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How 4imprint Unlocked B2B Customer Acquisition on Google Shopping

THE SCOOP

4imprint is a leading promotional merchandise retailer operating in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Ireland. The B2B retailer uses Google Shopping to raise brand awareness and acquire new customers. As Google Shopping grew in importance for its business, 4imprint found manual management burdensome to its digital marketing team. It sought a partner to scale to its tens of thousands of products and bid granularly across its catalog. The partner would also strengthen new customer acquisition and free up team bandwidth—all while providing continuous feedback on campaign performance. That’s when 4imprint turned to Sidecar.

PROFILE

Retail Category
Promotional Merchandise
Website
Headquarters
London, UK
Channel
Google Shopping

The GOAL

Drive New Business

As a hypergrowth B2B business, 4imprint must meet aggressive goals for orders and revenue while maintaining efficient return. Its marketing mix involves search, video and, more recently, television and radio advertising.

Within these channels, shopping ads on Google play a key role in driving customer acquisition. 4imprint measures Google Shopping success according to orders, cost per order (CPO), and mobile carts. A mobile cart is when a shopper adds a product to her cart via mobile—behavior that the retailer has found often leads to an order.

Before Sidecar, 4imprint used a third party tool to manage its Shopping campaigns. The tool drove order growth and lowered CPO, but the retailer was looking for a partner to help take its Shopping account to the next level.

“Our previous tool was hamstringing our success in Google Shopping,” Angle said. “The data was there, but we couldn’t capitalize on it, nor drive performance improvements at scale throughout our entire product catalog.”

Angle searched the market for a new Google Shopping solution and discovered Sidecar. He considered what its technology, specifically the Search Query Manager, could provide 4imprint. “We want to optimize spend on our top search queries in Google Shopping,” said Angle. “At the same time, we want to maintain an efficient level of spend on lower performing queries at scale. That’s exactly what Sidecar’s Search Query Manager technology would let us do.”

He continued: “I was impressed by how Sidecar’s technology adjusted with the growing complexities of Google Shopping. We were confident it would strengthen our performance and let us drive new business.”

To get the most out of its Shopping campaigns, 4imprint looked to Sidecar to provide the right combination of technology and service. It also looked forward to gaining a team committed to delivering strategic advisory and seamless reporting. 

BY the Numbers

2%
Cost per Order Decrease
compared to previous benchmark
8%
Conversion Rate Improvement
compared to previous benchmark
21%
Order Growth
compared to previous benchmark
29%
Mobile Cart Growth
compared to previous benchmark

The STRATEGY

Automation and Communication: A One-Two Punch

Sidecar’s technology analyzed 4imprint’s individual product performance and further segmented campaigns by device. It also funneled search queries using the Search Query Manager, a core feature of Sidecar’s channel solutions. The technology ranks queries and individual words based on their value to 4imprint’s business. This allows 4imprint to maximize spend and impression share on high performing queries and avoid overspending on lower performing queries.

Sidecar’s Search Query Manager scales across B2B and B2C retail and is able to recognize valuable queries specific to 4imprint. These queries are then funneled into a high-intent campaign, which receives higher bids and allows 4imprint to capitalize on high-intent traffic.

“Sidecar’s technology helps us get our arms around the data and make it actionable," said Mark Lentz, Search Engine Marketing Specialist at 4imprint. "At the same time, Sidecar’s team delivers on its promise of advising us in developing our strategy to drive new customer growth. We're seeing results and gaining an advantage we didn't have previously.”

The Search Query Manager is built on natural language processing (NLP) and drives 4imprint's Shopping performance. Sidecar identifies variations of a branded query regardless of spelling or abbreviation. It then determines the bid level that drives the greatest return for that query. This helps 4imprint maximize impression share on best performing queries in Google Shopping.

“The technology allows us to bid more aggressively on traffic from high performing queries,” said Angle. “However, we still want to compete for our less important queries and track that data. Sidecar helps us achieve this two-pronged approach.”

4imprint also took note of the transparent communication it had with Sidecar’s team. “The setup implementation, from sales and onboarding to meeting our day-to-day contact, was seamless,” said Angle. “Having a team work with us on a weekly basis to analyze performance, identify how much we’re spending, and determine where to make changes is more than ideal, it’s perfect.”
I was impressed by how Sidecar’s technology adjusted with the growing complexities of Google Shopping. We were confident it would strengthen our performance and let us drive new business.
Shawn Angle
Director of Digital Marketing
4imprint

the results

More Orders at Lower Cost

After just four months, 4imprint realized significant value in partnering with Sidecar. The most important result was the percentage of cost to percentage of return. Together, 4imprint and Sidecar were able to spend less and drive more orders.

“Since working with Sidecar, we’ve seen improvements across Google Shopping,” said Angle. “Sidecar’s technology supports our marketing team’s motto: Spend where it counts.”

In an initial engagement, Sidecar generated a 21% increase in orders at 2% lower CPO than the control. Sidecar's technology also powered 29% more mobile carts and an 8% higher conversion rate.

“We evaluated Sidecar against our former solution and it was more effective at meeting our mobile cart and CPO goals,” said Lentz. “We noticed an increase in mobile carts and growth in number of orders.”

The technology filtered out low quality traffic to maximize visibility on top queries. In four months, 4imprint owned 80% impression share on its higher performing queries, essentially dominating the market for its best terms.

4imprint’s team bandwidth has also increased. With Sidecar’s technology and team doing the heavy lifting, Angle and Lentz have gained time for other marketing needs.

“Since partnering with Sidecar, my Shopping responsibilities have gone down to a more simplified daily performance evaluation,” said Angle. This has freed up resources for other important initiatives.

Sidecar’s ability to meet 4imprint’s B2B goals and give consistent feedback has formed a relationship built on trust and performance.

"If you're using Google Shopping as part of your marketing mix, consider Sidecar,” Angle said. “The technology is able to take our SKUs, segment them, and make sure that the right products are showing for the right queries. Working with the e-commerce pros at Sidecar was the right choice to deliver the Google Shopping results we wanted.”

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