Early-adopters Babyshop give an insight into what it takes to succeed in the rapidly-evolving worlds of mobile commerce and mobile search marketing.

Founded in Sweden in 2006 by Marcus and Linn Tagesson, Babyshop has grown from a basement-bound startup to a leading player in the world of premium children’s products, with offices in Stockholm, Oslo and London. Selling a wide range of high quality clothing, footwear, strollers and other baby-related goods, the brand aims to provide a convenient, one-stop shop for new families.

Babyshop campaign photo

As befits a business whose customers are always on the move and frequently short on time, Babyshop recognised the potential value of mobile commerce very early on, launching a fully functional mobile store as early as 2009. “The biggest challenge back then was to convince the consumer to actually convert directly on mobile,” says Marcus Tagesson, CEO of Babyshop, “and to get the marketing team to look at mobile as an opportunity rather than just a channel with lower conversion rates.” After an initial limited launch in Sweden, Babyshop optimised their mobile experience based on customer feedback and then rolled out the service across their other markets. This attitude towards testing and optimisation is still central to the strategy today, with Marcus saying: “we are always working to improve user experience on mobile, with landing page optimisation and A/B tests for mobile ad creatives and extensions particularly important.”

Marketing and measuring for mobile

With the Babyshop UX team working towards a consistent brand experience across all devices, the measurement team have been focused on a related question - accurately measuring conversions in a multi-device world. Cross-device conversion attribution is already a big challenge for most online businesses, while in-store sales attribution presents an additional problem for those with both on- and off-line stores. Babyshop have addressed these issues using the cross-device and attribution reports within AdWords and Google Analytics, gaining a deeper understanding of the contribution made by each channel in their media mix.

Knowing that their target audience of new parents is a diverse group, Babyshop use a wide range of marketing channels to reach them, including social media, TV and print. However, from the very beginning of their mobile journey, the team and their marketing agency, Raw Digital, have acknowledged the importance of mobile ads, and invested accordingly. “We were a pioneer within mobile e-commerce,” says Marcus, “and Mobile Search has been an important channel in our strategy for driving mobile growth. Adwords has always been a strong performer for us.”

Building on early success

As an early-adopter in mobile commerce, Babyshop might have expected to see growth tailing off by now, but Per Burman at Raw Digital says this is most definitely not the case. “Results from Mobile search ads have improved, with both conversions and sales from mobile search in AdWords increasing over 400% year-on-year across markets.” In addition to volume increases, the investment in mobile search has also paid off against Babyshop’s other KPIs, with conversion rates from mobile search increasing by over 100%, while return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) has improved by 50% year-on-year.

In the last year, the site’s mobile traffic grew by 90%, and is now providing better conversion rates and ROAS than tablet and desktop traffic in some markets, so the Babyshop team believe there is more to come. “Mobile volumes are still growing and in a lot of markets we are still very early on in the mobile evolution,” says Marcus Tagesson, looking toward the next stage in Babyshop’s mobile journey, “so mobile ads will definitely play an important role in our future growth.”