Searches for Discontinued Products can Still Drive Revenue for Retailers

Posted by Stacy Gross, Account Manager

Many retailers think that if a product has been discontinued, they should no longer bid on that product name, model number, or other keywords related to that product in paid search.  However, this is not always the case.  A lot of retailers are leaving money on the table by pulling paid search campaigns for discontinued products.

For example, one of Performics’ global technology clients recently discontinued 7 product models and rolled out 7 new replacement models.  There was still searcher demand for the old models because some searchers didn’t know that the new models existed yet.  Instead of putting the old model keywords on pause, we continued to bid on the old model terms, which consisted of 100+ keywords.  We changed the ad copy for the terms to let users know that the product they were searching for had been discontinued and that there was a new replacement model.  The “sunset” ad copy also included short descriptions of the new model, in addition to language encouraging consumers to upgrade from the discontinued model they searched for to the new one.  The ads were redirected to the new landing pages built for the replacement models. 

Because the large majority of searchers were not aware that the products they were searching for had been discontinued, search volume for these products remained unchanged.  We have seen a 6 to 1 return on investment (ROI) on the old product keywords.  This is all incremental revenue that would have been lost if we had stopped bidding on the discontinued products. 

So when you’re rolling out replacement products, remember that consumers may still be searching on the old models.  Take that opportunity to educate them that you’ve released a new product that can still meet their needs.

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