Taking the baggage out of luggage: how Stasher used search to scale up


This is a viewpoint by Alessandra Alari, head of search at Google UK.

Whenever a holiday comes around, I find there is a certain task on my to-do list that fills me with a profound sense of dread: packing. The process of condensing your life into a small portable drawer is often stressful but it is the crucial first step in any adventure, great or small.

However, an often underestimated pain for travellers after packing their luggage, is then lugging said baggage around airports and city centres with them. For travellers zipping between countries and only spending a day or even a matter of hours in a city, a suitcase of essentials can quickly morph from baggage into ballast – especially in the summer heat.

This is exactly the pain-point luggage storage brand Stasher aims to solve. Founded by three friends in 2015, the group launched the first luggage sharing economy brand. Based on the AirBnB model, Stasher works with a network of shops and hotels who have secure extra space for travellers to leave their bags.

After raising $1m of funding at the start of the year, the brand felt increasing pressure to build on its momentum and grow brand awareness, find more customers and start scaling the operation up. Stasher turned to Google Ads for assistance and, working with Google’s Accelerated Growth Team, it devised a strategy to achieve its goals and lay the groundwork for future success – empowering the business to enter into a staggering eight new markets and to safely store over 85,000 bags to date.

Stasher set out three clear goals to help it achieve its scale up ambitions:

  1. to use search to find more customers looking for better, lower cost, luggage storage solutions
  2. to grow the number of online bookings
  3. to launch Stasher’s services across new European markets.

Consumers ask questions online that signal their wants and needs in the moment. Stasher leveraged these behaviours through launching search campaigns with audience targeting. These campaigns allowed Stasher to target customers with relevant interests or passions (such as travel) and also reconnect with people who’d visited its site before but not made a booking.

Location targeting also meant it could reach potential customers in high-value areas, such as railway stations, airports or other places a left luggage service may be needed.

The second tool Stasher used to fuel its campaign was Dynamic Search Ads – a tool that finds customers searching on Google for precisely what you offer. Using the tool, Stasher could see whenever people searched Google using a common term or phrase from Stasher’s website. Google Ads would automatically use those words to select a landing page and create a highly relevant headline in the ad that appeared.

The final tool used by Stasher to achieve its targets was Enhanced Cost per Click (ECPC). ECPC works by automatically adjusting your manual bids for clicks that seem more or less likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website – this empowered Stasher to tweak its bidding and invest more in the consumers most likely to convert.

Working with Google’s Accelerated Growth Team over a six month period helped Stasher achieve its marketing goals and the business is now on track for long-term growth. Stasher saw an incredible 600% year-on-year growth using Google Ads products and a 20% increase in ROI since launching Dynamic Search Ads and using automated bidding.

Stasher is evidence of what is possible when a business uses truly scalable marketing channels. Even in an industry as fiercely competitive as travel and tourism, Stasher was able to move past the competition by truly considering its audience. Not only by examining the problems and challenges people were facing when travelling, but by recognising what signals these audiences would give when searching for solutions.

Reading, recognising and acting on these signals helped Stasher lift the weight off their customers’ shoulders and fuelled its brand with the insight to take off.

This is a viewpoint by Alessandra Alari, head of search at Google UK.

Opinions and views expressed by all guest contributors do not necessarily reflect those of tnooz, its writers, or its partners.

Related reading from tnooz:

Five become one as Stasher wins Expedia Affiliate Network startup initiative (July 2018)



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