Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Software enables the retailer to automatically bid for comparison shopping.
As free listings become paid clicks on Google’s comparison shopping service, some web merchants are turning to software to automate their bidding for ads there and bring in more sales. Advanced Lumonics LLC, operator of EarthLED.com, an online retailer of lighting products, is one of the early adopters of the Google Shopping App from Lexity.
The app launched earlier this year as Google rolled out Google Shopping, which replaces the free Product Search listings with ads that retailers must bid on. Instead of bidding on keywords, as is the case for Google’s AdWords paid search program, retailers bid on the amount they will pay if their product listings in search results attract clicks or result in sales; retailers have the option to select a cost-per-click or cost-per-acquisition model.
Lexity designed the Google Shopping App to help relatively small online retailers transition from the free product listings to the paid comparison shopping listings, the e-commerce technology provider says.
Merchants using the technology set a monthly bidding amount—the minimum is $100—and the Google Shopping App then manages bidding and the updating of the retailer’s product catalogue. Lexity takes a 15% cut of that budget, with the fee waived the first month. It says its algorithms monitor what ads are bringing in revenue and automatically adjust bids to boost sales.
Merchants can check the progress of their Google Shopping campaigns via a dashboard that provides data about clicks, costs and revenue.
EarthLED began using the app in spring, and has since enjoyed a 27% increase in sales from Google Shopping, says Mark Costigliola, managing director for the e-retailer. Visits from Google Shopping have increased 42%.
The retailer has increased its monthly Google Shopping budget to $200 from $100, he says. “We might up it some more with the holiday season,” he says. “Our busy season is after daylight saving time ends,” which this year takes place on Nov. 4.