Google: When George at Asda adjusted AdWords mobile bids according to key times of day, mobile outperformed desktop for the first time in the account’s history | MMA Global
November 12, 2014

George is the clothing range of the Asda supermarket chain, offering consumers quality fashion at affordable prices. 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.

“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.”

Smart marketing to smartphone users

With the improved m-site in place, the team wanted to drive smartphone traffic and conversions through intelligent use of Google AdWords. The plan was to use mobile bid adjustments at key times of the day in order to capture the most effective traffic.

“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.”

New approach wins clicks and conversions

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.

“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 pay-per-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-per-click budget to get users to visit and shop at George.”