Finding Profitability for Golf eCommerce Brands Despite a Pandemic
We’ve been working with our client, Global Value Commerce, for almost a year. This eCommerce business operates four golf-focused sites that sell golf supplies, apparel, and accessories. After realizing that their old agency had become complacent with their advertising and results, Global Value Commerce partnered with EmberTribe to bring a fresh strategy and growth marketing approach to grow their businesses.
They were looking to increase their return on ad spend (ROAS) and make a more efficient use of their marketing spend. Our growth strategy focused on using paid search/PPC advertising on Bing and Google to increase profitability through active management.
Identifying and Overcoming Challenges for Our Client
When we began this engagement with our client, we identified a few challenges we would need to deal with to foster growth.
Our partnership began in February 2020, unfortunately not long before COVID-19 became a global pandemic that affected billions of individuals and kept them indoors. We’d call that one big unforeseeable challenge that we would need to face head-on.
According to the National Golf Foundation, golf started out strong in 2020 thanks to warm weather even in the winter offseason but rounds played dropped significantly as COVID-19 resulted in shutdowns in the spring.
Another challenge that would affect our active management style is that budgets could change from month to month, but ROAS goals remained pretty much constant. That meant keeping on top of spend and really honing in on optimization strategies to maintain a profitable ROAS on any budget.
Seeing Year Over Year Revenue Increase With Consistent ROAS
Sustainable growth is about building predictable systems for scaling sales that can withstand a variety of challenges. So, despite a global pandemic, our team needed to find strategies that would drive sales with a positive ROI.
Leveraging our status as Google Premier Partners, we were able to seek advice to improve ROAS. ROAS allows us to normalize our results because it’s a metric that can be used to measure how efficient each of our ad dollars is. Under a Google agency representative’s recommendation, we began testing target ROAS campaigns to see if those would outperform CPC campaigns.
We quickly discovered that target ROAS campaigns performed significantly better than CPC campaigns, prompting our growth specialist to begin transitioning more campaigns to target ROAS. Although some campaigns shouldn't be turned to target ROAS initially (because of lower spend), the campaigns that we have transitioned over have performed very well.
Using Paid Search to Increase Revenue With Steady ROAS
In the first half of 2020, from January 2020 to July, EmberTribe and Global Value Commerce decreased year-over-year ad spend while achieving an 11% revenue increase.
We did see search volume drop for our relevant terms and keywords in March and early April when the pandemic started. However, starting in May we began to see increases in search volume around our target keywords, prompting us to spend 29% more compared to last year as a way to capture increased search volume and capitalize on the trending terms. This prompted an increase in PPC revenue, plus a 12% increase in ROAS.
In the second half of 2020, EmberTribe and Global Value Commerce scaled PPC spend 7% from the previous year, while achieving a 33.75% YoY revenue lift.
Overall, the year to date return on ad spend (as of November 2020) improved by 12%, increasing to 5.3x from 4.7x. Over the past year, we were able to increase revenue by 20% while also scaling spend by 11%. To cap it off, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we saw a 41% revenue increase from the previous year.
Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, we were able to measure the efficiency of ad spend by focusing on ROAS for our paid search strategies, and use these outcomes to continually improve active management for each account.