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How This Fitness Equipment Retailer Doubled ROAS on Google Shopping by Harnessing Search Behavior Data

Ellen Harvey

Manual management of Google Shopping is not just time consuming for marketing teams, it actually prevents marketers from developing the most effective strategy for their business. Because they’re mired in the minutiae of bid adjustments for hundreds–and sometimes thousands–of products, marketers who manually manage their Google Shopping ads can miss the big picture.

That was the challenge fitness equipment and education provider Mad Dogg Athletics faced when it expanded its Google Shopping efforts for its site Spinning.com. As campaigns grew unwieldy, it collaborated with a third party agency to gain back time on campaign management, but the continued manual approach achieved minimal gains.

Google Shopping is a significant portion of our paid search revenue, but we knew it was an underserved area for the company.

In order to handle the swaths of data that can inform product bids, Mad Dogg Athletics realized an automated solution was imperative. The retailer wanted a technology solution that could take into account search behavior data, past purchases, and overall site data to make better bid decisions and lighten the burden on its marketing team.

Read on to learn how Mad Dogg Athletics implemented Sidecar for Shopping to achieve all of these goals and as a result increased Spinning.com’s revenue 62% in the first month after implementation. And for an in-depth look at Mad Dogg Athletic’s strategy, view the complete case study here.

An Underserved Channel

While Google Shopping has always been a positive revenue driver for Mad Dogg Athletics, the retailer knew the channel wasn’t performing at the highest level.

“Google Shopping is a significant portion of our paid search revenue, but we knew it was an underserved area for the company. With a more data-driven, strategic approach, we could spend more efficiently and see much bigger returns,” said Don Delzell, VP of Digital Marketing and E-Commerce.

After researching the technology, I determined that we could benefit substantially from Sidecar’s algorithm-driven, machine learning solution that is guided by human expertise.”

After parting ways with it’s agency partner, Mad Dogg Athletics found itself in a bind to revamp its strategy with the holiday shopping season looming. Speed and ease of implementation were paramount for Mad Dogg Athletics, said Delzell, as was the ability to automate campaign management based on key factors like device, time of day, and search behavior.

“After researching the technology, I determined that we could benefit substantially from Sidecar’s algorithm-driven, machine learning solution that is guided by human expertise,” said Delzell.

Thanks to the Sidecar team’s swift implementation, campaigns kicked off just in time to take advantage of the increased traffic and spend of the holiday shopping seasons.

Capitalizing on Search Behavior & Mobile

Mad Dogg Athletics set an overall ROAS target of 5.5:1 when it began working with Sidecar. To reach that goal, Sidecar analysts created a two-pronged approach to increase returns leveraging search behavior data and mobile optimization.

First, analysts used Sidecar’s Search Query Management technology to determine which keywords drove the greatest conversions for Spinning.com. Keywords like “spinning,” “spin bike,” and “spinner” drove the majority of conversions for the site and were grouped together in a separate campaign so that Sidecar could increase bids on these terms to drive more valuable traffic.

Mad Dogg Athletics had never optimized its campaigns for mobile shoppers, and as a result saw few sales on that front. It also felt hampered by the fact that it largely sells big-ticket items, like spin bikes, which tend to convert a lower rates on mobile.

The results have been spectacular.”

Sidecar analysts didn’t want to undervalue the mobile channel, and realized that it could be a powerful vehicle for product discovery. The team decided to implement negative bid adjustments for mobile traffic so that Mad Dogg Athletics could reach this audience, but at a much lower cost.

ROAS Reaches New Heights

“The results have been spectacular,” said Delzell. “We were operating under a ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it mentality.’ But with Sidecar we’ve been able to elevate our Shopping campaigns so that they’re an integral part of customer acquisition and revenue growth strategies.”

Within one month of launching with Sidecar, Mad Dogg Athletics saw a 12:1 ROAS for its spinning products, far surpassing its 5.5:1 goal. Month-over-month revenue from Google Shopping increased 62% and cost decreased 22% in the same time period. In the three months after launch, ROAS continued to exceed Mad Dogg’s target, averaging 9.3:1.

On mobile, the retailer received a surge of clicks, earning nearly 4X the amount of mobile clicks compared to the same period in the previous year. Likewise mobile revenue skyrocketed, increasing 131% since launch.

To learn more about Mad Dogg Athletics success with Google Shopping, read the complete case study here. It delves into how the retailer worked with Sidecar to develop a strategy that focused on both efficiency and revenue gains using Sidecar’s deep data insights and automated, machine learning technology.


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