Three consumer trends affecting your AdWords performance and how to make the most of them

Understanding the buying behavior of your customers is crucial if you want to attract them to your products and make sales. This is as true online as it is in the store – especially when it comes to optimizing your AdWords campaigns. In retail, it’s all about timing. By analyzing the right data, you can make smart decisions about when you should present the right messages to your potential customers.

Furthermore, the right customer data will help you to fine-tune your account and significantly improve its performance. A good understanding of customer behavior means your messages are there at just the right moment when the customer is primed and ready to click on them.

Based on our extensive research and analysis for our clients in the fashion retail sector, we’ve identified a few key points you should consider when working on your campaigns. In this post, we will give you some insights into the behavior of consumers and how you can use those patterns to improve your ad performance. We will focus on three key aspects: timing, device usage, and your shop’s conversion delay.

Timing: When is the best time for your ads?

Online shopping activity is not constant across the week, but rather varies depending on the market and the day-to-day habits of the people living there.

For example, this analysis of German online shoppers indicates that search volume tends to be lowest from Wednesday to Friday. But, once the weekend begins, shopping activity increases drastically and peaks on Sunday.
total-trafficData for DE Brand. Jan – August | Desktop & Mobile

A simple way to benefit from this trend is to consider adjusting your ad schedule and allocate more budget to days when your customers are most likely to buy. By fine-tuning your scheduling, you will be able to show your ads when your customers are most likely to be in the mood to buy. This will also increase your presence online at a time when a potential customer’s interest in your site is at its peak.

Devices: When do customers use which devices?

Your customers will use a variety of different devices during their day. Once you understand when and on which device to target your potential customer, you open up a huge amount of potential for optimizing your ad conversions.
Our research shows that during the week, most shopping activity happens on desktop computers. However, during the weekend we can see a totally different picture, with most shopping activity happening on mobile devices.


Data for US Brand. Jan – August | Desktop & Mobile

In this case, you should consider raising your mobile bid modifiers during the weekend to increase your visibility during the times when your ads are most likely to reach your potential customers.


Conversion Delay: When does the Buying Decision take place?

The time between when a customer first clicks on an ad and when they actually make a purchase, is what we call the conversion delay. The actual length of this delay depends largely on the industry and type of products.

We ran an analysis on the fashion industry to see if we could find a way to optimize your account based on this delay. The following graph shows that almost 80% of the conversions in the fashion industry happen within three days of the customer’s initial click on an ad:


Data for UK Generic. August 2016 | Desktop & Mobile

In order to make sure that you convert as many of your customers during this time period, you should consider implementing remarketing lists which target these users within this specific period of time.

Considering the industry’s conversion delay, the best strategy would be to focus on cart abandoners before those first 3 days run out, as this audience is the most prone to convert. Targeting your customers this way will result in higher CPCs, but our experience shows that this is counterbalanced by a higher conversion rate, which can reach 25%.

Retargeting is an easy way to significantly boost your overall performance and increase the visibility to an audience that is more likely to convert.

Optimizing your campaigns

Analyzing the behavior of your customers is an essential step for any successful advertising campaign, and AdWords campaigns are no exception. With this information, you can…

  • Use scheduling to allocate more budget on the days with the highest amount of traffic
  • Adjust your bids to reflect the device your customers are using
  • Use remarketing lists during the first 3 days of a customer interaction

Understanding when and on which device your customers are searching and making purchasing decisions will give you a massive advantage when it comes to optimizing your campaigns.