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Gary’s Wine Beats Its Return Goals by 24% in Search & Grows Facebook Ad Revenue 8X


Gary’s Wine is a family-owned business offering wine, wine accessories, spirits, beer, and gourmet food at four locations in the New York metro area and on its e-commerce site. The retailer lacked the internal resources to capitalize on the value of search and social marketing channels. Sidecar empowered Gary’s Wine to flip that challenge on its head with a strategy that centers on activating shopper intent across channels.


Retail Category
Wayne, N.J.


Generate Value From Search & Expand It to Social

Advertising wine online is awash with complexity. That’s partly because alcohol is a highly regulated industry. But it’s also due to the vast range of purchase intent consumers have when discovering and searching for wine online.

Some consumers know exactly the bottle they want, down to the producer, region, vintage, and varietal. Others stumble upon options, browse them, and narrow down searches to find a bottle to buy. All that is to say: It’s critical for wine retailers to align intent to products to ad spend, to drive ROI from search and social.

Gary’s Wine & Marketplace understands this imperative firsthand. The family-owned business offers some 3,000 wines and wine accessories. About a year ago, the retailer’s small marketing team had enough bandwidth to support a few simple Google and Bing Shopping campaigns. Remaining resources went to other priority channels, including email, direct, comparison shopping engines, and organic social.

Traffic to the shopping ads varied greatly in terms of value. Expensive, generic queries generated clicks, but few conversions. Branded and longer tail terms were more lucrative. But the retailer didn’t have a way to actively capture and focus on them.

Issues also arose around bottle size and price. Ads for the retailer’s 1.5-liter bottles were appearing alongside competitors’ 750-milliliter bottles of the same wine. The 750-milliliter bottles are not only cheaper, they’re usually what most wine shoppers want. Gary’s Wine was losing conversions because it struggled to ensure the accuracy of its product feed and drive price competitiveness in Google and Bing Shopping.

“We didn’t have the resources to sort through thousands of wines, determine how to better structure Shopping campaigns, and strategically bid products,” said Mike Fisch, Business Development Lead for Gary’s Wine & Marketplace. “We also weren’t in a position to add on other efforts that would expand our digital presence, like search campaigns and paid social.”

What’s more, Gary’s Wine recognized that any channel is never a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. “Shopping preferences change with the seasons,” said Fisch. “Rosè picks up in the summer, while premium wines and champagnes pick up over the holidays. We also run two annual sales where we heavily promote existing inventory to prepare for the upcoming season. But we didn’t have time to adjust campaigns and bids with these fluctuations in our business.”

Gary’s Wine realized that it needed a technology partner if it was to tap into the full value of search. It also recognized that it would need similar support to expand into other key channels for its business, including paid social.

“We needed a partner with the retail marketing expertise and resources to guide us and help us meet our goals across the channels that are part of our customers’ journey,” Fisch said. 

BY the Numbers

Revenue Growth in Facebook Advertising
in first 9 months
Better Return In Google Shopping
compared to goal
Better Return In Google Paid Search
compared to goal
Revenue Growth
in Google Shopping


Map to Purchase Intent

For Gary’s Wine, that partner is Sidecar. The retailer works with Sidecar to manage Google Ads, Bing Shopping, and, most recently, Facebook dynamic ads.

“We were getting overwhelmed by the number of marketing channels out there, and the complexities involved in managing them,” said Fisch. “We partner with Sidecar because the company’s experts extend our strategic resources, while its technology drives our cross-channel performance.”

The retailer’s search strategy centers on mapping campaigns to purchase intent. This approach ensures the retailer is spending aggressively on high-intent shoppers and conservatively on low-intent shoppers, with the ultimate goal of meeting an efficient ROAS target.

Delivering on this goal involves a combination of Sidecar’s technology and team. Sidecar for Shopping, Sidecar for Paid Search, and Sidecar for Facebook & Instagram optimize key variables that Gary’s Wine had struggled to manage at scale.

Within Shopping, Sidecar’s technology continuously optimizes campaign structure and bids to make the most of the retailer’s valuable searches. Based on the traffic’s conversion potential, Sidecar’s Search Query Manager feature adjusts product bids to meet the retailer’s return goal. And importantly, the technology considers data including bottle size and price, ensuring a given bottle appears in results alongside similarly sized and priced bottles.

Within paid search, Sidecar’s technology optimizes campaign structure, keywords, bids, ad copy, and landing page management. Sidecar’s team navigates the technology to take advantage of the creative aspects of paid search ads.

For instance, ads appearing in zip codes near the retailer’s store locations have custom copy that promotes free same-day delivery and one-hour pickup. Using paid search to drive local search efforts has been the easier and successful alternative to local inventory ads for Gary’s Wine.

