eBags is the world's largest online retailer of bags and accessories, having sold more than 17 million over the past 16 years. With intense competition in the industry, eBags turned to AdWords Remarketing to help it drive sales and connect with users farther along in the purchase funnel. Taking advantage of a variety of products, the company saw impressive results, including a double-digit lift in revenue.


  • Stay ahead of the competition with greater ad efficiency and end-of-funnel strategies


  • Ran AdWords Remarketing ads with target return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Used Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)
  • Showcased products with photos and prices in Product Listing Ads
  • Leveraged Gmail Promotion to provide relevant, targeted messaging


  • Achieved a 10–15% rise in revenue
  • Increased efficiency by 25%
March 2014

When you’re ready for a new Kate Spade purse or Samsonite carry-on, eBags is ready for you. It has sold more than 17 million bags online since 1998. But even a savvy online marketer like eBags faces the challenge all stores face: keeping ahead of the competition.

“The competition these days is intense,” says Larry Sweeney, search engine marketing manager. “Manufacturers sell direct to consumers now, and brick-and-mortar stores are really learning to extend their marketing channels. You’ve got to be sharp.”

Solution: Remarketing

The eBags team wanted to find greater ad efficiency and focus on end-of-funnel strategies that close sales. In 2013, they began running their own remarketing ads on Google AdWords.

“We were already running CPA remarketing ads, but we were paying an outside vendor a premium to do it for us,” says Sweeney. “We wanted to see if we could save money by working with the Google Display Network ourselves.”

Why remarketing? “We use paid search to draw in as many customers as we can, and it’s a big part of our marketing budget,” says Sweeney. “But remarketing helps us make the most of that search spend and recapture more benefit from it.”


eBags began using AdWords Remarketing with target return on ad spend (ROAS), which adjusts bids to meet specific goals set by the advertiser.

If a company’s goal is to earn $7 for each $1 spent on ads, then AdWords sets bids automatically to get them as close as possible to that 700% return. “With target ROAS, we don’t have to slice and dice and filter all the pieces and bid differently for CPA bids on various placements,” says Sweeney. “We get better results and it saves a lot of time.”

eBags also uses Remarketing Lists for Ads, or RLSAs, to put different bid multipliers on better prospects. “We can raise our bid for people who have made past purchases, or who have abandoned a cart during the last seven days.”

The innovation doesn’t stop there. eBags uses Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to put product photos and prices right in their ads on Google search results. “We ran PLA promotions during back-to-school season, and the results were very promising,” says Sweeney. “Our click-through rates were about 20% higher than normal.”

eBags also tried Gmail promotions—for instance, adding a message about laptop bags next to emails for those who have just bought a computer. “Getting to the top of the inbox is something our entire business is interested in,” says Sweeney. “It will be a big part of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns.”

We’ve seen incremental lift with our retargeting as a whole, and a big increase in traffic from our RLSA audiences.

—Larry Sweeney, search engine marketing manager, eBags

Results: A Double-Digit Lift

The switch to remarketing with target ROAS supercharged a system that was already working well for eBags. Since it began running its own retargeting ads, the company has seen a 10–15% rise in revenue.

“We’ve seen incremental lift with our retargeting as a whole, and a big increase in traffic from our RLSA audiences,” says Sweeney. “Plus we’re paying about 25% less than we did going through a retargeting vendor. It’s lowered our CPA that much.”

The eBags team has also seen a 25% increase in efficiency. “Target ROAS lets us run without a huge time commitment for placement targeting, running reports and whatnot,” he says.

What sets AdWords apart for eBags? “The innovation. Putting our product feed into display is not something a lot of other ad networks can do. And it happens in a way that we actually get results instead of just getting a lot of eyeballs.”

“In the end, we want to make sure every shopper finds the perfect bag,” says Sweeney. “AdWords Remarketing is helping us reach that goal.”