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    Read time: 17 mins

    Explodes Their Sales From 30 To 90 Per Month During Covid-19


    Luxury adult E-commerce store supplies high-quality luxury toys and products direct to consumers within Australia using the web to generate traffic and sales.

    Before COVID-19 this Luxury E- Comm store was using AdWords to generate traffic and sales for their products and were recording a below-par average of 30 sales per month.

    COVID-19 then brought upon a further decrease in sales as consumer expenditure tightened.

    Our goal as the appointed marketing agency was to help this Luxury Adult E-Comm store generate more sales from their digital campaigns whilst maximising the efficiency of their current marketing budget.

    Phase 1

    Understanding Our Audiences Behaviour During Covid-19

    During a pandemic, it is very easy for business owners and marketers to go into panic mode. More often than not many prematurely hit the kill switch on all Marketing campaigns to try and minimise costs.
    Before this was even considered as a viable option, we suggested to the client that it would be best to firstly gain a deeper understanding of how our audience was reacting during this time. We wanted to know.

    1. Were they still spending?
    2. Are their luxury toy products still in demand?

    These two questions alone would help us justify as a Marketing agency whether there was any chance in us being able to generate more leads in this current marketing climate.

    The two main factors that were leaning in our favour

    • This Luxury Adult business operates strictly on the web
    • These luxury toys were products that fall into the Physological category of Maslows hierarchy of needs

    With these two factors giving us the distinct advantage we needed, we looked at measuring a more tangible asset… DATA

    We thought it is best to study consumer behavior in the months leading up to COVID-19 and during COVID-19 and this is what we found…

    Months Leading up to COVID-19

    As you can see from the screenshot above the clicks remained consistent, hovering around the 60 clicks per day mark. Consumer behavior remained normal at this point, no major shift in traffic.

    Months During and After COVID-19 Restrictions

    The screenshot above is quite fascinating because you can see how consumers have reacted in real-time. In green is the exact pinpoint to when COVID-19 was announced in Australia. The exact date being the 12th of March.

    If you look closely at the left-hand side of the graph, you will notice that the average amount of clicks raised from an average of 50 to 90 per day.

    If you look at the graph itself you will also notice the steady incline of visitors this luxury adult store was seeing through March, April & May where they recorded their highest number of clicks.

    So why can we assume this happened?

    During this time of lockdown, tighter restrictions and laws meant that people had more time and fewer things to fill it with. So, they turned to the internet.

    Here’s a quick snap of Australia’s internet usage Pre & Post COVID.

    There was a 71% increase in traffic.

    What did this mean for this luxury adult store… Opportunity!

    All we needed to do now was analyse whether our campaigns were designed to capitalise on this influx of traffic in the ability to improve our conversion results.

    Revisiting The Category & Research Driven AdWords Campaigns

    When setting up an AdWords account it’s hard to get the perfect balance of keywords right from the get-go. With any good creation, it often takes multiple levels of refinement, testing, and further refinement to come out with a well working model.

    This was the very situation in this case.

    A good AdWords’ campaign needs to have the following types of keywords within it to perform well.

    If you get this formula right, you are attracting customers through every stage of their buying cycle…. Happy Days.

    You get this formula wrong, and you can bet that you won’t generate anywhere near the number of conversions you need to survive.

    This Luxury Adult Store, unfortunately, didn’t have their keyword formula right. There wasn’t a good balance between the different types of keywords that were added to the account.

    Here is an example of the formula we like to use, showing a percentage balance of the type of keywords you need to create a successful Adwords account.

    We further investigated, looking at the data each keyword brought into the account.

    In January 2019 the luxury adult store averaged 2100 clicks for the month and converted 39 times.

    39/2100 X 100 = 1.86%

    This calculation above shows the conversion rate this Luxury Adult store was generating with the balance of keywords they had within their account.

    Now going back to my other keyword formula above with this figure in mind it would instantly tell you that the current keyword set up was incorrect.

