Founded in 2004, apo-discounter.de is one of the top five mail order pharmacies in Germany, offering low prices, a range of nearly 15,000 products and fast delivery. When apo-discounter.de saw that more and more traffic was coming from mobile, the company decided to implement a mobile-first strategy across its advertising campaigns and online store.

“We saw a very strong increase in mobile traffic in a very short time frame,”explains Search Engine Manager Aileen Wagner. “However, our website was not optimised for mobile so we were in danger of losing many of customers, both old and new.”

A new design to address changes in consumer habits

apo-discounter.de responded to these shifts in customer behaviour with a redesign of its online shop. “We wanted a state-of-the-art site and chose to use adaptive design, which is able to detect whether a customer is on desktop or a mobile device and then displays a specific preset layout for each screen size,” Aileen says. “Our graphic designers paid particular attention to using a mobile-customised interface and clear navigation, so that the site loads fast and customers can find the product they are looking for quickly.”

To make sure the company was serving customer in the best way possible, apo-discounter.de conducted usability testing before and after the launch of the new site, optimising it on a daily basis.

In response to shifts in user behaviour, apo-discounter.de used mobile-preferred advertising together with adaptive web design

Revamping the bidding strategy in AdWords

Alongside the launch of the new mobile-optimised site, apo-discounter.de also changed its bidding strategy in AdWords. “Because we assumed the old website would discourage rather than attract customers, we had excluded ads for mobile devices via an appropriate bidding setup,” Aileen reveals. “Immediately after the launch of the mobile-optimised shop, we placed mobile search ads and increased bids steadily in order to leverage mobile top-of-page visibility.” These mobile ads have been integrated in the existing AdWords accounts to facilitate comparisons with existing ads and ad group histories.

We wanted a state-of-the-art site and chose to use adaptive design, which is able to detect whether a customer is on desktop or a mobile device. Our graphic designers paid particular attention to using a mobile-customised interface and clear navigation, so that the site loads fast and customers can find the product they are looking for quickly.

Aileen Wagner, Search Engine Manager, apo-discounter.de

Significant growth in conversions

Mobile traffic share as part of apo-discounter.de’s total traffic has increased from 28% to 44% year over year. Today, Google search generates 69% of traffic, both organic and paid. Out of that, AdWords ads represent 60%. apo-discounter.de has made huge progress in boosting AdWords conversion rates on mobile since the launch of the new site. While desktop conversion rates have increased by 8%, mobile conversion rates have increased by 33% year on year. The share of mobile conversions has increased by 46% in the same time span.

Since the launch of our m-commerce site, we have seen a huge increase in sales. Due to this success, we are shifting our whole company business model to a mobile-first approach.

Christian Richter, Online Marketing Manager, apo-discounter.de

“We are very strictly evaluating the KPI ‘converted clicks’ as the basis for optimisation instead of the KPI ‘conversions’, where one click could account for multiple transactions,” Aileen explains. The main analysis tool is Google Analytics, and results are utilised for the ongoing improvement of the bidding strategy.

Following the success of the mobile-optimised version of the online store, the company has rolled out an adaptive design approach to other domains in its portfolio, such as apotheke.at. “We are very satisfied,” affirms Online Marketing Manager Christian Richter. “Since the launch of our m-commerce site, we have seen a huge increase in sales. Due to this success, we are shifting our whole company business model to a mobile-first approach.”