VOLT Lighting Boosts Sales on Amazon With Multichannel Marketing Solution
VOLT Lighting is an outdoor lighting retailer specializing in factory-direct, professional-grade landscape lighting. The company advertises on Google, Bing, and Amazon.com, along with Facebook and trade publications. With bandwidth at a premium, VOLT Lighting sought a partner with a multichannel marketing solution that could ease day-to-day operations and improve performance. VOLT Lighting partnered with Sidecar to increase performance across the company's product catalog, reduce manual campaign management, and drive more sales.
In this interview with Total Retail, Matt Rehm, e-commerce manager at VOLT Lighting, discusses the brand's improved performance selling on Amazon, and the factors that have led to it.
Total Retail: Why did VOLT Lighting decide to advertise its products on Amazon?
Matt Rehm: We design and manufacture our own products and sell direct-to-consumer, predominantly via voltlighting.com. As we weighed new distribution channels, the world’s largest online retailer held obvious appeal. But beyond the sales that we drive on Amazon, we felt building a strong presence on its marketplace was vital for brand awareness. Consumers are increasingly beginning their shopping journeys on Amazon rather than search engines or brand sites. Growing our visibility on Amazon has enabled us to reach new consumers, including those at the top of the funnel who may ultimately convert on our own site.
TR: What challenges did VOLT Lighting encounter in trying to manage its Amazon Ads?
MR: Our primary challenge was that we weren’t spending very efficiently. We were hitting our average cost of sales (ACOS) goal, but just barely, and at a very low spend, while only leveraging Sponsored Products (not Sponsored Brands, which I had tested unsuccessfully on my own). Secondarily, managing our Amazon Ads was placing further strain on my already limited bandwidth.
TR: How has Sidecar's Amazon solution helped to address those challenges?
MR: Thanks to Sidecar, we saw a 22 percent decrease in our ACOS, which enabled us to ramp up our ad spend and in turn drive more sales. Sidecar has also successfully leveraged Sponsored Brand campaigns, which help us achieve our goal of increasing brand awareness. And of course, Sidecar has taken the heavy lifting of Amazon campaign optimization off my plate, enabling me to focus more of my time and energy on improving our content, expanding our catalog, and so on. All of this has been possible because Sidecar is very attuned to all aspects of our Amazon presence. We don’t just talk about how a given campaign is performing; we have an ongoing dialogue about which new products we’re adding to our catalog, how I’m enhancing our content, how we should approach Prime Day, as well as any issues that are affecting our account or general questions I may have about Amazon best practices.
TR: What are the business benefits that VOLT Lighting has realized as a result of working with the Sidecar for Amazon product?
MR: We’ve effectively tripled our Amazon sales. Over the past 30 days, we’ve had higher sales than we saw in the 90 days prior to partnering with Sidecar. Equally important, because we’re spending much more efficiently, we’ve been able to scale up our ad spend and serve far more impressions, which in turn grows our brand awareness. And on a personal level, now that I’m not bogged down in the day-to-day campaign minutia, I’m free to pursue larger wins for our business, including the continued expansion of our marketplace strategy.
TR: How frequently is VOLT Lighting analyzing the performance of its Amazon Ads campaigns, and then making adjustments based on those results?
MR: Sidecar’s technology continuously analyzes our Amazon ad campaign performance. It manages and optimizes keywords, bids and campaign structure based on changes in performance or as we add new products. I look at performance daily, and have an open dialogue with Sidecar about progress to ensure we’re continuing to grow results and meet our ACOS goal. In turn, Sidecar’s team ensures the technology is adapting to variables such as adjustments to our channel strategy.
TR: Looking forward, what is VOLT Lighting doing to improve future performance for its advertising performance across different platforms such as Amazon, Google, Bing, and others?
MR: We believe in continuous improvement across all of our channels — whether it’s by strengthening our A+ Content; expanding our catalog and adding videos on Amazon; or enhancing the design, usability and functionality of voltlighting.com. Delivering the best possible user experience is where it all starts for us in terms of growing sales and ensuring the continued success of our campaigns. Regarding advertising strategy on Google, we’re currently testing brand awareness and purchase intent video campaigns. We’re also leaning more and more heavily into responsive display, and we’ll soon launch our first Discovery campaign. On Amazon, we’re testing the Demand Side Platform, both for a link-out campaign promoting voltlighting.com and a link-in campaign promoting our top Amazon ASINs.