    This Luxury Adult Store had a keyword setup that was attracting too many of the “X” or research type customers. Also known as the ‘Happy Clickers”.

    These are people who diminish your budget without any intention of purchasing because they are too early within their buying cycle.

    The account had too many of these ‘Generic’ type keywords.

    How We Drowned Out The Happy Clickers

    Let me provide you an example of what I mean. I will show you how much traffic a generic keyword such as ‘vibrator’ can produce.

    The keyword alone receives a whopping 15k in searches per month.

    Now to someone will little to no AdWords experience this looks great on paper. But in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

    You see a very, very small slice of those 15,000 clickers will be in the market to buy right now. I’m going to estimate that over 80% will be the Happy Clicker type or what we know as the budget suckers.

    All they are wanting to do is consume the following

    1. Information
    2. Imagery
    3. Video
    4. E-books
    5. Case Studies

    Or any piece of content available that will help them make an informed purchasing decision. The problem with this is this type of audience is too early in it’s buying cycle.

    Too many of these ‘Happy Clicker’ prospects unbalance the performance of your campaigns. In this case, the majority of their accounts clicks were being wasted on these generic category type terms, starving the good performing keywords of budget.

    This is why this luxury adult store could never scale and grow from an average of 30 conversions per month.

    So how did we boost our average conversion per month figure?

    We conducted a complete evaluation of our list of keywords using our MarketingLab keyword evaluation app.

    What this does is look at post and projected data figures to determine the value of the keyword to your account.


    Buyer Intent







    After completing this exercise, we were left with only a handful of keywords that were bringing value to the account in the form of conversions and sales.

    Month 1

    Identify Your Best Performing Keywords

    After being left with only a few keywords we noticed a distinct and key trend between them. They were either

    Product Name

    Product Variations

    This showed us that only customers at the end of there buying cycle were searching for our products using these types of category terms to make a purchase.

    This meant less happy clickers and more motivated buying customers clicking on our ads.

    We then decided to adjust our bids and clean up our ads, so that we can improve on what we knew worked.

    In the first month after the keyword refinement, we brought in 47 conversions.

    Month 2

    Expand And Build Upon Your Top Converters To Form A Web Around Buying Customers

    With our keyword list being squeaky clean and rid of all the invaluable terms, we could now let the data tell the story.

    We picked a handful of our top converters and built out ad groups, using correlating terms to capture customers who were searching for a product variation, type, model, color, etc.

    With every additional keyword added it felt like we were forming a web of buyer keywords that would be triggered when a prospect entered a search relating to our product.

    We were leaving very little to chance as we started to dominate the search results of Google.

    In month two we saw another increase in our conversions. This time we generated 70 conversions for the month.

    The extra 23 conversions produced from the previous month was a clear indication that what we were doing in terms of optimisation was working.

    We were doubling the amount of performance and conversion output the account produced compared to when we first took over.

    Month 3

    Construct Customer Avatars & Build Unique Bidding Strategies’ to Capitalise on Your Audiences Buyer Behaviour

    Although you cannot physically see it there is always a common trait or traits shared between a group that is shopping for the same type of product.

    When these unique traits are identified and joined they form what we like to call CUSTOMER AVATARS

    We started to analyse the key components that could differentiate one consumer from the next in a plow to formulate unique bidding strategies based on these key differentiators.


    (State, Region, Postcode)


    (Computer, Tablet, Mobile)

    Type of Device

    (Mac or Windows)

    Specific Time Of Day

    (Morning, Noon, Night or even Hourly)

    Affinity Audience Group

    Time Spent On Site

    Type Of Ad

    With our customer avatars built we formulated a bidding strategy that was unique to this store only, using trigger points to ensure it had a greater impact when serving our ads to this target audience.

    We had now created an account that was dialed in.

