Cotswold is the UK’s biggest outdoor sports retailer and one of Channable’s oldest clients. Cotswold’s journey with Channable began through their sister brand Bever back in 2016. Bever’s marketing agency introduced Channable to the brand to help them make advertising on an individual product level possible. But also to solve their current discrepancies in feed marketing across the whole group. Justin Walmsley is the Digital Marketing Manager for O&CC group and shared his experience so far.
One of the nice things about Channable is that when you build a new feed it’s got all the required fields in there for you, with the existing field mapping. Making it very easy to replicate and build new feeds.
Experts with the wrong gear
Outdoor and Cycle Concepts (O&CC) is the leading UK outdoor retailer that owns Cotswold Outdoor, Snow+Rock, CycleSurgery and runnersneed. It is part of the AS Adventure group that also comprises Bever. With over 30 years of experience, they call themselves the experts for all outdoor sports gear. They offer personalized fittings and customization for a variety of sportswear. This meticulousness could also be related to their preference of managing their own feed marketing and desire to advertise on an individual level. Unfortunately, this was not as easy to do due to a messy master feed and each brand using their own feed marketing methodology. Which can cost more money and affects group wide synergy.
Bever’s master feed was made up of many nested fields which made manual feed management incredibly complex. The data would need to be split up on an item level so that they could advertise on an individual level and not only group. Whilst the O&CC group were familiar with feed management tools and had a high level of feed marketing, there was a general consensus that it was more desirable to find one tool that could be used across the group. They were looking for a tool that was purely functional due to their already advanced knowledge of feed management. Channable was rolled out across the whole O&CC group within a couple of months and two years later, the group is as proactive as ever in Channable. They currently use Channable for optimizing and maximizing the visibility of their bestsellers.
Using attributes present in our master feed we’re able to exclude low value and low conversion rate items.
Scaling up mountains and across the web
Justin shared that “Channable has helped us to scale pretty quickly across multiple platforms and not be held back when using new platforms requiring custom development”. Last year, Justin and the team at Cotswold decided they wanted to begin using Criteo. “We had the feed up and running [for Criteo] in 1.5 hours.” Justin highlighted that “from an efficiency perspective, Channable’s contribution is evident”.
Recently, Cotswold has been using Channable to optimize its Google Shopping marketing efforts. “We’ve worked hard to make the feeds significantly better. To exclude products not worth marketing and push products that are and giving them custom options to maximize visibility.”
One particular functionality that has helped them do this, which Justin hadn’t seen in any other tool, is the combine imports option. “We have a nightly import from a script that runs through Google sheets. It pulls in the last 30 days of product revenue and then applies a custom label to the top 50 products in the feed. We can use Channable to merge this data and make sure that we are doing everything we can to ensure maximum visibility for our bestsellers.”
Rules: it’s a love-hate relationship
Using Channable to an advanced level didn’t just happen overnight though. “In the beginning, it’s hard to get your head around the logic and the hierarchy of rules. But now we’re comfortable. Channable gives you all the functionality within a feed environment. From a cloud-based SaaS perspective, I’d recommend Channable. It’s easy to manage and well worth having a central feed management platform than having many of each.”
For the future, Justin and the team “are looking to streamline the use of Channable. Sometimes we’ll make a change in a feed but muck up and lose time”. The introduction of master rules in Channable was welcomed by Justin as they often use standard rules to fix typos or translate terms i.e. pants to trousers. Justin and his team are also looking forward to trying the new date rules. However, one improvement Justin did have for Channable was that “it would be good to see rules that have the ability to cross reference attributes”.
Justin believed that until the day comes that the export channels learn to scrape all the information from your shop, feed management is most definitely important and Channable is a simple way to centralize it all.
It’s a good tool and it’s doing what we need it to do.