Driving D2C across Europe markets

140% ROAS target achieved

£13.57 CPA achieved

X3 new markets launched

The Challenge

Prior to the pandemic, Funko predominantly sold offline through retailers and online through third-party suppliers.  When the pandemic hit, the brand, needed to find alternative routes to market. With lockdowns disrupting traditional retail, Funko pivoted towards ecommerce.

Historically reliant on third-party retail sales for their European revenues, the decision was made to launch a direct-to-consumer (D2C) solution.

Our core goals were:

Help Funko grow [NET] new website customers

Establish sales in three European markets (UK, Germany, Spain)

Achieve a positive ROAS delivering a multiple return

Our Approach

Getting our strategy right would be crucial, and to do so we would need to adopt a fully informed and data-led approach, both with regard to targeting the consumer and pinpointing accurate attribution.

Equally, we knew that paid media would initially provide the bulk of Funko’s site traffic, with an underlying need to establish organic traffic as quickly as possible. With thousands of SKU’s appealing to hundreds of different fans, our approach initially focused on the UK market, followed by Germany and Spain, with further European expansion thereafter. One key consideration here, and for any brand embarking on D2C was establishing the reason to buy direct.

Funko’s retailers were already selling a number of their SKU’s online, many with their own USP, be it free delivery, lowest price, range of other brands etc. The focus prior to embarking on its own ecommerce site was defining why to buy the brand direct.

This consideration was compounded by the brand’s additional lines of distribution; not just from the perspective of defining a compelling proposition to the shopper, but because of assessing the risk of competition with retailers who stocked its products. Continuing to nurture retailer relationships was important, as was being cognizant of the risk of competing with them for the same shopper. Subsequently we’ve been really strategic to try and avoid everyone bidding on the same keywords, ultimately driving up the CPA and diluting Funko’s ROI as well as their volume with third parties.

Space & Time

Our Solution

Our tactics have centered around leveraging Funko’s direct buy USP of exclusive limited SKU’s to convert shoppers with a greater propensity towards repeat purchase, and higher value weight of purchase, resonating with the collectibles consumer where provenance adds to their brand experience. On top of a substantial amount of pre-work such as collaborative commercial modelling (on traffic, conversion rates and sales), audience research and segmentation, and SEO throughout build and post launch, sustainable commercial success has been a continual consideration.

This has been achieved through a tactical plan focussing on channels and campaigns that would drive the highest ROAS first, and then scaling up vertically (by increasing budgets) and horizontally (by diversifying channels/campaigns).

Any D2C project is a big and costly commitment for a brand, so longevity has to be a factor, and our initial spend was modest to ensure utilising Google Search and Shopping formats, as well as Paid Social aimed at lower-funnel conversion.

Ultimately patience has paid off for both parties. Funko has enjoyed strong commercial success since launch, with their ROAS target being returned at 140%, and sustainable long term growth that’s paid for itself, funding campaign expansion into additional European markets.

Similarly from an agency perspective we’ve seen spend increase significantly, with our social budgets increasing ten-fold to drive new customer acquisition.

A D2C model isn’t a short-term option if it’s to be profitable, but if done well, there’s no reason why short-term profitability can’t be achieved in order to fund long-term growth, without coming at the expense of negatively impacting existing routes to basket.



Start your project

We are thrilled to be working with Space & Time as we begin to expand our business. It’s been a harmonious working experience from the onset, with a supportive, motivated and highly engaged team, who I know will become an extension of our in-house team. We’re excited to utilise Space & Time’s experience and knowledge to bring Funko fans the next level of fandom!

Eva Verhaak Head of Strategic Marketing & Sales, Funko