Marketers have momentum at their backs with major shopping seasons ahead
Retail marketers are renewing their focus on digital commerce advertising and deepening their partnerships with Sidecar as COVID-19 rewrites the retail landscape.
“The trends we’ve seen year to date demonstrate our unwavering commitment to our customers’ performance marketing needs and challenges,” explained Andre Golsorkhi, founder and CEO of Sidecar. “Despite the disruption that COVID-19 is bringing to the retail industry, e-commerce is accelerating, with retail marketers increasingly looking to Sidecar’s team and technology to help them operate with greater agility.”
These trends are picking up pace just as marketers face a tough challenge ahead with the convergence of Prime Day 2020, and the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.
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Notably, 70% of new customers this year signed on to leverage two or more Sidecar technology solutions. Retailers are increasingly focused on creating stronger alignment between their ad channels to address the full customer journey across Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
Many of these new customers hail from the enterprise sector of retail. Sidecar grew digital ad spend under management by nearly 30% for this segment, and nearly 40% across the entire portfolio, in the first half of 2020 alone.
The digital transformation of the enterprise retail sector has been underway for years, but the current situation has further compounded this shift. Marketing departments have a renewed focus on assessing their digital maturity and determining go-forward steps to meet shopper needs in the accelerated digital economy.
Customer Performance Trends Reveal Significant Momentum
The end of the first half marked an inflection point in ad spend, according to customer research conducted by Sidecar. Retailers spent 15% more on Google Ads in June YoY—a stark contrast to April (-11% YoY) and May (-9% YoY) spend. For Amazon Advertising, June spend was 91% more than April spend, while Facebook advertising spend in June was up 4x over April.
Revenue growth remains a priority for Sidecar customers. They found ways to navigate the shifting environment at the outset of COVID-19, and are building off those strategic changes in the new normal landscape.
- Google Shopping: April revenue was up 15% MoM. Overall Q2 revenue grew 15% over Q1, while ROAS improved by 6%. From a year-over-year standpoint, April and May revenue grew 10% and 12% YoY respectively, while June revenue increased 27% YoY. ROAS improved 4% YoY in June.
- Google paid search: April revenue was up nearly 5x MoM. Overall Q2 revenue increased 54% QoQ, with ROAS improving 78% QoQ.
- Amazon Advertising: April revenue was up 24% MoM. Overall Q2 revenue was up 85% QoQ.
- Facebook advertising: April revenue was up 111% MoM. Overall Q2 revenue was 4.3x higher than Q1 revenue.
Strategies for driving cost efficiency are sticking. This trend is especially playing out in Google paid search, where Sidecar customers saw ROAS improve 98% and revenue increase 55% in Q2 YoY. Retail marketers are driving efficiency in Google Shopping as well, with Sidecar customers improving ROAS by 11% and growing revenue by 16% in Q2 YoY.
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Sidecar further innovated its product lineup during the first half of 2020 by launching enhancements to Sidecar for Amazon and Sidecar for Facebook & Instagram. Additionally, use cases are growing for Sidecar for Shopping and Sidecar for Paid Search, particularly in driving stronger cross-channel strategy. For instance, one Sidecar customer is leveraging Sidecar’s technology to create a two-way reliance between its ads on Google and Facebook. Facebook ads target users who have clicked through a Google ad. Additionally, Google Shopping ads target audiences built from Facebook prospecting campaigns.
Business Intelligence Group this week named Sidecar “Organization of the Year” in the 2020 Sales and Marketing Technology Awards program, also known as The Sammys. The award honors organizations and products helping to solve the challenges organizations have connecting and collaborating with prospects and customers. 2020 marks the second consecutive year Sidecar has won the award.
Sidecar was also recognized by Ventana Research, a business technology research and advisory services firm, as a finalist in the 13th annual Digital Innovation Awards. The awards program identified top technologies that have the most impact in their respective markets, honoring pioneering vendors that drive change and increase value for organizations worldwide.
Looking ahead, the retail industry is facing a holiday season that will be more dependent on e-commerce. “It will be key for retailers to leverage proven channels and best practices to match ongoing changes in consumer demand,” said Golsorkhi. “One of those key best practices is understanding audiences. Shoppers who are unable to visit stores will seek similar services online, potentially creating new cohorts that retailers must recognize and engage.”
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