The Pandora Jewelry store in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota has a long history of using PPC to drive online sales, which account for over 30% of the company’s total revenue.
They came to Black Propeller after several years of declining performance and profitability due to increasing competition & rising CPC costs as new retailers cropped up. The jewelry industry is known for operating on fine margins, so even a 2% decline in ROAS was enough to turn the campaigns from operating at a net positive to a net negative.
When the store started advertising on Google back in 2014, the landscape was vastly different. They were one of only a few retailers running Google Ads for Pandora keywords, and by far the most dominant. Over the years, new retailers began advertising which progressively raised CPC costs to a point that many of their campaigns ceased to be profitable despite conversion rates remaining consistent.
We knew getting the campaigns back into net positive territory would require two things:
- Eliminate wasted spend from non-converting keywords
- Shift strategy to optimize for ROAS rather than cost-per-sale
We tackled eliminating wasted spend first. After doing a keyword analysis we found that over 40% of the keywords in the account hadn’t generated a conversion in 120 days. And over 60% hadn’t been profitable in the past 12 months. Eliminating these keywords was an easy way to reduce spend without impacting revenue and increase ROI almost immediately.
Once the keyword clean up was complete, we started the second phase of optimization. This was an account with a lot of history and a structure that was outdated. They weren’t utilizing newer features like Price Extensions, Ad Customizers, Responsive Search Ads and Customer Match list data, all of which are valuable tools for any e-commerce account. Additionally, most of the campaigns were using a manual bid strategy which was hugely inefficient due to the number of keywords (over 2,000). We added all available new features to the account and began testing bid strategies- primarily Target ROAS, which gave us the ability to focus bidding on the most profitable products.
Once the search campaigns were optimized, we shifted focus to the shopping campaigns. The account was utilizing standard shopping, which had been hovering under 2x (the client’s breakeven point) for a full quarter. We’ve seen standard shopping performance decline for many of our clients after the release of Performance Max in the beginning of 2022 so we knew we needed to utilize PMax to regain good shopping campaign performance.
At first we tested Google’s recommended PMax set up. We applied lifestyle photos and video assets to each asset group that Google tested in various combinations on various networks, Display, Gmail, YouTube, Shopping etc. We had mixed results with this strategy. While we had some days of phenomenal performance, normalized performance over a 60 day period yielded only marginal improvement in ROI.
We shifted gears and tested a “feed-only” Performance Max set up, so that placements would be concentrated on the shopping network. This pivot worked like a charm. ROI more than doubled and currently hovers around 4.3x.
The changes we made to this client’s account yielded extremely positive results. They say a 47% decrease in cost-per-conversion YoY, along with a 65% increase in conversion value/cost (ROI), a 5% increase in CTR (Click-Through Rate) and a 64% increase in CVR (Conversion Rate). More importantly, we re-established profitability, which was the client’s #1 goal.