How METRO Cash & Carry used automation to boost ROI and cut CPO

September 2019

As customer behaviour becomes more complex, online campaigns are more difficult to manually optimise. Learn how one retailer collaborated with a GMP partner and digital agency to reach and convert more consumers at a lower cost.

The modern customer journey is complex and reaching targets across touchpoints with relevant messaging has become increasingly more difficult.

Manual bidding for keywords in paid Search campaigns, while taking into account a range of factors ⁠— including device type, language, region and product category ⁠— can be an overwhelmingly time consuming and inefficient task.

This was the challenge faced by METRO Cash & Carry in Ukraine. The retailer has over 25K products on its online store and advertising them on Search was becoming a huge burden on the marketing team.

The teams had been bidding manually across 1.7 million keywords in 300 campaigns, which also took into account the type of device targets audiences were searching on, delivery region and three languages.

Determined to streamline this process, increase the average order value and reduce the cost per transaction by at least 20%, the retailer worked with GMP partner Admixer and digital agency iplace to find a solution. In collaboration with the agency, Admixer led a strategy using automation to reach the right customers with the right messaging at the right time.

The team began implementing Search Ads 360, segmenting campaigns by region and category. With Google Analytics, they could target previous visitors to their site with remarketing campaigns.

Putting data to work

The teams began testing Search ads 360 Smart Bidding ability to increase revenue by setting a target cost per order. Using machine learning, the teams put data to work by automatically optimising for keywords that were delivering more conversions.

The real-time bid optimisation meant the retailer could reach more valuable customers at a lower cost, while the machine learning took care of the range of bidding signals including the user’s device, region, time of day or type of message that was being delivered.

Data that delivers results

During the first three months of using automation for the Search campaign, the retailer’s return on investment grew by 65% and cost per order fell by 33%, while order value increased by 10%.

Automation also means that teams spend less time on monotonous tasks and more time on things that humans are best suited to like strategy. The retailer reported that the automated campaigns reduced time spent on managing and optimising by an estimated 40%.

The retailer now plans to expand upon the successful campaign. “Having seen a good result in the first three months of using Search Ads 360, we can plan an investment increase in Search advertising,” says Viacheslav Ognov, E-commerce Manager at METRO Cash & Carry.

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