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Baby, it’s cold outside

  Article , Retail , Success stories

Standing out among holiday competitors

Few people say “no” to cashmere — especially as a holiday gift. Woven from a cashmere goat’s undercoat, the luxury fiber is more insulating than sheep’s wool and much softer, as many who’ve worn a cashmere sweater can attest. Part of cashmere’s allure is its scarcity. According to the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute, the production process is elaborate, and it takes more than two goats to make a single two-ply sweater.
 

During the holiday season, you might never know cashmere is so rare. Seemingly everywhere you turn, retailers advertise holiday deals on cashmere sweaters, scarves and other garments to shoppers looking for gifts to purchase or reasons to treat themselves.

For Susan White Morrissey, the holidays are about standing out among her cashmere competitors. Morrissey is the CEO of White + Warren, a high-end clothing company specializing in cashmere. Founded in 1997 on the principle that cashmere should be accessible to more women, White + Warren sells knitwear in stores around the United States and online. “I started my first business when I was 12,” Morrissey recalls, “making clothes for my friends and cloth handbags that were sold in a local boutique.” Her entrepreneurial spirit and acumen have only grown. “With White + Warren, I’m sending the message that everyone should have the opportunity to own a beautiful cashmere garment.”

For most of our advertisers who use Bing Ads, we see a higher return on ad spend and a lower cost per acquisition compared to Google Ads.

Stefan Atanassov, SEM Manager and Web Analyst, ECommerce Partners

Reaching quality customers

It helps that ECommerce Partners has a keen understanding of White + Warren’s customers. The team at ECommerce Partners found that New York is White + Warren’s biggest market — “which only makes sense,” says Atanassov, “since White + Warren is based here and this is a major apparel market.” Morrissey knows what her customers see in her products. “Many of my customers are women who are willing to invest more in pieces that highlight extraordinary craftsmanship and lots of detail,” says Morrissey.

How does White + Warren reach these customers, especially during the holiday season?

Search. In the 2014 holiday season, 39% of online sales began with a search.1 For this reason and others, search engine marketing is an integral part of ECommerce Partner’s business plan for White + Warren. ECommerce Partners maintains White + Warren’s search advertising accounts for both Bing Ads and Google Ads, but the Bing Network audience offers something unique: searchers who spend more. In the United States, searchers on Bing spend 24% more online than the average internet searcher.2

The Bing Network audience lends automatic value to White + Warren’s Bing Ads campaigns, but Atanassov uses targeting to dig deeper into the company’s key demographic. He identified New York as the company’s biggest market by comparing the performance of White + Warren’s Bing Ads campaigns between specific regions. As a result, most of their targeting is based on location, and Atanassov uses location targeting to deliver more of White + Warren’s ads to searchers in New York.

To further enhance performance, Atanassov also adds Sitelink Extensions.

A holistic approach to digital marketing

Susan White Morrissey, CEO, White + Warren

Stefan Atanassov makes sure people are listening. Atanassov is a search engine marketing (SEM) manager and Web analyst at ECommerce Partners, a full-service e-commerce agency that has worked with White + Warren for more than seven years to help them build their business with paid search. In July 2014, ECommerce Partners hired Atanassov — a former collegiate tennis player with a wry sense of humor — to help manage its clients’ pay-per-click campaigns, or, Atanassov jokes, “because my forehand was good.”

 

Although Atanassov says everyone in the agency has a great sense of humor, ECommerce Partners’ overlying work ethic means business — literally. The company motto is, “We build businesses, not just websites.” Atanassov explains, “We don’t just provide support, or we don’t just provide email marketing, rather, we provide everything that an e-commerce business could potentially need. By looking at businesses from a holistic point of view, we can better have an impact.”

More than seven years ago, White + Warren turned to ECommerce Partners to help develop its business. These seven years are marked by one success after another. Year over year, ECommerce Partners increased White + Warren’s pay-per-click revenue by 26% while decreasing cost by 7%. After the agency launched their responsive mobile website, White + Warren’s year-over-year mobile revenue increased by 131%.

Product Ads: spotlighting holiday sales

Screenshot of White + Warren Product Ads.

Product Ads showcase White + Warren’s products in a
larger format with images, pricing and promotional text

During the holiday season, the competition calls for more. “We definitely have more promotional sales during the upcoming months,” Atanassov says of ECommerce Partners’ clients in the beauty and apparel industries. More sales mean more traffic, and Atanassov says it’s the agency’s job to promote its clients’ holiday sales more than usual. On account of this, ECommerce Partners increases the overall volume of its Bing Ads initiatives during the holiday season.

For White + Warren, Product Ads are part of this increase. Managed with Bing Shopping Campaigns, Product Ads showcase White + Warren’s products in a larger format with images, pricing and promotional text. “What we see is that Bing Product Ads get higher click-through rates and also better conversion rates because of the price transparency,” says Atanassov. He adds that Bing Shopping Campaigns make Product Ads easy to manage. “Bing Shopping Campaigns give us flexibility to be very specific in our targeting needs and exclude irrelevant traffic so we’re able to serve our ads to the most relevant customers,” says Atanassov.

Getting results with Bing Ads

Atanassov has noticed some key differences between White + Warren’s campaigns with Bing Ads and Google Ads, especially in cost per sale. “Our experience with Bing Ads has been a lower cost per sale compared with Google Ads, often due to a lower cost per click,” says Atanassov. From September 2014 to April 2015, ECommerce Partners helped White + Warren achieve a 29.29% lower cost per sale with Bing Ads than with Google Ads.

Saving money is great, but making money is better. In the same seven months, White + Warren
achieved:

  • 6.61% higher click-through rate with Bing Ads than with Google Ads.
  • 35.33% higher conversion rate at the same cost per click as Google Ads.
  • 7.22% more profitable return on ad spend.

Again, Atanassov says White + Warren’s results are the rule, not the exception. “For most of our advertisers who use Bing Ads, we see a higher return on ad spend and a lower cost per acquisition compared to Google Ads,” says Atanassov.

Bing Ads makes sense for White + Warren and for ECommerce Partners’ other clients in the beauty and apparel industries. “Bing Ad plays an important role in our overall marketing strategy,” says Atanassov. “Bing Ads often proves very helpful when we want to grow a client’s pay-per-click efforts while maintaining profitability and a low cost per click.” That’s critical for those of us who want to be as merry as our customers during the holiday season.

Bing Ads often proves very helpful when we want to grow a client’s pay-per-click efforts while maintaining profitability and a low cost per click.

Stefan Atanassov, SEM Manager and Web Analyst, ECommerce Partners

Get festive with Bing Ads

Interested in optimizing your Bing Ads campaigns for the holiday season?
  1. Climb consumers’ shopping lists with our insights for digital marketers.
  2. Boost your inner peace and outer profits with our holiday planning checklist.
If you haven’t yet joined Bing Ads, sign up to begin reaching more customers.

Keep reading

See a quick summary of how ECommerce Partners used Bing Ads to boost revenue while decreasing costs for cashmere retailer White + Warren.

  Download the infographic