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How to Maximize Sales and Minimize Waste with a Dedicated Mobile Shopping Campaign

By Tony Capetola on February, 18 2019

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Tony Capetola

SVP, Partnerships + GTM - One of the original founding members of the S&O team, Tony oversees strategic partner development and go-to-market planning for our Channel, Technology, and Agency partnerships.

It truly is becoming a mobile-first world, especially in the realm of ecommerce.

According to Statista, nearly 40% of all ecommerce sales in 2018 and in the US alone were attributed to shoppers using mobile devices to purchase goods online.

That figure is estimated to near 45% as of 2019, and by 2021 over half of all ecommerce sales in the US are expected to stem from mobile shopping.

Considering this, how can retailers capitalize on the trend when it comes to successfully optimizing their Shopping campaigns? Most merchants rely solely on bid modifiers/bid adjustments for their device segments, and thus must balance percentage increases and decreases using a broader approach.

This often leads one to ignore the potential gains in utilizing a dedicated campaign just for mobile shoppers.


Getting Started: Mobile Optimization

Before getting into building and managing your dedicated mobile campaign, the first thing you need to do is ensure that your ecommerce website is ready to handle the traffic. So, ask yourself:

  1. Is your website optimized for mobile?
  2. Is your ecommerce theme mobile-responsive?
  3. Is your checkout optimized for mobile?
  4. Does your website render quickly enough on a mobile device?

Google offers an excellent tool, the Mobile-Friendly Test, you can use to gauge how easily a visitor can use your site on a mobile device.

This is where you need to start. While you can just spin up some Shopping campaigns and hope for the best, your Conversion Rate and Revenue won’t necessarily survive today’s mobile shopper who is looking for, above all else, convenience and simplicity.

Shopping Campaign Setup

Whether you have existing campaigns or not, setting up a dedicated mobile Shopping campaign is straightforward regardless if you are doing so in either Google or Bing Ads.

There are only 4 levers you need to “pull” to ensure that a campaign only targets mobile shoppers. For example, in Google Ads, this can be achieved by adjusting your device settings modifiers.

If you have existing campaigns and want to set up the dedicated mobile:

  1. Create the new campaign first
  2. Navigate to Devices
  3. For all devices besides mobile, simply set your bid adjustment to decrease 100%
  4. Now go to your other, previously existing campaigns
  5. For just mobile phones, simply set your bid adjustment to decrease 100%

If you are just starting out and have no campaigns:

  1. Create two (or three) identical campaigns
  2. Navigate to Devices
  3. Set the decrease bid adjustment to 100% to each respective campaign to block the others

So, for your Computer segment – Tablet and Mobile will each be -100% and so on.

Pro Tip: Set the TV screens segment in all your campaigns to -100%. This is a new segment in Google for ad placement that has very little value at this time.

Now, you can truly understand how each device segment performs on its own, leaving you a lot of room to manage and optimize your campaigns according to each unique set of shoppers.

Key Optimizations to Implement

While you’ll have to balance your budget between multiple campaigns now, you can better control your budget based on the top performing segments. You may want to allocate more budget early on to your new mobile-only campaign so it has enough juice to produce results.

Additionally, you can now perform bid adjustments based on device performance versus implementing broader bid strategies and relying on bid modifiers to let Google or Bing ads decide how to present your products to worthy customers.

When looking to maximize sales and minimize waste, you will now be able to set up unique optimizations specifically for mobile shoppers:

Custom Ad Schedule

Over time, you will want to consider analyzing day/time performance of your segmented Shopping campaigns. Shoppers behave differently across devices as it pertains to WHEN they do their browsing versus purchasing.

With a dedicated mobile campaign, you would be able to create a custom schedule based on past performance that can help minimize wasted ad spend during periods when people are more likely “window shopping” by setting decrease bid adjustments when you see high impression/click volume but little to no conversions.


Every campaign should be outfitted with RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search/Shopping Ads). There is absolutely no reason NOT to set them up.

The difference now is that RLSA audiences for a dedicated mobile campaign will retarget and attract mobile-only shoppers. This will allow you to measure how a remarketed shopper interacts with your ads on a mobile device and compare it to other device shoppers.

You can further set bid adjustments on the RLSA audiences themselves based on the specific target (ie Cart Abandoners) helping to cut down on waste and improve returns.

Negative Keywords

It is likely that search queries from mobile devices will a little different than that of, let’s say, computer shoppers.

At least once a week you should spend a good amount of time analyzing your Search Query Report in your ads account. If you do not have a local, brick and mortar operation, then common mobile-only queries such as “near me”, “nearby”, “around me”, should be added as phrase match negative keywords.

This will eliminate local shoppers who are more than likely just looking to visit a retail location to make a purchase OR are even ordering online to then pick up in-store.

Showcase Shopping Ads

These new formats are designed to help retail and brand advertisers to attract even more customers through their PPC campaigns--especially when targeting people who’re browsing through mobile devices.

(Images courtesy of Google)

That’s because the ads you’re displaying on a third-party website take your audience to a Google-hosted landing page, containing live promotions, product descriptions, prices and products from your product feed.

Research by Google found ads taking the Showcase slot drive a 3.6x higher click-through rate than standard ads, and they receive 20% more conversion credit with first-click attribution.

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