Mark Hayes 01/23/2012

Advertising on Autopilot Using Shopify App Lexity

Ask any small business owner who’s opened the Pandora’s box of online advertising and they will tell you: it’s a headache. Between keyword bid management, multiple ad platforms, and a plethora of acronyms like CTR, CPC, and CPA, it’s as if the advertising world deliberately conspires to make itself as confusing as possible. What starts out as a small experiment can quickly consume a significant amount of your valuable time and resources. But wait, you could always hire an ad agency, right? Sure—well, that is, if you’re willing to shell out thousands a month or a high % of your spend.

Mark Costigliola, the managing director of Shopify store EarthLED told me how they successfully solved their advertising problems by using the Shopify App Lexity, which automates online advertising for your store. They've used the App since 2010, and it can automatically manage keywords, ads, bids, shopping feeds, synchronization with store inventory, and real-time customer tracking.

Using Lexity, EarthLED saw significant improvement year over year:

  • Sales revenue increased 27%
  • Visits increased 42%
  • Pageviews increased 54%

“The key factor to compare here is we did not have to increase our ad budget or time spent to achieve these numbers. This has been via managing our advertising via Lexity versus managing it ourselves.” (Mark Costigliola)

The Problem

Managing advertising took too much time and effort. Since opening their digital doors in 2007, EarthLED has found success as one of the largest distributors in the country of LED bulbs. Costigliola and his team started out managing Google AdWords themselves but found it took too much time and effort, and they didn’t want to have to pay someone to do it full-time.

“There was a lot of maintenance involved; anything with pay per click was difficult to manage internally. We could have only done it if we’d hired someone to take care of it full-time, but we knew pay-per-click advertising worked for us and got a lot more eyeballs on our product. So as soon as Lexity came around it was something I was interested in.”

Their Solution

Lexity simplified EarthLED’s online advertising. "We had used other platforms before trying Lexity. Now that we've tried Lexity, I don't ever want to mess with going back and doing it on our own again." Costigliola says Lexity greatly simplified managing EarthLED’s online advertising. In fact, Mark was so accustomed to needing to manage everything himself that it took some time for him to realize that he didn't have to anymore.

“I had to step back and realize: Lexity makes it a lot simpler. You have to think simpler. You can stop thinking about logistics and start thinking, what do I want people to find me by?”

Since EarthLED started using Lexity in June 2010, the App has undergone some dramatic changes that added transparency and finer controls. Lexity used to be more of a “black box”, Costigliola says. The App added real-time customer tracking in March, and in September last year, the App unveiled a completely new interface, which allowed users to view and edit all ads and keywords, added more detailed reporting, and the abilities to advertise specific products and use retargeting ads. Costigliola says the new interface makes it easier for him to “tweak things and tailor what our team is doing around what’s going on in Lexity.”

The Results 

More Sales, Visits, Pageviews, and Free Time. Using Lexity, EarthLED achieved a 27% year over year increase in sales revenue, 42% increase in visits, and 54% increase in pageviews.

“The key factor to compare here is we did not have to increase our ad budget or time spent to achieve these numbers. This has been via managing our advertising via Lexity versus managing it ourselves.”

Costigliola says Lexity saved him hours of time:

“We used to spend roughly 5 to 7 hours per week on Google Adwords, and we now spend about 10 to 20 minutes per week at most tweaking Lexity based on suggestions it makes to us. This is 3 to 5 hours I used to have to spend on this process personally. For someone running a company this is a huge amount of time to now be able to spend on other items.”

Cool Feature: Real-Time Feed of Customer Activity

Costigliola’s favorite feature, though, is Lexity Live View, which shows you a real-time feed of all customer activity in your store. "I love using Live View every day. I keep it on a screen all the time.” He says Live View has helped give the EarthLED team instantaneous insight into their business and how to improve it.

“Live View has given us a lot more intelligence about how our business operates, and how different things we do during the day affect who's coming to our site. It gives us a finger on the pulse of our business. Being an ecommerce store, if you can't see what's going on in your store at any given time, you really don't know what's going on.”

“I'll watch it and be able to see if someone purchases or abandons the checkout. Or I'll post something on Facebook and start seeing people come in from Facebook. It’s an instantaneous reaction to what you're doing, and because it's something we can watch and measure, it's helped us to be a lot more proactive in what we do every day. It's revitalized how we update our site, because we update things more frequently when we can see we're getting results. For example, we've added a lot more categories and different ways for people to find different products on our site, and we've seen how that helps people actually buy a product. Live View is one of the best things that’s been added to the platform.”

Advice to Shopify Users

Since Shopify store EarthLED has been using the App for over a year now, we asked him if he had any advice for new Lexity users.He kindly gave these three tips: 
  1. Stores that are brand new on Shopify should start with the Overall Store or Specific Products themes, as the Retargeting theme works best for stores with significant traffic.
  2. Since Lexity factors in store copy to make keyword recommendations, Costigliola also recommends that new users make sure their site and product pages have good content to increase the likelihood of good performance from Lexity.
  3. Users should learn to step back (like he did) and “let Lexity do its job…follow what it’s asking and you can’t go wrong.”

You can find Lexity in the Shopify App Store! There are no fees for the first 3 months, and Lexity Live View comes free when you use it  for your online advertising.