How Cynthia Rowley Uses Conversational Commerce to Reach Shoppers & Boost Sales

Cynthia Rowley is a women’s designer apparel brand based in New York City. The brand’s signature pretty-meets-sporty assortment features ready-to-wear, surf and swim, fitness, accessories, and home decor. Always reaching new places with its nomadic pop-up retail concept, the collection is sold in Cynthia Rowley boutiques nationwide, online, and at select specialty retailers.


Cynthia Rowley’s e-commerce business has grown exponentially over the last few years. With over 70% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, they wanted to engage their high-value mobile shoppers while providing a positive impact on overall conversion rates.


Partner with Attentive to rapidly scale a text messaging program and grow mobile subscriber sign-ups. Reach shoppers in an immediate and direct way where they spend the most time on their phones: text messaging.


Cynthia Rowley drives text messaging opt-ins on their mobile website using Attentive’s “two-tap” sign-up creatives, which the Attentive team helps design. After a subscriber joins, they receive an automated series of “welcome” messages introducing them to the brand.

"While there are many ways to reach our customers—through social, email, and advertising—texting just made sense to us because it’s how people communicate these days, and it’s much more immediate."

- Emily Andrews, VP of E-Commerce

“We wanted to find ways to continue to inspire our customers with vibrant content, while also communicating with them in their preferred ways and not adding to their inbox anxiety.”

- Allie Egan, President & CEO

Cynthia Rowley uses the text message marketing channel in a variety of ways, such as alerting subscribers of new arrivals & best sellers, an adventure-inspired “as seen on social” series, invitations to location-specific events, and limited-time promotions. For New York Fashion Week, they sent a text message to subscribers promoting a giveaway of 2 tickets to attend the Cynthia Rowley runway show, where the winner would be among the first to see the new Fall/Winter collection. Through this brand marketing campaign delivered through text messaging, they were able to drive high engagement without offering a discount. Cynthia Rowley also sends text messages in tandem with marketing emails. “We will send the text out first and the email after; sometimes we’ll send the text after the email as a quick reminder. We found that these two channels both work really well together,” said Andrews.


Over the past 6 months, Cynthia Rowley has grown text messaging subscribers by 268%. As early adopters of this new channel, Cynthia Rowley has gained an advantage over other e-commerce brands and is able to send relevant, timely text messages to subscribers on a 1:1 basis.

Cynthia Rowley has also implemented a cart abandonment campaign that sends a text message reminder to subscribers 60 minutes after they abandon their online shopping cart. This automated message has resulted in 24%+ conversion rates, helping recover sales that otherwise might be lost. Overall, the brand has seen 33x ROI since implementing their personalized mobile messaging channel.

"Getting started with Attentive was easy—it took maybe a week or two. We started with a mobile pop-up to collect sign-ups and acquired a lot of phone numbers that way. We then expanded to abandoned cart reminders and other types of messaging."

- Emily Andrews, VP of E-Commerce


Overall program return on investment


Subscriber growth (over 6 months)


CVR on abandoned cart reminder text

As for future plans to scale this program, Cynthia Rowley intends on implementing Attentive’s 2-in-1 mobile creatives—which will allow them to capture both mobile phone numbers and email addresses. They’re also interested in creating dedicated landing pages to drive mobile messaging sign-ups from social media.

“While there are many ways to reach our customers—through social, email, and advertising—texting just made sense to us because it’s how people communicate these days, and it’s much more immediate," said Andrews. "It’s also a less saturated channel, so if people aren’t responsive elsewhere, you can always reach them directly through text messaging.”

Next Up: How Draper James Drives Authentic Customer Engagement With Two-Way Text Messaging