Lamps Plus Inc., which is No. 4 in Internet Retailer’s Best Paid Search Marketers in E-Commerce rankings, uses a big part of its digital marketing budget to connect with smartphone users.
“Our overall strategy is ‘mobile first’ in website design, speed and marketing,” says Angela Hsu, senior vice president of internet business and marketing for Lamps Plus. “For mobile advertising, we take into account shoppers who use multiple devices to research and then purchase via desktop or at a nearby store. We don’t use the typical metrics to measure the success of a mobile campaign.”
Hsu says the company has been putting more of its paid search budget into mobile, with an emphasis on Google’s picture-based product listing ads (PLAs). In areas where Lamps Plus has stores, the retailer also uses Google’s local inventory ads (LIAs), which are a PLA variant that highlights products in stores and store information to nearby shoppers searching with Google.
“LIAs allow us to display inventory availability at the nearest Lamps Plus store along with the store’s address, hours and directions,” Hsu says. “As we increase our spending on LIAs and our mobile campaigns in close distances to our stores, we see call volume to those stores increase—more customers are calling about the products they saw in our ads.”
In addition to providing a boost to its store sales, Hsu says the spending on mobile LIAs has benefited the company’s online sales by driving more shoppers to its website. The mobile approach to paid search, she says, meshes with the retailer’s overall approach to marketing.
Lamps Plus earned a high spot in Internet Retailer’s search engine marketing rankings because it generated especially high paid search visits and percentage of traffic from paid search. Lamps Plus received an average of 2.9 million paid search visits in 2017, up 561.4% from 438,219 in 2016, according to an Internet Retailer analysis of data from SimilarWeb. Paid search represented 26% of its average monthly visits in 2017, compared with an average of 11.3% for Top 1000 retailers that invested in paid search.
Lamps Plus, which ranks No. 176 in the 2017 Internet Retailer Top 1000. sells online at its own website and on Amazon.com. It also operates about 40 stores in the western United States.
In 2017, paid search continued to drive an increasing percentage of traffic to the websites of the world’s-biggest online merchants. For the 904 retailers ranked in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 that invested in paid search ads, those ads accounted for about 11.3% of traffic on average up from 10.9% in 2016 and 8.8% in 2015, according to data from Internet Retailer and Kantar Media.
“Paid search advertising is growing because it works,” says Jim Leichenko, director of marketing for Kantar Media (formerly Adgooroo). “It allows advertisers to reach in-market consumers who are expressing a need, and their intentions, by actively researching a product or service. It also enables advertisers to directly measure results—unlike other ad media, advertisers know exactly what the return on their paid search ad spend is and have a good idea what they can expect if they invest more.”
This is an excerpt from Internet Retailer’s recently published Best Digital Marketers in E-Commerce Report. The report is available as part of Internet Retailer’s U.S. Reports Pro Membership and as part of Internet Retailer’s Platinum All-Access Membership. Single copy sales are also available.