PLA campaign increases conversions by 259%

Zee & Co is a multi-brand designer retailer with a thirty year history in providing exclusive high-end fashions. Their collection encompasses both men's and women's designer clothing, from labels such as Polo, Ralph Lauren, Armani Jeans, Hugo Boss, Barbour and Vivienne Westwood.

Zee & Co website

In late 2011, Zee & Co and Periscopix began using Product Listing Ads. Product Listing Ads are a special ad format that appears when someone searches for products on Google.com and Google Shopping.

The ads feature a retailer's name, product images, and prices. Zee & Co liked the visual nature of these ads as well as the ability to manage which products are shown and measure revenue resulting from the ads. Since implementing PLAs on its menswear line, Zee & Co have maintained a 15 percent cost of sale — a number that greatly impressed the team.

Mobilizing PLAs

After a year of solid PLA performance and armed with a new mobile-optimized website, Zee & Co decided to begin running mobile PLA campaigns in January 2013. Similar to the company's desktop strategy, the company leveraged thead format to advertise specific items in its menswear collection.

To further improve performance, Zee & Co increased its mobile bid multipliers. “By using PLAs and mobile bid multipliers, we were able to maximise sales at a target ROI and extract every piece of traffic possible from the mobile channel," said Alistair Dent, Director of Paid Media, Periscopix.

Strong results are always in style

Since first implementing PLAs, Zee & Co PLA clicks have increased by 591 percent and PLA conversions have jumped by 259 percent. Conversion levels in September 2013 were so high that they surpassed those of the previous two Christmases. Historically September has always been a low point in comparison to Christmas which is the peak season for Zee & Co.

Periscopix have continued to optimise PLAs since launch, and the move to targeting products at individual ID level and continual monitoring of bids and SQRs have led to the substantial increase in growth.

Mobile PLAs have also proved to be extremely effective. Within a year of implementing mobile PLAs, these ads now comprise 22 percent of all their PLA conversions — all this with an average cost-per-click (CPC) 10 pence lower than that of desktop. Zee & Co will continue to invest in mobile PLAs because they know a large portion of customers visit the company site first on a mobile device and convert later on desktop.

In addition to PLAs, Zee & Co also saw strong results after Google Shopping's change from a free to a paid platform in the UK in February 2013. Before that time, the maximum number of conversions the company received remained fairly static. After the change, with the increased exposure on the search listing results page, conversions increased by 69 percent, and the percentage increase continues to grow — all without an increase in cost-per-click.

Looking ahead

Knowing how effective PLAs have been for Zee & Co, the company plans to allocate a much larger portion of its search marketing budget to these ads in the future. During the Christmas season and other sale and peak periods, the team will further increase its budget and mobile bid multipliers for PLAs.

“We will increase spend in this area to reflect the growth rate of our conversions. We expect to invest more in mobile PLAs over peak times to match the increase in mobile sales volume," says Joann Johnstone, Operations Director, Zee & Co. Overall the team is more than pleased with PLAs, Johnstone continues, “Conversion performance of mobile PLAs surpassed all of our expectations and Periscopix was able to shift our campaign strategy to take full advantage of this exciting ad format."

Quote from the client

“Conversion performance of mobile PLAs surpassed all of our expectations and Periscopix was able to shift our campaign strategy to take full advantage of this exciting ad format.”

Joann Johnstone, Operations Director, Zee & Co

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