You may already notice that these days, after you look at a product on a website, you start to see the product in ads everywhere. This is called remarketing. It is a very common marketing technique being used to sell a product that you are probably interested in, or even already purchased. To me, if you show me ads about a product I recently purchased, it is most likely that you are wasting money. Advertisers could suspend this kind of ads by setting up a negative audience group that are customers who already purchased, so the product won’t show to the customers in any ads for a certain period of time (e.g. 30 days). However, it seems most advertisers don’t bother to do it, especially retailer websites, I guess maybe the setup cost to suspend ads based on purchases is probably bigger than the money they could save. I also heard that saving advertising costs is not in the interest of marketing because that means the budget will be smaller next year. I am interested to know if anyone actually did any analysis or research on this.
Recently, I experience a pretty extreme case of poor ads experience that it’s not only a waste of advertiser’s money, it’s also a waste of my time and it really frustrated me. I am interested in the Logitech K400 Plus keyboard, and Bing Lee was doing a promotion for $29. That is way lower than the normal retail price $49 ~ $59. So I went to Bing Lee website to try to buy it, but it was out of stock. In the next few days, I see the ads about this keyboard.
That’s cool, but every time I clicked through, it was out of stock. To make things worse, the Bing Lee website can’t show you which store has stock. You will have to fill out a form to check for availability. Why bother?
A few more days later, I saw the ads again, and I thought maybe they restock it since it’s been almost a week. The ad was still showing $29 as the price, but once I clicked through it’s $59, and it’s still out of stock!
So, a few things Bing Lee did really badly here
- Keep advertising a product that’s out of stock
- Lack of in-store product availability information
- Keep advertising the promotion price even after the promotion is finished
The price is in a data feed that the advertiser uploads to the ad platform regularly, it’s not that hard to update it after the promotion is over.
It seems Bing Lee really needs an upgrade of their technologies to allow real-time data to flow between the systems and work together for a better experience. Well, it is time to check the MSY PDF again to see if there is a better price for the keyboard.