Three-year-old web-only retailer TeePublic.com doesn’t invest much in paid search marketing, says Adam Lasky, director of marketing for the T-shirt merchant.
However, with fresh insights TeePublic has gleaned after using a new product from web measurement firm SimilarWeb Ltd., it may use the advertising method to bid on long-tail keywords that are performing well for its competitors and to get the word out about products it may soon begin to sell.
TeePublic, which generated about $25 million online sales in 2016 and is averaging more than 100% annual online sales growth, was a test partner late last year for a new product called SimilarWeb Digital Insights that provides retailers with paid search, conversion rate and other data from competitors.
During October, November and December, SimilarWeb collected data on three TeePublic competitors: RedBubble.com, Society6.com and TeeSpring.com. Part of the data analyzed the desktop conversion rates of the three retail sites. SimilarWeb gathered this data by noting how often a retailer served up its checkout URL as compared with total traffic to its site.
Lasky was pleasantly surprised by how his company’s conversion rate measured up. TeePublic had higher conversion rates than its competitors in November and December and was No. 2 in October. “Our conversion rate was actually double that of TeeSpring in December,” he says.
In addition to conversion rates, SimilarWeb provided paid search keyword data on the three competitors. It analyzed which terms performed well for the competing merchants by collecting data on the keywords commonly used by consumers and the click-through rates of corresponding paid search ads. The paid search report listed search product queries as well as other search terms and the percentage of paid search traffic from each term that a competitor received.
“We found terms that our competitors dominate that maybe we should invest in, as well as ones that don’t work as well,” Lasky says. “Paid search is a new frontier for TeePublic and we aren’t spending a lot outside of branded campaigns. As we expand our Google Shopping campaigns and our product categories, this data helps inform of the types of keywords we should be bidding on.”
For example, RedBubble ranks high in paid search visibility for search terms related to laptop stickers. Shoppers also frequently click on RedBubble’s paid search ads for keywords related to that product. As TeePublic looks to expand into stickers, it is using this knowledge to strongly consider adding laptop stickers to its product selection and to bid on laptop sticker-related keywords in paid search, Lasky says
SimilarWeb also ran a test on what long-tail keywords performed best for RedBubble specifically and found that TV- and gaming-related terms such as Legend of Zelda and Rick and Morty did especially well. It also found RedBubble paid search terms related to the presidential election, including “Nasty Woman” and “Nevertheless She Persisted,” performed well for RedBubble. As a result of this data, TeePublic created paid search text ads with keywords related to these political phrases. “We already had designs related to these terms, so knowing that these keyword terms worked for others was really helpful,” Lasky says.
Lasky says the data also helps inform TeePublic about potential products to add to its site. “Looking at what products are performing well [in search] is helping us decide where to expand,” he says. “We are considering posters, art prints and housewares like duvet covers. We aren’t going to expand into all these categories, but if some products are working well in search traffic for our competitors, it helps us better evaluate the risk of each product.”
Beyond providing TeePublic with insights, SimilarWeb also analyzed the overall performance of men and women’s apparel on Amazon during the 2016 holiday season to showcase Digital Insights’ capabilities. It found that consumers not only shop more for men’s jeans on Amazon than women’s jeans—with 75% more product views—but that the conversion rate for men’s jeans was double the rate for women’s jeans last September.
Additionally, SimilarWeb reports that during the holiday season, the conversion rate from referral traffic to women’s jeans doubled to 16% from 8%. The vendor says this quantifies the effectiveness of affiliate marketing. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide.
The new Digital Insights tool can benchmark conversion metrics and identify the forces that influence them; spot the best-performing channels for a retailer’s competitors, down to the conversion rate, by search term or affiliate; and reveal conversion rates for competitors so retailers can see how they measure up.
Other brands using SimilarWeb Digital Insights in beta include French department store chain Galleries Lafayette, No. 235 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Europe 500.