Australia’s Temple & Webster boosts sales with data-driven shopping strategy

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Sven Lindell Feb 2018 Search, Retail

Too many products to promote and not enough time—a familiar challenge for Temple & Webster. The brand’s chief marketing officer, Sven Lindell, explains how Google’s shopping campaigns helped the brand keep up with competing online retailers by efficiently showcasing its full inventory on search.

Originally an exclusive daily sales site, Temple & Webster made a major transformation in 2016 when we became an open market retailer. Once we unlocked access to our site and 100% of our inventory for our customers, our marketing team suddenly faced a daunting challenge. With a massive new audience, we needed a way to not only drive more traffic to the site but also ensure that every one of our products (more than 130,000 at the time) was easily discoverable—a tall order to say the least.

Until 2016, we’d invested heavily in print and press and used search ads only to cover our most popular product categories. With the understanding that more Australians are going online for their research and shopping—especially on mobile—we saw a prime opportunity to ramp up our search presence by experimenting with Google’s shopping campaigns.

Shopping campaigns step in to showcase a surge of products

Shopping campaigns were key to filling the gaps in our previous search efforts. Instead of serving ads based on specific keywords, shopping campaigns automatically pulled information about all our products—including images and prices—to create and serve our ads whenever people searched online for related products.

For example, when someone went online to search for “bar stools,” they’d be able to swipe through relevant products at the top of their search results, see which ones fit their needs and budget, and click through to our site.

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To start, our agency Sparro and the Google team helped us ensure that our Merchant Center data feed was optimised for key attributes such as price and availability. After we set up campaigns for our full inventory to increase visibility across every category, we grouped campaigns by individual categories and bestsellers based on both our marketing objectives and the products’ profitability. As soon as we improved the structure of our shopping campaigns, we saw an immediate boost in online sales and traffic.

Once we’d gathered enough data from the new campaigns, we adopted an automated bidding strategy to optimise in real time. Doing so allowed us to automatically customise and improve bids based on returns rather than following a one-size-fits-all approach and to ensure that we showed up in key moments when people searched for our best-performing products.

In the past few months, we’ve also started using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) and Customer Match to reach our most valuable customers, including our subscribers and past site visitors. We then went a step further by using similar audiences for search to reach people who search for products similar to those our high-value customers do. By optimising our bids for each audience segment, we can focus on serving ads to people who’ve already shown interest in our products and connect with more undecided (rather than uninterested) customers.  

Temple & Webster successfully slashes costs and saves time

Compared to previous search campaigns, our shopping campaigns have driven 4X more impressions YoY, and our cost-per-acquisition (CPA) for new customers has dropped by 19%. Our average cost-per-click (CPC) has also improved by 25%, and we’ve seen 1.3X higher revenue from our shopping ads than from our standard search ads.

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At the end of the day, shopping campaigns saved our marketing team a tremendous amount of time and energy. Given the nature of today’s customer journey—with people going on- and offline and bouncing between mobile and desktop—simultaneously creating unique text ads and optimising for every product on our site would've been nearly impossible. Now we have even more time to focus on campaign strategy, develop compelling ad messaging, and find new ways to connect with our fast-growing customer base.

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