Sidecar was recently honored at the 2020 Search Engine Land Awards program for winning the “Best Retail Search Marketing Initiative — SEM” award, which, per a recent news release, “recognizes the most successful campaign utilizing best practices for paid search advertising in the retail and [ecommerce] industry.” Winning an award from Search Engine Land, a daily publication covering search engine industry news, may sound a little niche, but should be of interest to every retailer out there suffering from the same challenge described above.
Sidecar was hired by Summit Sports, a 30-year-old sporting goods retailer that has been in business since 1990 and has been online since 1997, to help manage its advertising program on Amazon. The retailer — which sells everything from paddleboards to kayaks to camping supplies — faces tough competition in the sporting goods sector. Prior to contracting Sidecar, it struggled with common marketing issues like managing ads for over 25,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) and adjusting campaign goals for different products in different seasons.
With a little (or a lot) of management, Sidecar changed the game for Summit Sports, growing advertising revenue by over 418%, increasing orders by 746%, and driving up clicks by 247%. Most online retailers will be open-jawed over those numbers, so how exactly did Sidecar do it? Well, it’s all about strategy.
“We believe artificial intelligence is the future of retail marketing,” explains the Sidecar website. “Retail marketers are facing a larger and more complex set of data and decisions than ever before, influenced by an increasing number of devices, channels and consumer experiences. Sidecar delivers the technology retail marketers need to execute their strategy, freeing them from daily, tactical decision making in performative marketing and empowering them to make an impact in the ever-changing retail landscape.”
Sidecar is making an important point here. The digital retail landscape has gotten so complex that it helps to have someone there to help you navigate it — especially if you don’t have the resources to hire an entire in-house team of experts to do that, as most big companies do. For the brick-and-mortar everyday entrepreneur, this is a viable solution that can enhance success.
Summit Sports is an example of Sidecar’s success. Once contracted by the retailer, Sidecar first worked to “adapt campaigns to peak shopping seasons and strategically ramp down spend during the off-season,” according to the company press release, allowing Summit Sports to remain efficient and profitable throughout the year. Additionally, Sidecar created both manual and automatic advertising campaigns on Amazon using its hybrid approach, which develops automatic campaigns for every item in the retailer’s catalog.
The results speak for themselves. “We had success developing goals for different products based on their margins and sales history, but actually implementing those targets across our product categories and adjusting during the seasonal periods was something that Sidecar excelled at,” said Phill Blaul, the Marketplaces Manager for Summit Sports. “What took our previous vendors weeks and even months to adjust takes Sidecar just a day or two. That has allowed us to adjust our strategy across all five product categories quickly and take advantage of seasonal opportunities.”
While there are other companies out there doing what Sidecar is doing, its integration of manual and automatic technology and positioning as a tech company first makes it unique — and the reviews speak for themselves. Outside of the Search Engine Land Award, Sidecar has accrued slews of accolades for its work, including a Marketing Excellence Award for its 2020 Ads Benchmarks Report and a 2020 Sales and Marketing Technology Award from Business Intelligence Group, as well as finalist positions in the 2020 Digiday Technology Awards and the ITSMA Marketing Excellence Awards. Having seen 576% growth in the past three years, Sidecar also earned Deloitte’s recognition as one of the top 500 fastest-growing companies in the US in 2019.
“Sidecar is focused on its customers, first and foremost,” said company founder and CEO Andre Golsorkhi. “We constantly turn to our customers to inform our innovation, whether that’s determining how to advance our strategic services, or identifying new channels to support with our artificial intelligence technology and automation.”
Keep an eye on Sidecar. It’s starting to zoom.
About the Author
Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.