American Apparel upgraded early to AdWords enhanced campaigns to reach customers across all screens. They started by setting mobile bid modifiers at 100% and saw impressive results- since the upgrade, mobile conversions have grown 100% and aggregate click-through-rate has increased by 7%.


  • Reach on-the-go target audience across screens
  • Bridge gap between mobile online search and in-store purchases
  • Make smarter marketing decisions based on solid data


  • Upgraded early to enhanced campaigns
  • Took advantage of location extensions and site links
  • Set mobile bid modifier at 100% to reach on-the-go shopper


  • Increased mobile conversions rate by 100%
  • Increased click-through-rate by 7%
May 2013

American Apparel is known for its passion and innovation in selling fashion basics like sweatshirts, jackets, dresses, and socks. The company designs and manufactures clothing in the United States at its campus in downtown Los Angeles and distributes to 250 stores worldwide.

The target audience for American Apparel is male and female aged 18 to 34, and with now 67% of users starting to shop on one device and continuing on another [1], it became a top priority for the marketing team to reach this audience across all screens.

The company not only focuses on mobile commerce, but emphasizes other types of conversions, such as driving in-store traffic. Sean Singleton, Marketing Manager for American Apparel explains, "we want to exploit online marketing to drive offline, store traffic."

We set the mobile bid adjustment at 100% around a set radius from our physical store locations in order to shift more traffic to these locations

A strategy to reach out to on-to-go shoppers

American Apparel needed an easier, better way to reach their customers wherever they are, whenever they are searching for American Apparel items or stores. The team had previously spent an inordinate amount of time duplicating campaigns and ads to target people searching on smartphones across various devices. When enhanced campaigns launched, Singleton saw the ease with which it could help his team manage multi-device campaigns and immediately started upgrading his campaigns.

Enhanced campaigns provides a flexible and precise way to optimize bids according to the users’ context such as device, location, time of day. The company started with the campaigns that had the strongest "local intent" keywords. For instance, campaigns which included variations of the keyword "American Apparel Store," that catered to on-the-go shoppers. The goal was to drive customers searching on their smartphone to the nearest store location. Enhanced campaigns made it much easier to reach consumers near the point of purchase decision, and across all devices.

When American Apparel upgraded to enhanced campaigns, another key new feature that they started to use were the upgraded sitelinks. With this feature, the company was able to precisely track how individual links and landing pages performed and make adjustments accordingly.

Mobile conversions increased by 2x

By using the proximity bidding feature in enhanced campaigns, American Apparel increased its bids against a desired radius of location, which enabled them to gain more control over where the ads are shown: "We set the mobile bid adjustment at 100% around a set radius from our physical store locations in order to shift more traffic to these locations," says Singleton.

American Apparel has been thrilled with the results so far. Mobile conversions have grown 100% since the upgrade and aggregate click-through-rate has increased 7%. Through analysis of Sitelinks clicks, the company has also a better overview of their site performance.

"We are going from trial to fine-tuning the way we execute our multi-device marketing strategy," says Singleton. "With enhanced campaigns, it’s very easy to test and iterate, so we are quickly establishing internal best practices in terms of how to run enhanced campaigns."

[1] The New Multi-Screen World, Google / Ipsos, August 2012