – Don’t Miss 30% OFF

July 21st – Don’t Miss Out on 30% OFF Snow Goggles

August 1st – Ready For New Shades? Take 40% OFF 2+

August 13th – It’s Our Anniversary! Take 35% OFF Original Styles

August 25th – 40% OFF UV Protection Shirts and Hats

Mixed in with these emails were limited releases announcements and two influencer collaborations (Tommy Caldwell & Denny Hamlin).

Blenders’ emails are not as discount-heavy. And a lot of the emails I got from them are post-purchase emails or abandon cart emails. On August 10th, they sent me their “Monthly Blend” email and then on August 14th they sent an email for first access to a collaboration with Koa Rothman sunglasses.

While Shady Rays may seem a little spammy or annoying with their emails, I would be willing to bet they generate more sales from their emails than Blenders does. 

Influencers/Collaborations

Shady Rays featured two influencers in August. If you remember from my first article, I was a little confused with the influencers they picked before (they didn’t match the brand). They did a little better job with the influencers this month.

Tommy Caldwell is a world-famous rock climber and has 829K followers on Instagram. Here are the demographics for his audience:

Denny Hamlin is a professional NASCAR driver with 175K followers on Instagram. Here are the demographics for his audience:

Shady Rays’ audience is split 70/30 Male to Female. Both of these influencers have very similar splits in their audience. My issue with the influencers Shady Rays picked previously was that their audience demographics did not match up, and the influencers they picked both did their sports inside (no need for sunglasses inside).

Blenders collaborated with Koa Rothman in August for his signature pair of sunglasses. They also featured Anthony Walsh wearing the Float20s.

Koa Rothman is a professional surfer. Here are the demographics for his audience:

Anthony Walsh is also a professional surfer. Here are the demographics for his audience:

Changes in Paid Keywords

These were the top 5 paid keywords for Shady Rays last month:

  1. blue light glasses
  2. shadyrays
  3. sunglasses for men
  4. blue light blocking glasses
  5. william painter sunglasses

In August, these were the top 5 keywords:

  1. shady rays
  2. shadyrays
  3. shady rays replacement
  4. shady rays sunglasses
  5. shady rays warranty

I do not think Shady Rays is bidding on the replacement or warranty word but this probably triggered a match to their brand name they are bidding on. I find it interesting that so many people were searching for replacement or warranty that it boosted those terms into the top 5. You will also notice that their non-branded keywords dropped out of their top 5.

These were the top 5 paid keywords for Blenders last month:

  1. blenders eyewear
  2. blenders sunglasses
  3. blender sunglasses
  4. blender eyewear
  5. polarized sunglasses

In August, these were the top 5 keywords:

  1. blenders eyewear
  2. sunglasses
  3. blender eyewear
  4. blenders sunglasses
  5. blenders eyewear coupond

The major change between the two months is that the non-branded keyword “sunglasses” is now their number two paid keyword driver. This term, on average, is searched 368,000 times per month with an estimated CPC bid of about $1.70. 

Blenders’ has either upped the amount they are willing to spend on this term or they have improved their quality score to get their ads to show more for this term.

Change in Facebook Ads

Both companies have pulled back on the number of ads they are running on Facebook. Last month Blenders has 1,600 active ads on Facebook. In August, they have 870 (190 of those were launched in August). 

Last month, Shady Rays had 160 active ads on Facebook. In August, they have 81 active ads (14 of those were launched in August).

This is most likely a sign that they are nearing the end of their peak seasonality and are pulling back on their ad efforts.

See Blenders Eyewear Facebook Ads

See Shady Rays Facebook Ads

Who is winning the war?

This round slightly favors Blenders Eyewear (last month Shady Rays won). In the 45 day period since I last tracked, Blenders had 4675 more orders than Shady Rays. However, that is only a 3% difference between the two brands. It is crazy how similar their sales levels are. Early October, I will have an update on how September went for both of these brands. Stay Tuned!

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