Small Discounts, Huge Returns
pcRUSH takes Google Checkout promotions to the bank with triple-digit sales increases.
"Since we began marketing Google Checkout promotions on our web properties and working with Google to market campaigns, we routinely garner triple-digit sales boosts. It proves just how well the Checkout promotions can work in driving sales."
Matt Khalili Online Marketing Manager
The beginning of a beautiful friendship
pcRUSH.com is an online superstore for all things IT, where students can find laptops or computers for school, or businesses can purchase everything from switches and routers to scanners and printers. The company also provides GPS navigation devices, digital cameras, home video and telephony gear and more. Regardless of the technology, pcRUSH serves it up at the lowest possible prices – with 89,000 items in stock, the sheer quantity of the products pcRUSH buys from suppliers translates into formidable buying power. The company offers same-day shipping on most orders and an efficient supply chain to put the rush in pcRUSH.
Customer service, however, is the company’s true stock in trade. pcRUSH maintains a 5-star customer service and satisfaction rating and has been ranked among Internet Retailer’s list of Top 30 Online Retailers. "While it may sound cliché, we never consider a sale a one-time transaction, but rather as the start of a long-term business relationship. We want our customers to come back time and again for all their technology shopping needs," says Matt Khalili, online marketing manager for pcRUSH.com.
Confidence all around
Khalili learned early on that Google AdWords™ search advertising was a pivotal part of the marketing mix for the online retail superstore. Company surveys determined that pcRUSH.com visitors routed through Google search were not only more likely to purchase items, but also more likely to contact the call center and place an order with a pcRUSH sales team member. "Google AdWords and Google search not only increase our revenues, but also help us build direct and personalized relationships with customers," says Khalili.
In an effort to further increase sales and advertising return on investment, not to mention enhancing customer service, pcRUSH integrated Google Checkout into its site in 2006. Checkout helps reduce shopping cart abandonment because customers can purchase quickly and securely using only a single username and password – all of their purchasing information is stored in their Google Checkout account. Checkout also helps increase the effectiveness of AdWords. Khalili can add a Google Checkout badge – a small shopping cart icon – to his AdWords ads, making it easier for shoppers to find pcRUSH through Google search.
"We saw a strong positive impact on click-through and conversion rates as soon as we added the Checkout promo badge to our AdWords ads. And, with the addition of Google Checkout badge on Google Product Search, we gain more visibility and added buyer confidence," says Khalili.
Google Checkout also offers a Payment Guarantee that gives pcRUSH more confidence in processing and fulfilling orders. "Google payment protection provides the assurance that the orders we process are valid orders. This, in turn, significantly speeds up our order processing," says Khalili. "Google’s protection against fraud allows us to expedite orders at least twice as fast through our security, billing and fulfillment teams."
400% increase in transaction volumes
But pcRUSH views Google Checkout as far more than just a safe, secure payment option. The company has engaged in most major Checkout promotions over the past few years and consistently outperformed the general pool of participating merchants. pcRUSH had historically chosen the $5 off a minimum purchase of $30 Checkout promotion. Then, beginning with the Dads & Grads promotion in 2009, the company offered the $10 off $60 discount. Both discounts represent relatively small sums considering that the average order value on pcRUSH.com is approximately $550. However, as Khalili can attest, even small discounts yield huge returns.
For example, during Dads & Grads 2009, pcRUSH saw increases of 125% in gross sales and 151% in transactions, when compared to their sales during the three weeks prior to to the promotion. During the Holiday 2008 promotion, pcRUSH achieved even more dramatic results with an upswing of 210% in gross sales and 400% in transactions, also when compared to the prior three week’s sales. New buyer sign-ups were extraordinarily high as well. New buyers flocked to pcRUSH during Checkout promotions, generating sign-up boosts of 330% during Dads & Grads 2009 and 720% during Holiday 2008.
A two-way street
To further entice customers, pcRUSH has made Checkout promotions an integral part of marketing campaigns. During the Holiday 2008 promotion, the company featured the Checkout promotion banner on its homepage, experimenting with page placement until the optimal spot was found – on the left side prominently displayed below the search box.
During both the Holiday and Dads & Grads promotions, Khalili also made the promo banner static on every page of pcRUSH.com. Even if visitors did not see the homepage, they could still learn about the Checkout promotional offer. The company also leveraged its affiliate network during the past two promotions, advertising the Checkout promotion on all affiliate advertising sites and pointing consumers to pcRUSH.com.
Checkout is also committed to delivering high-impact marketing campaigns by promoting the offers of participating merchants through a variety of channels. For example, during promotions, pcRUSH’s AdWords ads are automatically updated with the orange Checkout promotion badge, which has a positive impact on click-through rates. During seasonal campaigns, Checkout also promotes merchant offers on special landing pages and drives traffic to those pages via ads on Google.com, embedded marketing on Google properties, and emails to Checkout buyers.
"Since we began marketing Google Checkout promotions on our web properties and working with Google to market campaigns, we routinely garner triple-digit sales boosts," says Khalili. "It proves just how well the Checkout promotions can work in driving sales."