How we achieved 17x Return for a client and helped cement them as a major player in a competitive space

outdoor-retailer-ecommerce-store-case-study

For just on a year now, Advantage Agency has been working with a national retailer in the outdoor recreation space. We opted to dive pretty deep into the financials, and thus the client has asked to remain anonymous. We know that this might come across as a red flag from a marketing agency promising to deliver results, but we have plenty of other success stories where you are more than welcome to reach out to the client to enquire as to the legitimacy of our claims. We figured that a piece of content where we can give you some raw, unfiltered numbers will be valuable. All this being said, let us give you a bit of our story working with this client and share some data + the marketing strategies that helped them to achieve their phenomenal success.

We’ll cut straight to the chase and be upfront with the numbers; our client pays $4000 per month to us for their marketing plan and pay approximately $25000 per month in Ad spend. The client has said to us that “there is no maximum spend, as long as we can keep the Return On Investment (ROI) at 14X or higher”. This means that they only have a budget for spending 6 – 7 % of their total revenue on marketing (most small-medium businesses need to be investing at least 10 – 15%). The reason this number is so low is that the client has very low margins, banking on low price as a major part of their competitive strategy. We’ll be honest with you, these are very optimistic numbers that are scarcely achieved – in many cases we would say not to get your hopes up. But alas, with our efforts they’ve been achieving over $500K a month in online sales – that’s a whopping 17X Return! In the past three months alone, their online sales have almost doubled. Again, in light of transparency, our client is an established brand with a good amount of awareness, not a startup, which we believe has been a huge help.

Website Revenue by Channel

Following is a case study on just how we were able to help them achieve this.

As mentioned, our client wishes to retain their anonymity, but we can say that they trade in the “Outdoor Recreation space” and despite having 8+ physical stores across Australia, they’ve only recently developed an online presence. We were approached to help launch their online store, and that we did.

Advantage Agency has been able to assist them in all facets of their marketing from PPC (pay per click) Advertising, through to email automation, SEO, website performance optimisation and general strategy.

Implementation of Strategies

SEO

We started by doing a full audit of our client’s site and noticed a lot errors and a lot of duplicate content. Not great for SEO!

Website SEO Errors Before working with us

As our client has thousands of products, it wasn’t going to be feasible to fix the duplicate content one by one. Our client uses Shopify as their ecommerce platform, luckily for us there’s a great SEO app called Smart SEO.

Smart SEO lets us set rules for each product; how to derive the page title, meta description, alt tag for images and so on. For example, you might use the product name as the page title, image name for an alt tag and so on. Once these rules are set, you run a batch job and Smart SEO applies this logic to all products, categories (known as collections in Shopify) images and so on. You also have the ability to override any content for an individual page, product or image.

We ran our SEO audit again and achieved the following improvement:

Website SEO errors after working with us

Anyone familiar with SEO tools such as SEMRush, Ahrefs etc, will know that its pedantic in reporting every last thing it can find. The above is a great result for our client and soon after we noticed a marked improvement in their SEO visibility.

Once the onsite SEO was taken care of it was time to take care of a backlink strategy, citation building and a content strategy.

Website traffic since marketing

Content Strategy

As our client trades in outdoor recreation, we decided to develop a content strategy around Australians and the Great Outdoors. We had three of our writers create content for camping, fishing, boating, water sports and more.

Not only does this provide an opportunity to link to a product in the article with a relatively ‘soft sell’ it also helps our client establish “E.A.T.” (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness). Read more about Google’s E.A.T here.

Google Ads

By far the most successful marketing tool for our client has been Google Ads and Google Shopping. They’ve been consistently getting 17 their ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) through the various campaigns we’ve created for them. Yes it looks like a bored child’s scribble, but just look at those numbers – Cost: $78.1K, Return: 1.66M ($1,600,000)!

Google Ads Campaign Results

Email Automation

Early on in our marketing discovery with the client, we identified the need for email automation. This is particularly important for an ecommerce website.

Put simply, email automation is the process of creating ‘triggers’ based on user behavior. The most common of which that most people have heard of, is the abandoned cart email. You’ve most likely experienced this firsthand when you’ve added an item to your shopping cart and left without checking out. Usually within 24 hours you will receive an email reminding you to checkout.

Some of the automation strategies that we suggested and implemented were:

  • abandoned shopping carts
  • welcome email with an offer
  • cross sells
  • encouraging product reviews
  • inactive customer ‘win back’ campaigns.

To date, our client has recovered over $510,000 in sales with an average open rate of 66.1% on the emails sent.

Value of email automation
Email automation campaign

General Strategy

One of our greatest strengths I feel is being able to provide insights and strategy to a client, particularly when they may not have considered an option that could net them additional revenue.

One such strategy for this client was to add ‘rich snippets’ code to their website so that additional information pertaining to a product could be displayed in Google Search results.

Consider the following example of rich snippet code from a Google search on ‘pixel 4 phone’.

Rich snippets for eCommerce website

The first result from Amazon shows product reviews (notice the stars) whereas the result from JB Hi Fi does not. Rich snippet data has been shown to increase CTR (click through rate) which in turn helps your SEO ranking.

Business Naming Convention

We were surprised to learn that our client did not have a consistent naming convention for their business. To use an example, let’s say the client was named; “Acme Outdoors” They were also known as; “Acme Outdoors and Camping” and simply; “Acme”

From an SEO standpoint, this hurts a business ranking, not to mention the confusion it can cause to customers. Working with our client, we were able to settle on one name for their business and promptly conducted a citation audit to achieve a conformity in their business details.

In Conclusion

Over the course of a year, our client has netted around $3.8 million in online sales. By far the most successful campaign has been the Google Shopping Campaign which alone accounted for $1.2 million in revenue.

It has been a combination of multi-channel marketing strategies that have achieved the total figure of $3.8 million. The email automation: over $500K in revenue, organic traffic (largely driven by our efforts in SEO); $1.2 million.

Revenue & conversion rate of eCommerce store
Website users by channel
Website user increase trend
Website users overall