Published March 2016
For companies whose business revolves around a complex inventory of constantly changing stock, the challenge of aligning search ads with available products is enormous. With five locations and different makes and models going in and out every day, used car supermarket CarShop struggled with a manual approach to keeping its search ads up to date.
Initially, Vizeum and the paid search team at iProspect Manchester checked the CarShop website in order to see what cars were in stock, then made manual adjustments to the campaign accordingly. Ad groups for specific makes and models would be paused or activated depending on whether those cars were available. With these real-time challenges to align paid search with stock, this inevitably led to wasted clicks from disappointed consumers who were looking for products not in stock, and missed opportunity by not serving ads to consumers looking for CarShop’s products.
In a pioneering move for the UK auto industry, iProspect Manchester turned to the inventory management capabilities of DoubleClick Search to help CarShop overcome its search marketing challenges. First, the team set up an inventory feed which fed live stock data straight into DoubleClick. From here, iProspect created self-updating inventory campaigns using rules and templates that monitor the feed and update CarShop’s campaigns in real time as the inventory changes.
This strategy enables stock and exposure to be kept in perfect alignment. For example, a new ad group is created when new models arrive or an existing model comes back into stock, and existing ad groups automatically turn off when a product goes out of stock. Cars that have been on the lot for a longer period of time are classed as top priority, while everything else has lower priority. Different rules for bid strategies and bid/position thresholds are applied to each classification.
We’ve been able to use DoubleClick’s inventory management capabilities to address challenges with stock and paid search parity across our five UK stores. We saw results improve considerably after implementation, and we’re now exploring some new opportunities to advance the strategy further.
Compared to the old manual approach, the automated feed has paid big dividends. The ability to generate more niche keywords and specific ad copy for every model has increased CarShop’s quality score, contributing in a 50% reduction cost per click. Click volume meanwhile is up by 19% and overall wastage has been slashed because investment now goes only to models that are in stock. With all traffic actively seeking a model that’s definitely available, the total lead volume has increased by 26% while cost per lead has fallen by 53%.
“Deploying DoubleClick’s inventory management technology has been fundamental to achieving parity between stock and paid search activity, driving significantly better results and aiding day- to-day account management,” affirms Laura Stafford, Group Paid Search Manager at iProspect Manchester. “This has given us a fully future-proof strategic approach to paid search for CarShop that has transformed both account management and business performance.”