ITSMA, the leading resource for B2B marketers in the connected economy, named Sidecar a winner in its 2020 Marketing Excellence Awards. Sidecar received the Diamond Award for Marketing Excellence in recognition of its 2020 Benchmarks Report: Google Ads in Retail.
Sidecar’s award-winning report, released in March, analyzes Google Ads data from a representative sample of more than 300 U.S. retailers across 14 verticals that had active paid search and shopping campaigns for the full years of 2018 and 2019. A major finding in the report was that 2019 was one of the most competitive years on Google, yet retailers successfully maintained revenue by uncovering new efficiencies for their campaigns.
“The Google Ads trends we uncovered in 2019 haven’t stopped in 2020—they’ve accelerated,” said Mike Farrell, Senior Director of Integrated Digital Strategy for Sidecar. “The network’s saturation, the need to find white space, and the priority on efficiency started well before the pandemic, and have continued unabated this year. That’s why the report’s data, analysis, and recommendations are more important than ever for retail digital marketers to read today. We’re honored that Sidecar’s contributions to the retail industry are recognized by ITSMA.”
Many of the report’s key findings continue to unfold in 2020. These findings are also highlighted in an infographic, which can be re-published with credit to Sidecar.
- Strategic budgeting is the norm. When analyzing the collective spend between shopping and paid search campaigns on Google, shopping comprised 80% of retailers’ budgets in 2019, as it played a growing role in converting bottom-funnel buyers. While paid search comprised the remaining 20% of spend, retailers approached these ads with greater granularity to efficiently attract shoppers at the top of the funnel. A similar spend ratio continued at the height of the pandemic in 2020, coming in at 78% for shopping campaigns and 22% for paid search campaigns in Q2. This finding indicates the different yet important roles that each channel continues to play to drive the purchase funnel as e-commerce rapidly grows.
- Amazon’s changing presence on Google Shopping alters the competitive landscape. Amazon expanded its impression share to more than 50% in several retail verticals in 2019. But when Amazon’s impression share declined in Q4 2019, retailers had room to increase spend and win back impression share. A similar scenario played out in 2020 when Amazon dropped out of Google Shopping from mid-March to mid-June. It helped create a stronger opportunity for retailers to save spend (3% YoY in April and 5% YoY in May) while growing revenue (10% YoY in April and 12% YoY in May).
- Retailers are emphasizing efficiency on Google paid search. They spent 8% less on the channel to drive the same revenue in 2019. Likewise, strategies for driving cost efficiency are sticking amid the pandemic. In Q2 2020, paid search ROAS improved 98% and revenue increased 55% YoY.
Sidecar has produced its annual Benchmarks Report on Google Ads since 2017. It is the most comprehensive study of the retail sector’s performance on Google Ads. All editions of the report are available on Sidecar’s website.
ITSMA’s Marketing Excellence Awards Program honors the marketing programs and campaigns that have delivered superior performance in the four most critical aspects of marketing success: customer focus, innovation, execution, and business impact. The program focuses exclusively on marketing for B2B services and solutions and highlights the most important dimensions of a strategic and comprehensive approach to marketing.
“Amid the unprecedented challenges of 2020, it’s been a privilege for ITSMA to observe the standout performance of marketing leaders who have risen to the occasion with innovative approaches to growth, execution, and customer engagement,” said Dave Munn, President, and CEO of ITSMA. “We are thrilled to recognize Sidecar as a diamond winner for the entry that focused on its annual Benchmarks Report. It was evident that the success of Sidecar’s benchmarks program is based on the strong use of data, analytics, and retail expertise to create insightful reports for its customers.”
ITSMA announced Sidecar as a winner yesterday during its virtual awards ceremony, with ITSMA’s virtual Marketing Vision Conference following next week. For more information about the award winners, visit https://www.itsma.com/2020-mea-winners.