3 Mobile Considerations in Retail Paid Search

Mobile traffic continues to grow and become a larger part of everyone’s paid search campaigns. Now with Google AdWords enhanced campaigns heading down the track like a freight train, it’s time to reevaluate how you think about mobile for your retail accounts. Here are three things you should discuss with your retail clients.

1. Measuring the Impact of Omni-channel

It’s easy to measure sales as a conversion point to help value your ad spend in mobile. But what happens when those sales don’t look ROI positive? Is it time to turn off mobile like some poorly targeted content campaign? No.

google-mobile-additional-action-conversionsYou need to be more considerate of the way that consumers are using mobile devices to understand the value of the channel. Google’s Mobile Search Moments research reported that 73 percent of mobile searches trigger additional action and conversions.

Non-order events (calls, store locator visits, e-mail signups, etc.) also have value. If these channels didn’t have value, you wouldn’t have built them as a part of your site, right?

Mobile offers are a great way to get some real data that applies to your business. My agency ran mobile offers campaign and found that for every one sale via mobile, 11 more converted offline. This is huge and really changes the way you value that ad spend.

Even using Google’s calculator to help understand this is a step in the right direction. Whatever your specific approach is, please question that approach if it’s exactly the same as your desktop strategy. If they are the same, then you aren’t taking in the full picture.

2. Becoming OK With the Fact that Tablets = Desktop

Like it or not, desktops and tablets are merging. Yes, they aren’t exactly the same thing, and every bit of detail and optimization available at the device level is helpful, but this approach won’t scale.

If you think about it, with the Microsoft Surface or all HP Touchsmart products, most desktops will act like tablets and vice versa.

One bit of good news for retailers: CPCs, CTRs, and conversion rates are pretty inline across devices.


Even though these metrics are similar, you still need to consider how you adapt those experiences by device given customer quality, or life-time value.

3. Optimizing to Mobile is Critical

With enhanced campaigns coming, many people will take the easy way out and let all performance just roll together. If you still think that’s OK, let me make it clear: you must continue to optimize at the device level as much as possible.


Looking at the difference in CTR or quality score, you can see the difference in performance needs to be acknowledged. Think about the bid modifications you need to make, or ad copy and landing page experience.

Even the call to action may not make sense to be the same given the specific product or service.

New connected devices are rolling out every day and the implications to paid search marketing are more critical than ever. Retail companies have to acknowledge that a customer on a mobile device may find more value in a map than a direct response call to action.

Think about the value the ad is providing to the customer, and the downstream data you will use to optimize that message. You’ll find yourself in a better spot.

Related reading