Additionally, the retailer wanted to maximize retargeting opportunities with Facebook Advertising. Google and Microsoft do not allow alcohol retailers to run retargeting campaigns on their platforms, which made Facebook Advertising a critical part of Gary’s Wine’s strategy.

Sidecar developed retargeting campaigns that helped Gary’s Wine reengage site visitors, cart abandoners, and past customers. With robust testing, Sidecar analysts determined the ideal lookback windows so that shoppers saw the right products at the right time to increase the likelihood of a purchase. For example, if a shopper added a product to her cart in the last 10 days and visits Facebook, Sidecar’s technology serves her the appropriate product ad. An ad for a past customer, on the other hand, will trigger much later.

Since managing the account, Sidecar expanded the retailer’s campaign to include all of its products so that Gary’s Wine could reach the widest audience possible and increase return visits and purchases. 

Sidecar’s technologies work cohesively to manage the retailer’s campaigns and position Gary’s Wine to achieve its ROAS goal. That’s because Sidecar’s algorithms are trained to the retailer’s business. Sidecar for Shopping and Sidecar for Paid Search analyze data from sources including the retailer’s product feed, search queries, historical keywords, and competitive metrics from Google. Sidecar for Facebook & Instagram utilizes product feed data, site data, and shopping behavior to deliver ads to the most valuable audiences at the most efficient bids.

As a result, Sidecar’s technology gleans the most current trends around product performance and consumer discovery and search behavior. When trends and performance change, so do campaigns and bid adjustments.

“We set our return goal and Sidecar’s technology handles all the campaign structuring and bidding for us,” said Fisch. “If a certain brand shows performance improvement in a particular channel, Sidecar takes advantage of the growth. If our goals change, the technology adapts to meet them.”

Sidecar’s team and Gary’s Wine also work in lockstep through the seasonal fluctuations of the retailer’s business. As the retailer preps for its annual sales in store, Sidecar’s team plans promotional campaigns to run on Google and Bing. The team navigates Sidecar’s technology to ensure the retailer’s ads are appearing for searches that are relevant to the products it needs to clear. All the while, the technology continues to bid to meet the retailer’s ROAS goal. 
We partner with Sidecar because the company’s experts extend our strategic resources, while its technology drives our cross-channel performance.
Mike Fisch
Business Development Lead at Gary's Wine & Marketplace

the results

Beating Return Goals

Gary’s Wine continues to meet and exceed its return goals across all channels managed by Sidecar. Twelve months into the engagement, Google Shopping ROAS on average remained above the retailer’s goal by 24%. Bing Shopping ROAS on average exceeded the retailer’s goal by 44%. Additionally, year-over-year growth in Google Shopping for the 12-month period includes: revenue (+54%), orders (+39%), and impressions (+58%).

Because paid search was a new channel for Gary’s Wine, Sidecar spent conservatively in the first month. Sidecar grew spend methodically over the next couple months to reach the retailer’s ROAS goal. The strategy of focusing on user intent gained so much momentum, however, that nine months into paid search, the retailer’s ROAS averaged 24% higher than its goal.

Gary’s Wine has also achieved a competitive impression share in search, ranking among the top three wine advertisers every month since partnering with Sidecar.

This performance is a result of the retailer making the most of high-intent (branded) search terms. The retailer’s top 10 search queries, by conversions and by volume, are branded terms. As Sidecar emphasizes these terms, while downplaying generic ones, budget can be spent efficiently.

The retailer’s Facebook revenue has reached all-time highs. In the first nine months since launch, Sidecar was able to increase revenue eight times due to the expanded reach and improved efficiency of the retailer’s retargeting campaigns.  

“The #1 benefit we’re getting from Sidecar’s technology is that it can optimize all the marketing channels that matter to us, while taking almost none of our time,” said Fisch.

He also values the relationship with Sidecar’s experts. “We have a personalized relationship with Sidecar’s team. They understand our business needs. We enjoy our calls with them. They make it easy to digest reports and highlight where we should be looking to test new approaches and refine our strategies,” said Fisch.

He continued: “Our digital presence has a much better footing since we’ve partnered with Sidecar. That lets us easily jump on new opportunities—whether that means expanding into a new channel like Facebook, or deepening sophistication in our current channels. As platforms like Google and Facebook release new ad features, we rest assured that Sidecar is already evaluating whether and how we can use the update to support our strategy.”

With ROAS consistently hitting beyond the retailer’s goal for search, Sidecar has advised Gary’s Wine that it is a candidate for graduating its approach to a profitability model. Moving forward, Sidecar and the retailer plan to start bidding products based on profit margin within Google Shopping. In addition, the retailer plans continued expansion into Facebook.

“Sidecar is a phenomenal partner that executes well and understands the needs of its customers,” said Fisch. “We’re looking forward to Sidecar’s continued expertise as we grow efforts across channels.” 


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