    By using data, customer avatars, unique bidding strategies, and tailored optimisation techniques we now had a winning formula that was producing 3X conversions. In our third month, we recorded 98 conversions .

    How we drilled into an untapped market to maximise our visibility to high-quality traffic at a fraction of the cost.

    Now I don’t think there is a better way to sell a product than getting it into a customer’s hands. Remember the old door to door salesmen?

    They would bring their product into your house and demonstrate it right in front of you. Why? This was the only way a customer could picture themselves using the product.

    Which got us thinking … How could we put the product in the prospect’s hands right from the get-go?

    The next best thing to your old school door to door salesmen is Google Shopping.

    Google shopping allows you to run with the image of the ad first.

    Yes, search ads are great, you can load them up with all your features, benefits, and even offers. But nothing hard sells a product like seeing it.

    With over 100 products in this adult store range, Google shopping would make it easy for us to list and advertise the whole lot.

    So, we started to investigate, searching on Google for some of the more popular products to see whether our competition was taking advantage of this ad platform.

    No Active Shopping Ca

    None of our competitors were using untapped traffic sources to drive awareness and visitors to their sites. The brands of these products weren’t even using it.

    But why? Why would everyone continually fight for top spot via Google search?

    This fight for the top spot on search was a bidding war that we didn’t want to be in any longer. We were trying to maximise the use of our budget and for that reason, we decided to act fast on this.

    The advantages of getting on board an untapped traffic source early

    • You get a head start on your competition
    • You pay a fraction of the cost for high-quality traffic
    • You get a test and find out which products work best
    • You have more visibility with two or more ads in the one search result

    This is an example of the Google Shopping ad that our customers see for one of our top selling products.

    We took complete control over this traffic source and the results were amazing.

    The example screenshot above shows our shopping ad sitting high and mighty over the search ads.

    What many marketers and business owners don’t know is that Google Shopping guarantees your ad to be listed at the top of search results.

    This means HIGH VISIBILITY

    But that’s not the only benefit. Google Shopping is more cost-effective than Google Search.

    Let’s compare to two.

    Search Ad vs Shopping Ad

    Search (Top of Page)


    Shopping (Top of Page)


    We were generating better ad positioning results for $1 less than our search ads, plus we had an image to go with it.

    Using this ad format meant for every three clicks a FREE visitor was gained.

    Now pairing Google Shopping and Search Ads together is where things get interesting. You can be seen twice as often if run both ad types. Google doesn’t discriminate, favoring your ad with a top spot on search & shopping.

    The benefits of occupying two pieces of prime real estate on Google is priceless, especially when you know who your target audience is.

    Check out some of the benefits below.

    • More time at the top of search results
    • Higher CTR
    • Improves Conversions By 37%

    The ultimate saving came when we looked at what kind of effect this was having on our bounce rate.

    By using an image ad, prospects could instantly come to a purchasing decision on whether the felt the product was right for them. This prevented them from wasting the click, as they now had more information to make a purchasing decision when we served them the ad.

    With everything pointing in our favour it was time to leverage from this momentum by adding more products to our Google Shopping campaign.

    Every few weeks we added 5 products to the campaign. Adding products in smaller amounts allows the new products to perform without disrupting the ones that are already bringing in good results.

    Today we host a range of over 40 luxury toy products on the Google Shopping Network.

    We are dominating what was once an untapped space as our campaigns work in unison to deliver an omnichannel experience to customers. This type of campaign set-up boosts our visibility by capturing high-quality traffic using image ads, which is then eventually converted into a sale.

    Can I Buy Now… Pay Later

    The Payment Facilitator That Generated Over $40,000 Of Extra Revenue

    Now that we had seen successes with our Google Search & Google Shopping campaigns it was time to turn our efforts to other areas that we could improve.

    Being a luxury adult store meant that the pricing between our products and competitors’ products were quite different.

    We were substantially more expensive, but the quality of our products was a cut above the rest.

    So how could we help our customers justify spending that little bit extra?

