Daily Insights

Watch Your Search Strategy

By: Nafia Islam | Mar 11, 2019

Search is the top factor driving users to watch and jewelry brand sites. It’s more effective than display, email, or social. Yet digitally-native independents and third parties now appear most of the time against branded keyword sets on Shopping ads, meaning that defending brand real estate is easier said than done.

As competition heats up among leaders like Cartier and Tiffany and third parties on Shopping ads, particularly for bridal keyword sets, a quarter of brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Watches and Jewelry are handicapped in the game. DTC e-commerce adoption is historically low in this high priced durables sector: only 61% of watch brands and 79% of jewelry brands offer online checkout, meaning a significant number of brands are lame ducks when it comes to defending Shopping ad real estate as the ad format monopolizes other formats in presence on search result pages.

Here’s how one brand without DTC e-commerce is pushing the boundaries on search and strategically maintaining its online Shopping ad visibility. 


Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin touts a local search ad strategy to fend off threats poised from grey marketers, resale sites, and digitally-native independents alike on Shopping ads. The brand invests in local inventory ads to be served against search queries made within the locale of a brick and mortar store. While this strategy notably has limits in reach, it underscores the importance of protecting brand equity in the age of disruption, where brand loyalty is declining and younger consumers are attracted to smaller, new and fun brands in addition to driving users into stores.  

Brands without DTC e-commerce struggling to compete on search should consider investing in new search ad formats such as local inventory ads. Lack of urgency from these brands on search allows outside threats to run rampant and guide shoppers away brand properties.