Case Study

Retailer Grainger Uses Dynamic Search Ads and Remarketing to Extend Its Reach

the rundown

As a supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, Grainger"s product inventory of more than one million items grows daily. Because of this, it was a challenge finding an efficient way to manage keyword lists and ad copy for such a vast and dynamic product catalog. Find out how combining Dynamic Search Ads and remarketing lists for search ads has helped the company increase conversions nearly 1,000%.

The Goals

  • Save customers time and money by showing them the right products at the right time
  • Create relevant ads for the company's full product catalog
  • Maintain the number of hours spent managing AdWords per week

The Approach

  • Implemented Dynamic Search Ads to generate relevant ads based on the company's vast and dynamic product catalog
  • Implemented remarketing lists for search ads to re-engage customers

The Results

  • ROAS increased nearly 1,000% compared with non-brand search ads
  • Conversions increased nearly 1,000% compared with non-brand search ads
  • CTR increased nearly 1,000% compared with non-brand search ads

Grainger is a leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions. The company was recently named the 15th largest e-retailer in the U.S. and Canada, based on Internet Retailer’s 2013 Top 500 Guide. Grainger has been using AdWords since 2004 to advertise everything from motors to office supplies.

An industrial-sized product list

Grainger sells more than one million individual products, and new items hit the shelves daily. Although the company uses AdWords to advertise its most popular products, it was a challenge finding an efficient way to manage keyword lists and ads for the company’s vast and dynamic product catalog.

A two-pronged strategy

Grainger turned to AdWords’ Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) and remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) to extend the company’s advertising reach.

Dynamic Search Ads work by automatically generating ads based on website content. For Grainger, this meant that whenever customers searched for relevant items on Google.com, they could see ads with a headline based on their search terms and text tied to the company’s most relevant landing page. With DSAs, the Grainger.com website would be crawled regularly, so ads would always reflect the company’s current products and inventory levels.

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Keeping Grainger products top of mind

The company also used remarketing lists for search ads to amplify the effect of its DSAs. RLSA allowed Grainger to show relevant ads on Google.com to customers who had previously made a purchase on Grainger.com. Grainger knew these shoppers were often more likely to convert again later, and found that RLSA was extremely helpful in keeping the Grainger brand top of mind.

What’s more, using these features in concert has helped identify new keywords that can then be added to standard keyword lists. This has led to an increase in overall keyword coverage while dramatically decreasing the amount of time the team dedicates to keyword management.

VP of Digital Marketing and Merchandising Parvez Patel notes that this is a win-win for both the company and its customers: “Grainger helps customers find what they need to keep their business running. With over a million products offered, DSA + RLSA capabilities enable us to expand our keyword coverage, making it easier for customers to find the right products."

Results worth spreading

When combined, these two features have led to stellar results. Return on ad spend (ROAS), conversions, and click through rate (CTR) for the new ads have all increased by nearly 1,000% compared with the company’s non-brand search ads.

Grainger’s senior search marketing specialist, Patrick Holt, says: "Combining DSA and RLSA significantly increases performance—so much that we’re trying to find ways to increase the number of ads we can show each day. This strategy enables us to broaden our reach while improving efficiency.”

The DSA and RLSA strategy has worked so well for Grainger that the company is expanding it to its international efforts.

"Grainger helps customers find what they need to keep their business running. With more than one million products offered, DSA + RLSA capabilities enable us to expand our keyword coverage, making it easier for customers to find the products they need."

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