For retailers, getting found online is half the battle for boosting e-Commerce traffic and sales.
ACK, a specialty paddle sports and outdoor adventure retailer, relies on traditional online marketing tactics with AdWords, product listing ads (PLAs) and comparison shopping engines (CSEs) to generate awareness. Once consumers purchase from ACK, the retailer focuses on segmenting its customer base and targeting customers with relevant emails, according to Peter Messana, CEO of ACK.
“Our repeat purchase rate is very high and growing, which leads to a lower ‘new visitor’ rate, which most would see as a negative but we view as a positive,” Messana said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Getting people back to the site to purchase a second or third time is easier and less expensive than marketing to the first-time visitor.”
But for initial acquisition, PLAs play a pivotal role: they make up 75% of ACK’s online marketing spend. The retailer uses Sidecar to automate product-level advertising campaigns for Google Shopping, Bing Shopping and CSEs. Since launching PLAs with Sidecar, the retailer has spent 15% less on ads and has seen revenue go up 25%.
Prior to partnering with Sidecar, ACK segmented products based on group and price. As a result, the team had to manage six groups of PLAs at a time, according to Messana. “We struggled to manage the process of continually assessing and assigning the right products as product performance and trends changed.”
The Sidecar technology is designed to alleviate this arduous process by creating a granular grouping of products based on performance, and even breaks out single high-performing products into their own groups as needed, Messana explained. “The automation continuously evaluates and adjusts bids based on performance, and shifts products from group to group as performance changes.”
Because ACK sells highly seasonal products, the business experiences significant sales fluctuations. The key selling period is typically between April and July. During this time, ACK leverages Sidecar to geographically manage bidding.
Using predictive analytics derived from geographical and seasonal trends, Sidecar makes adjustments to PLA campaigns based on trends and findings. “This is huge for us because we are highly seasonal,” Messana said. “Adjusting after the sale is too late and, conversely, if you bid down after sales are diminishing you are merely throwing away money. We rely on Sidecar’s automated technology to analyze the data and execute the best bidding based on product performance, geography and time of the year.”