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Accu plays smart with Smart Shopping Campaigns

  Article , Retail , Success stories

Manufacturer doubles conversion rate and triples impression share

Accu Logo

Shopping for precision engineering

British component supplier, Accu, is a firm that’s leading the way when it comes to transforming the traditional component sector. From screws and spacers to high-performance gears, bearings and pulley systems, Accu prides itself on supplying quality, high precision engineering solutions for industrial applications — in a digital-first approach.

Removing the need for physical catalogues or time-consuming processes, Accu’s platform is capable of completely automating the supply chain, removing the need for human touch points.

This digital-first approach is paying off. Dominic Scaife, Head of Marketing and Strategic Planning at Accu hired PPC specialists Mabo specifically to handle Accu’s digital presence on Microsoft Advertising. When Smart Shopping Campaigns became available to test in the UK, Mabo jumped at the chance to get Accu on the pilot, which yielded stunning results.

We were up and running with smart shopping in minutes and let the machine learning do its business.

— Phoebe Holford, PPC Team Manager, Mabo

Maintaining visibility as the underdog brand

“One of the biggest challenges we have experienced with Accu is getting them the visibility they need when they are competing against some of the largest retail brands in the world,” said Phoebe Holford, PPC Team Manager at Mabo. Although Accu products are precision implements they operate in a niche industry, and so to gain traffic they often end up competing on the same keywords as large DIY retailers. Maintaining a high impression share against retail giants whilst also keeping to a reasonable return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) target was the challenge set before Mabo.

“When we took on the account it was in healthy shape, but we saw ways that we could cut wastage and optimise to make the campaigns more efficient. We managed to improve the search campaign performance which increased the overall ROAS, but we were still struggling with impression share, especially in Shopping Campaigns,” admitted Phoebe.

The Microsoft Shopping Campaigns had reached a plateau where incremental effort and bidding was not yielding optimal results. “We felt we were making marginal gains with Shopping Campaigns but there was unlocked potential in smart shopping so we were eager to test it,” said Phoebe.

Easy implementation with Smart Shopping Campaigns

Having acquired access to the beta in November 2020, the priority for Mabo was to set up the Smart Shopping Campaign in the Microsoft Advertising user interface. One of the major benefits of Smart Shopping over standard Shopping Campaigns is the ease of implementation. As Phoebe explained: “We built the campaign from scratch rather than using the import tool. Typically, we would separate campaigns by product which can be a lot of effort to roll out, but we know that best practices for the smart algorithms is to make things less granular, so we opted to put the entire inventory into a single ad group.”

Mabo Logo

The simpler campaign structure made implementation much less time consuming than a standard shopping campaign as well as being easier to control and optimise later. “We were up and running in minutes and let the machine learning do its business,” commented Phoebe.

Starting from scratch, initial results were slow, with just £3 spent by the end of the first week. However, after two full weeks of letting the algorithm learn and adjust the smart campaign, the results started to come to fruition.

Transformative results

A month after implementation, Smart Shopping had overtaken performance of the standard Shopping Campaigns which were running in parallel, and by January 2021 half of all Accu’s conversions were coming from the Smart Shopping Campaign.

Thanks to Smart Shopping, Accu’s impression share tripled, bringing the brand much needed visibility. In January 2021, Smart Shopping delivered double the conversion rate of standard Shopping Campaigns and achieved 20% higher ROAS whilst increasing sales by an incredible 15X.

“We’ve been amazed with the results, the smart campaign has been transformative for this client,” said Phoebe. As a result of the automated solution, smart shopping also freed Mabo to work on deeper insights in analytics and led to further opportunities to promote custom manufacturing using products like LinkedIn Profile Targeting and Microsoft Audience Ads.

Dominic Scaife commented: “Mabo has deep expertise with the Microsoft Advertising platform, and I’ve been really impressed with what they’ve been able to achieve for us. Smart Shopping has been a game changer for our results and allowed us to scale our business whilst maintaining a strong ROAS.”

Smart Shopping has been a game changer for our results and allowed us to scale our business whilst maintaining a strong ROAS.

— Dominic Scaife, Head of Marketing and Strategic Planning, Accu

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