Adjapparel boosts profitability and sales with search term isolation strategy

The company

Adjapparel, a leading wholesale company, has been designing, producing, and distributing apparel worldwide since 1976. With a focus on activewear, Adjapparel began selling its own product lines—Layer8 and Al1ve Magnetics and other household brands on Amazon in 2018.

The goal

After 10 months of managing its campaigns in house, the brand partnered with digital marketing agency Blue Wheel Media in June 2018 to expand its digital strategy and drive increased sales of Adapparel’s products, making sure to spend their budget in the right places.

Apparel is a competitive business on Amazon, especially when it comes to activewear. Instead of focusing on competitors and conquesting strategies which often result in wasted ad spend, we wanted to remain cautious on our first campaigns, so that we could use the resulting insights to inform our optimization tactics.– Ryan Burgess, Director of Amazon, Blue Wheel Media

The solution

Blue Wheel Media focused its initial strategy on “search term isolation”—which limits ad campaigns to specific keywords and match types that allow advertisers to precisely set the bid value for a given search term. Based on historical insights from previous Adjapparel campaigns, the agency divided relevant search terms into three Sponsored Products ad campaigns: manual targeting with exact match, manual targeting with broad match, and automatic targeting.

“Search term isolation” reserves the best-performing search terms for the exact-match campaign, bidding highest for those keywords with the strongest conversion rates. Knowing search terms like “men’s workout shirts” were more likely to convert based on past performance, Blue Wheel Media bid upwards of $2.00 and selected exact match to target any search terms that either matched this phrase or represented a close variation (in case of misspellings, plural forms, abbreviations, or stemmings). The agency then filtered the remaining search terms, which had historically lower conversion rates, into broad match campaigns and continued using automatic targeting campaigns to source new keywords.

For keywords with broad match targeting, ads appeared for any search terms that contained all of those words in any sequence. For example, when Blue Wheel Media targeted “basketball shorts," Adjapparel ads appeared in searches with additional descriptors like “women’s basketball shorts” or “basketball shorts small." Blue Wheel used broad match keywords to find long tail search terms and perform ongoing research for new keywords that could drive sales for Adjapparel.

Lastly, the automatic targeting campaign targeted complements in order to enable ads to appear in search and detail pages related to a brand’s products. Blue Wheel might have bid on keywords that correspond to activewear, like basketballs or yoga mats, allowing for the potential discovery of new, sales-driving search terms. As the broadest of the campaigns, the automatic campaign received the lowest bid of $1.00.

Our decision to place many keywords into the broad match and auto campaigns to start was a strategic one. We knew Sponsored Products would bring us results quickly and allow us to optimize on the fly. By using search term reports and automated keyword harvesting technology, we could pull additional insights to refine our campaigns and improve overall campaign efficiency alongside those optimizations.– Ryan Burgess, Director of Amazon, Blue Wheel Media

Reviewing a combination of search term reports and advertised product reports, Blue Wheel Media was able to measure spend, sales, advertising cost of sales (ACOS), and average CPC for each keyword. Using this data, they were able to move search terms that had high conversion rates from the broad match or automatic campaigns into an exact match campaign, where they could control the bid more precisely. By leveraging technology and Amazon Advertising’s API, these campaign modifications were done in real time, according to parameters set by the agency and their client.

The result

In 2019, just one year after partnering with Blue Wheel Media, Adjapparel decreased its ACOS by 50% and increased advertising revenue by 204% year-over-year. This performance translated to a 274% year-over-year increase in overall sales in May 2019.

With the help of Blue Wheel Media, Amazon Advertising has become an essential piece of our business growth. Sponsored Products have played a key role in growing Adjapparel’s brands in such a competitive business.– Allan Tawil, Director of Amazon Sales, Adjapparel LLC

Throughout the campaigns, Blue Wheel Media guided Adjapparel with these three recommendations for maximizing sales while minimizing cost:

  1. Avoid wasting budget on under-performing keywords by regularly checking your search term reports for underperforming search terms.
  2. Maximize your potential and profitability by working with an advertising agency or investing in software that can help with day-to-day campaign management, so you can focus on the bigger picture.
  3. Remember that apparel customers have strong brand loyalty, so it’s important to be wary of competing too aggressively with other brands and avoid directly targeting competing keywords initially. Focus on generic, non-branded keywords to start in order to maintain low ACOS targets and drive campaign efficiency.