142% revenue target with just 88% the budget!

Feedstream for maximising efficient sales

Five fold increase

on the previous year’s sales volumes

With around 200k book titles and stationery items available to purchase online, managing PPC ads for each product, incorporating accurate stock, promotional updates and pricing is an almost impossible task to manage manually, especially at peak times (such as Christmas) when CPCs are high and the market is cost sensitive.

Profit margins are typically low across these items, especially at Christmas when promotions are overlaid and so it was critical that any PPC bidding strategy was sensitive to profit margins.

Enter Feedstream - a bespoke feed management database using WHSmith’s product feeds – taking in details such as stock availability, product name, author, URL and importantly cost and selling price (to determine profit margin). Once these product feeds are uploaded into Feedstream, it is able to split into tiers by profit margin and automatically uploads the relevant info into Adwords accounts, creating skeleton copy and bid controls based on their profitability tier.

This generates relevant ad copy, linked to the user’s search query and when the user clicks on the ad, they are taken to the specific product page – improving the customer journey and likeliness to convert to sale.

Why the client was so happy:

The bespoke Feedstream feed PPC campaign was complemented by a generic search campaign and PLA's, helping us exploit long tail searches and maximise visibility on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP's) for WHS at peak times

Because Feedstream ads only appear for in stock items using up to date item prices, budget wastage is reduced and conversion improved. This strategy proved successful in generating cost-efficient sales online during peak season when the search landscape was highly competitive.

In addition to the revenue and sales volumes targets being exceeded, CTR improved from 0.7% to 1.9% and conversion rates improved from 1.5% to over 6.4%!

The overall cost efficiency target was improved by over 60%!

Feedstream, which matches our spend to the margin we can afford to pay for a sale, has been critical to improving the efficiency of our marketing spend and ensuring that we are not delivering unprofitable sales. This approach has enabled us make a strong case for the need for online marketing spend to grow our sales.

Angus Hayman, WHSmith.co.uk

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