February 2, 2011, 2:33 PM

The Sharper Image sharpens its paid search focus

Since shifting to ChannelAdvisor’s paid search offering the retailer’s revenue has grown 97%.

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When the retail chain the Sharper Image relaunched in 2009 as a web-only retailer, it had a paid search program that was “a closed book,” says Mandy Miller, senior Internet marketing manager.

That meant its search marketing vendor shared little data or provide the retailer with tools to alter its campaigns.

“We had to rely on them completely because there was no transparency in what they were doing,” she says.

Moreover, the site relied completely on paid and organic search to drive traffic to its site. To boost traffic, the Sharper Image decided to bolster its search campaigns, while also marketing through comparison shopping engines.

The retailer turned to ChannelAdvisor’s Managed Service option that includes both paid search and comparison shopping campaign management. Among other features, the service ties ad bidding and inventory fees with inventory, so that the retailer is not bidding on keywords related to an itemthat  is out of stock. That reduces the time Sharper Image employees spend monitoring the system.

“Before we had to check inventory all the time,” says Miller. “We’d have to let our search company know a product was out of stock and then we’d have to double-check that it was actually pulled down. Now we never have to worry about being out of stock. We have confidence that ChannelAdvisor is getting it done.”

Also, ChannelAdvisor’s Automated Bid Manager, which uses bid rules set by the retailer to automate the bidding process,  eliminates the need for Miller to manually bid for keywords

“I can focus instead on testing ads, tweaking titles and doing other little things that make a big difference,” she says.

Since switching to ChannelAdvisor the retailer’s revenue has grown 97%, in part, thanks to more effective search marketing efforts, says Miller.

And the Sharper Image has also improved its marketing efficiency—a measure of marketing costs divided by revenue driven by marketing campaigns—to 12%, compared to 22% before working with ChannelAdvisor, thereby bolstering the retailer’s bottom line.

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