£449,437 Year-on-year Increase in PPC Revenue

Focused PPC Strategy Leads to Huge Increase in Sales and Revenue: Childsplay Clothing

When we took over Childsplay Clothing’s PPC account, the company was running inefficient campaigns and doing so on a very limited amount of ad networks. We introduced a more comprehensive but targeted PPC strategy – with a focus on Google Shopping campaigns – and it led to a dramatic increase in revenue, sales, and return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) after just six months. In fact, they saw a £449,437 PPC revenue increase as a direct result of our efforts when compared with that same period the previous year.

About Childsplay Clothing

Childsplay Clothing is a UK-based children’s designer clothing retailer. Having started out as a single shop in Ilford, London over 30 years ago, they have transitioned into an online global enterprise. They are now one of the world’s largest online retailers of children’s designer clothes, selling clothing from a whole range of prestigious fashion brands, including:

  • Gucci
  • Burberry
  • Fendi
  • Moncler
  • Balenciaga

When the client came to us, their PPC account was being managed by another agency. However, we secured an opportunity to audit their advertising account and identified areas of wastage spend, alongside some good opportunities to increase spending and improve results.

Encouraged by our proposed strategy and projected ROAS increase, the client was eager for us to transition over into account management.

Childsplay clothing homepage

Our Approach

We conducted a thorough, in-depth audit of Childsplay Clothing’s account, remedied its inefficiencies, and then started getting the new campaigns live. During this time, we undertook the following tasks:

Account Restructure

  • Campaigns were restructured according to trademark brand, designer brands, best-selling products, and lowest-selling products.
  • Ad groups were segmented by gender and age.

This new, more granular PPC account structure gave us greater insight into campaign performance. More importantly, it gave us more control over spending and optimisation. It allowed us to paint a clearer picture of the interest, intent, and demographics of our client’s audience, which then continuously informed our campaigns.

Conversion Tracking

During our initial audit, we noted that not all high-value customer engagements were being tracked. Inaccurate or incomplete conversion tracking is something we often spot in our clients’ accounts during our first audit of their site. The biggest problem with it is that campaigns informed by such data will simply not perform efficiently.

As a result, we made sure that all conversions – from customer calls to email address/customer service contact clicks – were tracked. Full conversion coverage then fuelled Google’s machine learning algorithms and optimisation.

New Campaign Types

Before we began managing their accounts, Childsplay Clothing was only running outdated “Standard Shopping” campaigns. We launched “Smart Shopping” campaigns and they generated more traffic at a lower cost, more sales, as well as higher revenue and ROI.

A large reason for the success of our PPC strategy was the severe emphasis we placed on Google Shopping campaigns. We even worked with a feed management provider to optimise the client’s shopping feed and get the best results possible. But more on that later…

We also launched upper funnel campaigns to grow the company’s brand awareness. This included:

  • Dynamic search ads
  • Display ads
  • Discovery ads

Ad Copy Updates & Optimisations

We carried out frequent ad copy updates and optimisations based on seasonality, sales, events, and popular fashion trends and styles within each designer brand. We also experimented with audience-specific ad copy updates (different ad copy based on audience segments).

N (new) users were targeted with ad copy that aimed to educate them on the client’s offerings, USPs, and trust points. Conversely, R (returning) users saw ad copy that was more transaction-focused. We found that ad copy that emphasised the ease of buying resonated particularly well with returning users.

best performing ad copy

As you can see, new user ad copy focused on the client’s array of designer clothing for 0-16-year-olds, whilst returning user ad copy highlighted free delivery and easy returns.

An Emphasis on Google Shopping

We recruited FeedSpark, a product feed management and optimisation provider, to help fine-tune Childsplay Clothing’s shopping feed and drive Shopping campaign performance. This collaboration allowed us to optimise the client’s Shopping campaigns in the following ways:


Missing GTINs

Around 40% of products were disapproved due to missing or invalid GTINs when we took over the account. Whilst we were waiting for the client to add GTIN to their products in Magento – and there were thousands! – Feedspark purchased new GTINs and applied them to products with missing identifiers via their enriched shopping feed. This acted as an initial, temporary fix. 

Product Range Completion

FeedSpark enabled us to exclude products with “low range completion”. If a product was available in 10 different sizes yet only 2 were available, the range completion would be 20%. This would count as a “low range completion”.  

When product availability for certain sizes, styles, or colours is low, we have observed low conversion rates when working with previous clients. With this in mind, we excluded products with low range completion and, in turn, improved spend efficiency and noted an overall uplift in ROI.

