Q&A: eBags’ Peter Cobb Explains Secrets to His Company's Record-Breaking Success
We also had some great deals out there for consumers. We negotiated with all of our 550 brands and said, "Let's not wait until the traditional period of Dec. 26, when you start giving us products that are on sale so that we can run inline with the traditional big-box department stores’ white sales in January. Let's play it differently. Let's have sales when shoppers are in our online stores."
One by one, the brands said, "I'm with you. It's been a challenging year, let's go for it." So they moved their sales up for us. That allowed us to go on sale with a lot of products starting Thanksgiving, which typically wouldn't be on sale until Dec. 26. That's a huge offering.
ROI: What recent campaigns contributed to eBags record sales, and why?
PC: The nicest thing about our five-day, 63 percent average increase stemmed from the two fastest growing marketing channels — SEO and email— and they're both free. The fastest growing marketing channels being the ones that have no cost is what you want to see. We didn't have to do TV ads or expensive marketing campaigns to drive our sales growth. It came organically.
From a marketing standpoint, we've put a lot of effort into keyword buying — trying to get more effective at keyword buying, and not just throwing money at keywords. We have a homegrown solution that we use for managing keywords. There's always potential for dollar leakage in putting money behind keywords that may not be working.
ROI: Anything you can improve for next year?
PC: There are always things that you look at. It's like homeowners looking at their kitchens. It looks perfectly fine to the outside eye, but if they live with it everyday you know there are some issues. We understand that consumers are impatient and want to have as few clicks as possible to find the perfect bag. That purchase funnel needs to continue to shrink.