Mobile search case study: How George at Asda’s mobile conversions outperformed desktop

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With an improved mobile site in place, the team at George at Asda wanted to drive smartphone traffic and conversions through intelligent use of Google AdWords. This case study looks at how the clothing brand used smart keyword bidding to ensure that mobile outperformed desktop for search conversions for the first time in the account’s history.


Case study summary

• Clothes retailer uses AdWords mobile bid adjustments at key times of the day to capture most effective traffic

• Historical data helped gauge what times to test bid increases on key search terms

• More sales from mobile than desktop for the first time, with 58% of conversions and 52% of clicks from mobile.

• The cost per sale was also 46% cheaper on mobile than desktop.

The challenge

George at Asda wanted to make the most of new improvements to George’s mobile site, by increase mobile traffic and conversions and finding key times to capitalise on most cost-efficient mobile traffic.

With 53% of George’s total visitors coming from non-desktop devices, serving mobile consumers has become a key focus for the brand and its agencies, Carat and iProspect.

The plan was to use mobile bid adjustments at key times of the day in order to capture the most effective traffic.

“We recently redesigned the George m-site, giving customers a much smoother shopping experience with clearer navigation, improved imagery and checkout,” says Richard Barham, Digital Performance & Analytics Manager at Asda. “We see mobile as a crucial part of our online strategy for George. We know that our consumers are very active on mobile devices, whether browsing products, interacting on social media or making purchases.”

The solution

The brand implemented mobile bid modifiers to increase mobile coverage, and used a custom script to implement mobile bid modifications by the hour.

“Implementing the required bid adjustments was a simple process,” explains Richard. “There was some initial work required to understand historical data, which allowed us to gauge at what times we wanted to test bid increases.

Once we knew that, we took advantage of some internally developed custom scripts to allow us to tailor our mobile bid adjustments at key times.”

The Results

Using mobile bid modifiers generated a clear increase in mobile clicks and conversions. In fact, the activity saw more sales coming from mobile than desktop for the first time in the account’s history, with 58% of conversions and 52% of clicks from mobile during the test period.

Meanwhile, the cost per sale was 46% cheaper on mobile than desktop.

• 58% of conversions during the test period came from mobile
• 52% of clicks came from mobile
• Cost per sale was 46% lower on mobile than desktop
• Mobile conversions outperformed desktop conversions for the first time in the history of the account

“It was definitely interesting to see the shift in both desktop and mobile conversions based on the bid adjustments used,” Richard says. “Whilst we expected an increase in mobile, we did not necessarily foresee it exceeding desktop performance during that period.”

With these results to hand, the George team seems to possess a winning formula for the future. “We are now able to target mobile traffic on payper-click at key times, where we feel there could be a greater propensity to convert,” Richard says. “This allows us to capture traffic to the site at the right times from the right devices. This level of strategic thinking means we can have an even more considered approach to how best we spend our pay-perclick budget to get users to visit and shop at George.”

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