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Etsy boosts sales, achieves greater efficiency with Smart Bidding

About

Etsy is an online marketplace for unique and creative goods–from handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures—that aims to “keep commerce human.” Founded in 2005, the brand currently has 1.9M sellers and 33.4M buyers worldwide (as of Dec. 31, 2017).

Etsy wanted to leverage new automation technology to scale its marketing efforts and improve cost efficiency. After testing Target ROAS and Target CPA bidding, the brand saw an increase in conversions and ROAS.

Results

  • Target CPA strategy on Search yielded 113% increase in conversions and 109% increase in ROAS.
  • Target ROAS strategy on Shopping yielded 47% better returns vs. third-party auto-bidding solution.

Goals

  • Leverage new automation technology.
  • Scale marketing initiatives.
  • Improve cost efficiency.

Approach

  • Ran two-month test comparing manual bidding, third-party bidding, and AdWords Smart Bidding to identify which method would maximize sales volume and improve efficiency.
  • Identified Smart Bidding as the winning strategy, optimizing bids based on auction-level signals.
  • Rolled out Smart Bidding across all always-on Product Listing Ads (PLA) and Search campaigns.
While humans power the creativity behind Etsy, marketing is increasingly becoming a math problem, and machines are simply better at math than humans. Using Smart Bidding has helped us discover a meaningful pocket of opportunity to scale our paid search program.

—David Zhang, SVP & General Manager, Etsy

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