As a multinational online retailer of fashion, accessories and lifestyle products, Zalando takes a forward-thinking approach to digital marketing. The company's search engine marketing team decided to perform some experiments on the mobile channel.


  • Understand the value of mobile advertising
  • Increase performance of ads on mobile


  • Included cross device conversions in evaluation of mobile traffic
  • Modified bids for mobile Shopping ads and search ads


  • 47% of search advertising traffic now comes from mobile
  • Overall mobile conversions are up a third
  • Mobile ad impression share has grown 72%
  • Attributed a third more conversions to mobile cross-device activity
August 2015

"We knew that people start on mobile and then convert on desktop," says Zalando SEM Manager Steven Tellers. "Due to this we had a problem where we underbid on mobile; we were losing a lot of potential valuable mobile clicks this way."

The first test saw Zalando increase mobile bids in AdWords to reach parity with desktop bids, immediately resulting in twice as many mobile clicks on Shopping ads. "However, this blanket approach did not account for performance of different campaigns, therefore creating inefficiencies," Steven explains. To address this, Zalando worked with its Google account team to identify the real value of mobile in terms of cross device effects coming from mobile traffic.

Google built an automated report to show estimated cross-device conversions, which Zalando combined with other data sources to develop insight around the performance of its advertising on the mobile channel. "We determined that we were undervaluing mobile by about 30%, so 30% more conversions were in essence due to mobile cross-device effects, which we couldn't account for correctly before".