Data driven attribution helps Apotea grow Shopping ads revenue by 269%

June 2018

Online pharmacy Apotea sells everything you would find in a regular pharmacy, including pharmaceuticals and a wide range of health, beauty and pet health products. Customers also get the expert advice of pharmacists just like in a traditional pharmacy. Facing growing competition from companies with aggressive goals and powerful investors, Apotea’s aim is to become the clear market leader. With that in mind, the company launched a project to maximise sales through Google Search and Shopping ads while maintaining profitability.

About Apotea

Founded in 2003

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden


Maximise sales

Maintain profitability


Set clear KPIs for profitability levels

Used KPIs to automate budget decisions

Switched to data driven attribution model

Activated Enhanced CPC (ECPC) bid strategy


Grew revenue from Shopping ads by 269% while maintaining high return on ad spend

“We have very high goals to achieve this year, both in sales and results”, explains Pär Svärdson, CEO. “As an online pharmacy we have to be visible online with our wide range of products, making people aware that they can find everything they need at as well as get home delivery in only one day at no extra cost.”

To maximise sales from both Google Search and Shopping, Apotea worked with its agency AdRelevance to set clear KPIs according to profitability levels. They then used these KPIs to automate budget decisions within an unlimited target budget. Their focus was twofold: new customer growth as well as maintaining reoccurring customer loyalty.

“We use Google Search and Shopping with great results. Google Analytics is also a key in how we do follow-up on the results of our marketing campaigns.”

– Pär Svärdson, CEO, Apotea

The team switched to a data driven attribution model in AdWords to get a better picture of all the touchpoints that contribute to a conversion. That helped to reveal the importance of generic search in purchase decisions. Apotea and AdRelevance consequently increased the budget for generic search, which lead to a leap in sales while maintaining high return on ad spend.

To maximise conversions for both Search and Shopping campaigns, they also switched to Enhanced CPC (ECPC), an automated bid strategy that adjusts an advertiser’s cost per click (CPC) in situations that seem more likely to lead to a sale and lowers the bid for situations that seem less likely to lead to a conversion.

“Our detailed Shopping ads strategy made it possible to dominate the search results for both generic and specific searches”, says Karl Lindberg, Client Lead at AdRelevance. In fact, Apotea’s Shopping channel showed 269% revenue growth in 2017 while maintaining a high return on ad spend. This in turn contributed to significant bottom line growth: overall, Apotea’s sales grew to 1.5 billion SEK in 2017, an increase of 55% year over year. The company’s overall profitability doubled in 2017, and Apotea currently has approximately 55 to 60% of the online pharmacy sales in Sweden.

“We have had fantastic results in sales and return on investment, which is why we have chosen to spend most of our marketing money on Google”, Pär Svärdson affirms. “As a result, practically all our online visibility is through Google Search. We´ve just implemented Google Tag Manager and are looking forward to seeing how it can help us understand our customers further and spend our budget more intelligently with AdWords.”

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