Recognising the pandemic was particularly hard for small businesses, TRADE ME, a platform made up of mostly SME retailers, wanted to help its customers compete against the big retailers as the world shifted online.
Searching for data solutions
The answer to helping these businesses started with growing and focusing on good data through the Google Cloud Platform and leveraging real-time capability to deliver listing information to Trade Me’s Google Marketing Cloud Stack.
This allowed Trade Me to promote an additional 12,000 small Kiwi businesses through Google Shopping.
This approach was beneficial to both sellers and Trade Me as Trade Me takes a small percentage of the sale price of anything sold on the platform. By utilising Trade Me’s marketing budgets and big data, the company was able to help small businesses show up on Google. Trade Me’s data, combined with SEM automation techniques and constant learning and adjusting, meant it was helping small businesses get noticed and be competitive during the pandemic, at a time when they needed it most.
With Google’s move to automation, the goal of ad rank improvement called for a pivot to utilising this feature at scale. Data became the key to boosting sellers.
It was soon discovered that the richest data source across this community of small businesses were the products themselves. These posed a collective treasure trove of signals to feed the automation engine.
Although Google Shopping is the prime automation tool to build on product data, this hadn’t been scaled before due to limitations with Trade Me’s internal systems. Now however, the opportunity to do so arose through the Google Cloud Migration project and MarTech strategy.
This was done by utilising a Content API solution from Google to pass listings from the Merchant Centre through Google Ads and make them available for advertising.
However, even Google Shopping was only accessing part of the product data treasure trove. The other important part was historical product trends and inputs that could be processed and automated to improve ad copy and contribute to ad rank.
The goal of wanting to get the most out of the product data formed the Trade Me’s strategy to grow its big data pool by engaging small business sellers to build Google Shopping Merchant Centres, as well as mapping historical product data to feed automation, improve copy and supercharge ad performance.
After a lot of engagement with internal teams to make sure the Merchant Centres were set up to suit each individual seller, the results started to show with revenue results beyond belief.
YoY SEM Seller Revenue jumped up to +58.9 percent, which was 110 percent up on the original goal. And the new search ads saw a huge improvement in their rank and performance.
Not only did this strategy showcase the opportunity for growth that is possible within Trade Me’s data and marketing technology, but it also helped New Zealand’s seller community get through a difficult time during the pandemic.
Excellence in MarTech Strategy
Championing Small Business by Growing Big Data
“A real partnership between Trade Me and product sellers, with mutually beneficial success. Sophisticated use of data and technology in adopting a new selling approach. You’ve expertly mastered the scale and complexity of the technology data interface in real-time, as well as the opportunity it presented for your business. Extraordinary results for both Trade Me and your sellers.”
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Excellence in MarTech Strategy
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This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of NZ Marketing. Click here to subscribe.