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Collectibles Retailer Shows How a Small Marketing Team Can Get Started on Google Shopping

Janelle Kozyra

Lack of time is one of the worst enemies of small marketing departments. You can only get to so much—whether you have one or two teammates, are the sole marketing person, or the business owner handling marketing on the side. You have to prioritize. And when that isn’t enough, you have to cut initiatives from your list.

This reality challenges many of our customers, including Dave & Adam’s Card World. The retailer sells sports cards and collectibles online and at two brick-and-mortar shops in New York.

One of the team’s big struggles was finding the time to get started on Google Shopping. They tested some Google Shopping campaigns in 2015 and recognized that the channel could be a lucrative revenue stream. But they quickly found they lacked the bandwidth to manage Google Shopping to the extent required.

Here’s the story of how they beat the clock. Read on to see how we worked together to launch Dave & Adam’s on Google Shopping and grow revenue by 109% in the first year.

Tight on Bandwidth

Like many retailers, Dave & Adam’s struggled to connect the dots between speed and quality to achieve ROI on Google Shopping. The retailer realized that Google Shopping requires continuous, granular management to ensure campaigns are always optimized as consumers’ search behavior and Google’s algorithms change over time.

The retailer realized that Google Shopping requires continuous, granular management.

“It was challenging to review Shopping campaigns, make all the necessary changes, synchronize those efforts with other marketing initiatives on our site, and make sure everything was effective,” said Eric Cholis, the company’s Director of Web Technology. “And managing down to the category and product level was difficult,” said Cholis. “We just didn’t have the time to do it.”

Google Shopping got benched. Still, Dave & Adam’s knew it’d bring its efforts back to life if it gained the automation, support, and guidance to manage the channel.

The Path to Entry

When we first looked at the retailer’s AdWords account, we found room to develop a more strategic bidding approach. That’s also when Cholis saw how our technology, Sidecar for Google Shopping, could directly address his challenges around bandwidth.

He explained it like this: “I liked that Sidecar’s machine learning technology would allow us to boil all relevant data into a single, trusted focal point—a cost/sale goal—around which we could manage campaigns. We wouldn’t have to think about anything else. Sidecar would let us control our spending, which is our stakeholders’ biggest concern.”

By the end of the retailer’s first year in Google Shopping, revenue was up by 109% and cost/sale was 7% better than the retailer’s goal.

We got to work formally launching Dave & Adam’s on Google Shopping. Our team optimized Dave & Adam’s product feed for the channel, helped install Sidecar for Google Shopping, developed a strategy that fit the retailer’s conservative budget and cost/sale goals, and created a fresh set of campaigns.

All campaigns are now powered by our technology. Sidecar ingests the data vital to understanding the retailer’s product catalog and competitive landscape—including Dave & Adam’s AdWords data, product feed, sitewide data, and goals, as well as consumer search behavior. (We call this dataset the Sidecar Product Index.)

Because Sidecar is based on machine learning, it makes increasingly accurate and precise bidding decisions for each individual product—providing the automation and granularity Cholis was seeking.

How the First Year Shook Out

In the first 90 days after launch, Sidecar’s technology beat the retailer’s cost/sale goal by 16%. With its early success, Dave & Adam’s doubled its monthly budget for Google Shopping over the next nine months.

By the end of the retailer’s first year on Google Shopping, revenue was up by 109% and cost/sale was 7% better than the retailer’s goal.

There are many more details where this came from—which is why we shared them in this case study about how Dave & Adam’s launched its Google Shopping effort. See more of the ins and outs around the challenges the retailer faced, especially with a lean marketing team. And learn how we developed a solution together to turn Google Shopping into an effective and worry-free revenue stream.

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