The competition between German sports retailers heated up as Christmas drew nearer. Which ones had particularly successful PPC campaigns in the weeks leading up to December 25th?
The companies included in this online sports retailer study for the German market were Zalando.de, Sportscheck.com, Adidas.de, Otto.de, Engelhorn.de, Deichmann.com, Intersport.com, Frontlineshop.com, 11teamsports.de.
Their share of voice (SOV) and share of spend (SOS) over the course of a month (according to data provided by Adthena) were analysed.
Three top retailers were studied in detail in order to analyse the selection of keywords being bid on in the general sports retail segment. These were Zalando, Sportscheck, and Adidas, all of which sell a variety of sports-related clothing, gear, and shoes. Zalando and Sportscheck also stock an extensive selection of non-sporting goods.
Share of Voice
[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″ href=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/TopCompetitorSOV.png” title=”Top sportswear retailers share of voice, Adthena data” src=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/TopCompetitorSOV.png”][/lightbox]
From November 28 onwards, retailer SOV standings were divided into two groups, with Sportscheck and Zalando at the top with about 20% SOV each and the other competing retailers far behind, each with less than 5% SOV.
On the 4th of December, Zalando pulled far ahead of all other retailers, holding an average of around 30% for several days, and dropping slowly back to around 10% SOV on average for the remainder of the month.
As mid-December came around the standings levelled out considerably. Zalando and Sportscheck still maintained top positions, but much closer to the rest of the retailers.
From the 22nd of December Sportscheck pulled above the rest, raising its SOV to over 20%. It dropped back on a level with Zalando by the 26th.
[lightbox rel=”group1″ width=”860″ href=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Keywordheadtohead.png” title=”Top sportswear retailers, keywords head-to-head, Adthena data” src=”https://www.adthena.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Keywordheadtohead.png”][/lightbox]
Among the thousands of keywords returned in the results, Zalando produced many non-sports-related results, such as prom dresses and evening dresses.
It is not surprising therefore that Zalando bid on the largest number of keywords with a total of 2,763, while Sportscheck bid on 1,974 keywords and Adidas on 1,864.
Looking at keywords that have potential relevance to all retailers, but were bid on by only one or two, can lend insight into potentially valuable keywords that are being neglected by some retailers.
Sportscheck were the only retailers to bid on the keyword “zumba schuhe” (zumba shoes). All three retailers stock a large range of shoes that are appropriate for Zumba fitness classes. As such, Zalando and Adidas could be missing out on traffic from searches including this keyword.
Similarly, they bid on “zip hoodies,” “bademode herren” (men’s swimwear), and bademode damen (women’s swimwear). All three retailers stock swimwear and bid on some variation of “bademode,” but including the more specific keywords in their campaigns would prevent them from needlessly losing traffic to others.
Zalando bid on 421 unique keywords, including specific brand models like “adizero one” and “adidas handballschuhe” (handball shoes). However, many of the keywords Zalando bid on are extremely vague. Keywords such as “running,” “tasche,” (bag) and “tricot” (jersey) are a few examples.
Adidas bid on a total of only 24 unique keywords. Some of these included “fenerbahce trikot 2014” (fenerbahce jersey 2014), “basketball schuhe kaufen” (basketball shoes sale), “rückennummern nationalmannschaft 2014” (backnumbers national team 2014), and “schuh shop” (shoe shop), most of which have relevance to the other retailers.
All three retailers bid on Adidas branded terms, such as “adidas clima cool.” All three also bid on various permutations of football jersey keywords, including “national trikot deutschland 2014” (national jersey Germany 2014).
Zalando and Sportscheck bid on many other branded terms such as “nike outlet,” “puma,” “reebok outlet” and “reebok schuhe” (shoes).
Zalando and Sportscheck bid on the keyword “adidas rugby,” but Adidas did not. In addition, Zalando was the only retailer to bid on “rugby schuhe” (shoes).
Adidas bid on the long tail keyword “adidas adilette selbst gestalten” (create your own Adidas Adilette), while all three retailers bid on “adidas adilette badeschlappen adi blau weiß” (Adidas Adilette blue/white bathing flops).
Strangely, Zalando bid on “adidas tischtennisplatte,” (table-tennis table) which is not a product it sells.
Value for Money
Overall, Zalando held the highest share of voice, but spent disproportionately more in order to obtain it. Sportscheck got better value for money in their SEM campaign, with a higher SOV/SOS ratio, but lower overall visibility in the search engines, while Adidas showed the best campaign efficiency of all sports retailers.
Optimising PPC campaigns can be a difficult task. Fortunately, in-house marketing is made much easier with the right tools for the job, especially with a competitive intelligence for search tool such as Adthena.
(Main image credit: See-ming Lee/flickr)