    We took to doing some investigation to see just how many of our prospects were adding to their cart but not following through with the sale.

    We noticed on average every month over 200 visitors were abandoning their carts, probably of the simple fact that our products were just too expensive.

    We were losing out on a great number of potential sales.

    Now most marketers would suggest running remarketing ads. But according to Google’s policy violations, you simply can’t remarket these types of products.

    We were stuck.

    All we needed was a campaign that motivated these abandoned cart customers into pulling through with their sale.

    With this strategy being off-limits we had to look for an alternative route.

    We could assume that most of these ‘Abandoned Customers’ all shared one thing in common. They were swayed based on the cost of the item.

    It surely wouldn’t have helped our cause if our potential customers were comparing our prices to our competition. But our toys screamed luxury, we just needed to make customers understand that.

    To counter this problem we decided to offer an alternative method of payment to break down the initial amount so that it became manageable.

    We suggested the third party payment facilitator that is Afterpay

    We added Afterpay into our search ads and onto our website to make customers aware of this alternative payment method.

    Many customers were now choosing to use the After pay service to secure the products that they desired.

    After pay was proving to be beneficial to the success of our campaigns in more ways than one.

    Let me share these successes with you.

    In 2019 a study showed that over 57% of consumers that used Afterpay when shopping required the service because it helped them better manage their finances and justify more expensive purchases.

    Within this study it was also noted that “A 2019 ASIC review found the majority of buy now, pay later users admitted to spending more than they otherwise would.”

    Now, this was quite an interesting fact to note, as our average order value was mirroring this exact claim.

    If you look at the screenshots for pre-Afterpay and post Afterpay you will notice that the average order value increased from $179 to $205 in just one month.

    Pre Afterpay

    Post Afterpay

    On average that is a $26 increase in every sale that we projected to make that year.

    Let’s do the math to see just how much extra revenue we were likely to make just from this increase in order value.

    In the year prior we had 1,778 sales. Times that by $26 and you have $46,228 in extra revenue thanks to implementing After Pay.


    We were able to overcome the main issues that the client was struggling with before coming to us. They were

    • Scaling and growing the business
    • Producing more sales from their marketing
    • Re-instating buyer confidence into their target audience

    We improved our budget efficiency by shaving off large amounts of wasted clicks brought in by generic keyword terms.

    We grew the accounts keywords list with product-focused terms to continue to attract high-quality visitors over to our site.

    We formed the ideal customer avatar-based on historical data to know exactly who we were speaking to, in order to have a greater impact when delivering our ads.

    We formed a unique bidding and optimsation strategy that was geared to maximise conversion output whilst minimising on budget spend.

    We explored the untapped market that was Google Shopping which allowed us to drive more traffic over to our website by using image ads to engage with our audience.

    We paired our Google Shopping & Google Search campaigns together to capture a larger percentage of the available market share.

    Implementing Afterpay onto our website and within advertising gave our customers more options when considering purchasing one or more of luxury adult products. The cost of our luxury goods became more manageable and allowed customers to break down their payments into sizable amounts. The roll-on effect of this meant customers were spending more and the value of orders continued to grow.

    Today this luxury adult store has a marketing campaign that is set up for maximum conversion and minimal waste.

    We will continue to grow and scale the campaigns and continue to look for more ways in which we can increase our dominance within this market.

    If you have any questions about any of the information shared above or you would like to speak with one of our performance marketing specialists, please contact us via chat.


    • Generate more direct sales from the web
    • Identify new strategies to generate sales in a pandemic ridden consumer climate
    • Maximise the current marketing budget to bring more value from their active campaigns
    • Uncover new pockets of highly qualified traffic sources and take advantage of cheap clicks and traffic
    • Minimise wasted costs and improve budget efficiency

    Stay in the loop

    Marketing Lab Blog is updated weekly with fresh new material, to help your business stay ahead of the curve.