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The Team+Tech Model That Scaled Moosejaw’s Google Shopping Revenue by 82%

THE SCOOP

Moosejaw offers outdoors apparel and gear from high-end brands, including The North Face, Patagonia, and Marmot. The retailer has aggressive goals to grow Google Shopping traffic and revenue, while maintaining return targets that constantly fluctuate with promotions and seasonal demand. Moosejaw realized that achieving this success required a best-of-breed technology combined with dedicated Google Shopping expertise—and found Sidecar.

PROFILE

Retail Category
Outdoors
Website
Headquarters
Madison Heights, MI

The Problem

Slow & Manual Management

Moosejaw had been working with a bid management provider to manage Google Shopping. Moosejaw would input an optimal ROI to achieve its marketing spending goals, but found that the tool’s bidding policy updates tended to have a detrimental three-to-four-day lag.

The biggest challenge was the time it took for the tool to update the bids based on changing promotions and effective revenue share (ERS) goals, according to Dan Pingree, CMO for Moosejaw. The lag was especially problematic when transitioning from a promotional week to a non-promotional week, and vice versa.

“We would have a sub-optimal ERS goal for several days, and then were scrambling to catch up,” said Pingree. “At times, we were severely overspending or underspending the first few days of the week.”

Moosejaw tried to work around the issue through manual adjustments. “One of the key reasons we licensed the bid management tool was to save ourselves time, and this increasingly wasn’t happening,” said Pingree. He researched the market for a new solution that would deliver automation, optimization, and speed using a hybrid technology / account management approach.

“We needed a faster way to adjust bids to hit our ERS goals,” said Pingree. “We were also looking for a direct partner relationship with expert account management—a team that would regularly plan with us based on our marketing calendar.”

Moosejaw found those requirements when evaluating Sidecar. “I was impressed by Sidecar’s technology approach of using real-time data and managing each product individually by its performance and by device,” said Pingee. “The team was strategic, communicative, and honest right off the bat.”

BY the Numbers

150k-225k
Products
in catalog
82%
Revenue Growth
in 30 days YoY
142%
Click Growth
in 30 days YoY
63%
Mobile Revenue Growth
during Holiday YoY

The solution

Specialized Team & Technology

Moosejaw began working with Sidecar to implement a hybrid approach combining sophisticated technology and human expertise. Sidecar’s team collaborated with Moosejaw to define an entirely new Google Shopping strategy centered on topline growth. To begin, Sidecar created campaigns to segment traffic by device, as well as one specifically for promotional items.

The team now applies Sidecar for Google Shopping to those campaigns to meet the retailer’s performance goals. The machine learning technology continuously ingests several datasets specific to Moosejaw, including the retailer’s ERS goals, channel data, sitewide metrics, and product feed attributes, as well as search behavior surrounding its products.

This data is part of the Sidecar Retail Index, and provides Sidecar’s algorithms a granular picture of real-time trends impacting campaign performance. As data changes, Sidecar for Google Shopping dynamically and immediately adjusts individual product bids to maintain Moosejaw’s ERS goals and drive revenue.

“We quickly found we could trust Sidecar’s technology to find traffic and conversions, and stay within our ERS bounds,” said Pingree. “That tight level of control is critical for us.”

With Sidecar’s approach to topline growth, every product is given the opportunity to generate revenue if that opportunity exists. That’s because Sidecar analyzes and invests in every product individually, depending on its projected revenue potential.

“Otherwise you're missing opportunities that are hidden within smaller brands that just don't get much volume, but they might perform really efficiently,” said Pingree. “Now those items get to compete head-to-head with high-volume SKUs from a popular brand.”

And because mobile growth is important to Moosejaw, Sidecar’s team applies the technology’s machine learning intelligence separately by device, so top mobile performers get the spend they deserve without hampering top desktop performers, and vice versa.
Our goal was to maintain a spend level consistent with plan and really drive the top line. Sidecar delivered that in spades.
Dan Pingree
CMO for Moosejaw

the results

Topline Surge While Maintaining Spend

“Our goal was to maintain a spend level consistent with plan and really drive the top line,” said Pingree. “Sidecar delivered that in spades.”

During the first 30 days, Sidecar for Google Shopping kept Moosejaw’s spend on target, while vaulting traffic by 142% and revenue by 82% year over year. On mobile devices, the technology drove a four-fold increase in clicks and five-fold increase in revenue, while hitting ERS goals. Sidecar’s technology performed over 7,600 automated bid changes to keep ERS in line.

“Sidecar’s Google Shopping model proved itself within the first 30 days,” said Pingree. “Performance was on target. The team learned our business quickly and gained a solid understanding of what was working, what wasn’t, and why or why not.”

Indeed, the deep collaboration with Sidecar’s team has been critical to Moosejaw’s Google Shopping success. “We needed a partner to help learn the peculiarities of our business and be transparent about what worked and what didn’t,” said Pingree. “And we sought innovation—a partner who could continually advance our Google Shopping strategy. That’s exactly what we get with Sidecar.”

For instance, Sidecar proposed a more proactive approach to drive traffic during Moosejaw's critical year-end holiday season, including capitalizing on free shipping promotions, optimizing bids on top-opportunity brands, and staying aggressive on last-minute shoppers.

As a result, Sidecar's technology maintained seamless transitions between ERS goals and drove consistent year-over-year gains during Holiday—18% revenue growth and 59% click growth in November, and 37% revenue growth and 72% click growth in December. On mobile, Sidecar grew revenue by 63% and clicks by 134% year over year for the season.

“Sidecar has become very familiar with our sale and promotion cadence,” said Pingree. “I’m confident we can grow Google Shopping responsibly from an ERS perspective, and just blow the doors off the top line.”

Moosejaw is also certain about building its investment in Google Shopping, a channel ripe with opportunity compared to PPC. “PLA is a much more efficient channel than PPC,” said Pingree. “While our PPC revenue was double our PLA revenue in 2014, the opposite will be true in 2017. PLA revenue will be double PPC revenue. Sidecar is an important part of that.” 

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