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The Biggest Misconception about Paid Search for Furniture

By Blueport Team Apr 12, 2016 8:00:14 PM

I have a game that I’d like you to play. The next time you talk to the agency or in-house marketer who runs your paid search campaigns, count how many times they use the word “revenue” to describe the success of your paid search campaign. I’m willing to bet that 9 times out of 10 times revenue will be mentioned within the first minute.

Search marketers have developed such a high degree of confidence in the relationship between online revenue and paid search success that revenue has become the default benchmark for every report, optimization, and dashboard. You might be saying to yourself—so what? As long as revenue is increasing, then my paid search must be performing to its potential, right?



The Problem with Focusing Only on Revenue to Determine the Success of Paid Search

The furniture path to purchase is a much more complex, considered purchase than can be measured by revenue attributed to a paid search click. Over 80% of shoppers research furniture online, several weeks before making a purchase and many shoppers, after researching online, eventually make their purchase in a store. Clearly, there are several different stages in the path to a furniture purchase with different indicators of success at each stage.

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By focusing only on online revenue, you’re not considering the huge portion of shoppers that are either in the early stages of the funnel or those shoppers who choose to purchase an item in a store after researching online. Additionally, your paid search should play a key role in moving all shoppers down the funnel, but by measuring and optimizing your campaigns based solely on online revenue, you may find yourself in a dangerous trap—one of continuously tailoring campaigns to increase that online revenue metric, but ignoring a majority of your shoppers. As a result, paid search’s effectiveness of contributing to your overall omnichannel growth is limited.

Don’t get us wrong—online revenue is an incredibly important metric and by no means are we suggesting you forget revenue as a key performance indicator. What we are saying is that there are metrics in addition to revenue you should look at to reflect a multi-channel purchase funnel like furniture. There is a much more holistic view that includes revenue claimed by paid search (or how paid search is contributing to an eventual purchase), in addition to the revenue directly earned by that channel (or when a paid search click leads directly to revenue).


Aligning Your Paid Search with the Furniture Shopping Funnel

The problem that most search marketers face is the lack of obvious data to tie back your efforts to the full path to purchase. In other words, there are limitations to what we can and cannot track (i.e., we can’t track shoppers that click on a paid search ad and then purchase an item in-store).

But even with these limitations, there are several early indicators of a successful paid search campaign that shows its contribution to an eventual purchase, whether that purchase is further down the shopping funnel or through another channel. These early indicators, also called “micro-conversions,” can easily be tracked without actually capturing the shopper’s full journey.

Micro-conversions are significant online interactions in which the shopper has engaged in some sort of action that shows interest in a product or takes a step closer to a purchase. For example, this could be a shopper putting an item in their cart or looking up store information online to view a product in person. Simply put, a micro-conversion greatly increases the odds of an eventual purchase, whether that purchase is online or in a store.

This idea of optimizing towards these micro-conversions allows you to align your paid search efforts across all channels, rather than putting the emphasis on capturing that small segment of the click-to-purchase shoppers mentioned above.

Here at Blueport, we measure the success of our paid search programs through our cost-efficiency at driving three unique micro-conversions:

  • Product views
  • Cart additions
  • Store locator page views

If we can drive one of these three interactions within a session, not only are we confident that we succeeded in driving a quality visit, but we can also quickly optimize around these successes to drive further improvements.

As an example from our past client work, we know that optimizing to cart activity directly correlates to a lower cost per new cart and improved ROI on marketing spend in the first 30 days.  In the next 30 days, we saw that trend hold steady, proving that this is a sustainable strategy.

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How to Implement Micro-Conversions and Other Tactics into Your Digital Marketing Efforts

As the omnichannel dynamics of furniture shopping progress, it becomes increasingly important for furniture retailers to market to shoppers in a way that accurately reflects how they shop for furniture. Blueport is the only furniture ecommerce service provider exclusively devoted to furniture retail, leveraging our expertise in the furniture shoppers’ path to purchase to create cost-efficient and effective digital marketing campaigns. Micro-conversions are just one of the ways Blueport tailors digital marketing campaigns for our clients, based on the unique furniture shopping funnel. We’ll work with your marketing team to tailor strategies to your unique brand and the complexities of the furniture shopping funnel, ensuring you drive engaged shoppers and revenue across all channels.

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