Product Category Fixes

Google was pulling through adult clothing and accessory categories across a number of the client’s products. Therefore, products were remapped to baby/infant/children/teen categories to prevent them from showing for adult/generic searches such as “women’s GUCCI jeans” or “GUCCI sliders”. Correct matching would instead be “girls’ GUCCI jeans” or “kids’ GUCCI sliders”. 

Product Title Optimisation

We experimented with various product titles and descriptions. During this process, we chose to embed the top-converting keywords in titles to increase the likelihood of products matching to the most relevant and conversion-friendly searches. This helped to increase the CTR (click-through rate) of these ads.

The Results

Our new-and-improved PPC campaigns yielded the following results:

A sixth-month period from January to June vs. that same period the previous year

Impressions (9,659,171 vs. 77,742,781)
Clicks (253,915 vs. 981,005)
Sales (1,959 vs. 6,322)
Revenue (£236,748 vs. £686,185)
ROAS (£144,001 vs. £352,566)

When we look at performance over the first 6 months working with Childsplay vs. that same period the previous year, we scaled advertising spend from £92,747 to £333,618. This rather dramatic 260% jump in costs was justified by a 245% ROAS increase (£144,001 vs. £352,566) that followed as a result of more aggressive (but focused) spending. 

This meant that our PPC campaigns generated £208,565 more profit for Childsplay Clothing than the campaigns over the same period during the previous year did!

Google Shopping Results

The dramatic improvement in campaign performance is even more impressive when we focus solely on the numbers from the new-and-improved Google Shopping campaigns we launched:

A sixth-month period from January to June vs. that same period the previous year

Impressions (1,569,028 vs. 17,940,775)
Clicks (16,224 vs. 143,057)
Sales (111 vs. 900)
Revenue (£12,139 to £105,715)
ROAS (£9,130 vs. £66,712)

As you can see, the effort we put into optimising Childsplay Clothing’s Shopping campaigns certainly paid off. Although we spent an additional £35,994 (£3,009 vs. £39,003) on Shopping campaigns compared to the same 6-month period the previous year, this approach led to a £93,396 year-on-year revenue increase (£12,139 vs. £105,715). 

That equals a profit increase of £57,582 (£9,130 vs. £66,712), which is over a quarter of the total increase in profit from our PPC campaigns!

The Challenges We Faced

Whilst the results from this period certainly look the part, managing such a demanding and high-spending PPC account was not without difficulty. Retail eCommerce has many moving parts. It is a perpetual juggling act where you have to plan for a multitude of seasonal events and sales, as well as media impact.

During our time with Childsplay Clothing, we managed:

  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Regular sales: sitewide and across select brands
  • Seasonal clothing collections

There were, however, definitely some obstacles that we had to overcome throughout. For example…

Problem: Stock Issues

As is often the case for fast-growing eCommerce stores, the high growth of Childsplay Clothing led to stock issues. Our new, more targeted PPC campaigns meant that products were flying off the shelves at a much quicker rate than they had done previously.

In turn, many popular products were out of stock in most, if not all, sizes. This affected conversions and so – despite the overall success of the business – we saw this as a missed opportunity.

Solution: UX Improvements to Convert Out-of-stock Customers

As mentioned earlier, one way we combatted this issue was to exclude products with “low range completion” from the shopping feed. Although this did help to improve spend efficiency on Shopping campaigns, people could still arrive on the site (not via a shopping ad) to find that the item they wanted was out-of-stock. What could we do about these customers?

We suggested user experience (UX) improvements to their product page to help try and convert “out-of-stock” customers. Namely, we suggested they should use a “live” stock count and then provide alternative product options that were available in the relevant size. We used ASOS as an example:

Asos out-of-stock pop-up

At the very least, we suggested capturing these users’ contact information through, for example, a CTA button that said: “Contact me when back in stock”. This would allow them to be targeted via email marketing at a later date.

Whilst most PPC agencies would have deemed such on-page improvements outside the remit of their responsibility, we take a more holistic approach to digital marketing. Given that we also specialise in UI & UX design services, we will always naturally look at a website through the lens of user-friendliness.

Is Your PPC Account Overspending? Are Your Campaigns Targeted Enough?

Having operated in the eCommerce industry for over a decade, we have a deep, first-hand understanding of the issues that tend to stifle the growth of online businesses. We pride ourselves on identifying and solving them, and that is exactly what we did for Childsplay Clothing.

This case study is a chance for you to see our eCommerce PPC services in full swing. That is, to have a sneak peek into the methodology that our paid media specialists use to grow online stores. Of course, however, each strategy we create will be different and utterly tailored to the brand.

If you want to find out more about our PPC audit and/or ongoing account management services, why not book a free 30-minute discovery call and see what we could do for you?

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