Google Ads Case Study: eCommerce Apparel Retailer (Performance Max)


Ecommerce Retailer case study

If you’re an eCommerce store owner banging your head trying to generate more online sales; it doesn’t have to be so hard.

In this article, I’m going to show you my simple strategy for increasing my client’s sales more than 150 percent.

We’ll look at several points in managing and scaling this client's account including:

Plus, we’ll discuss some of the challenges I faced along the way.

Campaign Status

I was able to push the sales of this apparel retailer by 100 percent while maintaining their target return on ad spend of $3.

Chart Ecommerce Retail case study

I also scaled their spend by 84 percent and increased sales by 152 percent. This was achieved by targeting calls and new customers only.

Leonardo.Scaling For Ecommerce retailer

But, there was one main problem with this account that needed to be addressed before I could get these results.

Problem: Performance Max campaigns set up

The client’s Performance Max campaigns were set up without leveraging the creative assets that would allow this apparel retailer to truly shine. It didn’t allow them to show off the brand imagery and messaging that makes it stand out from its competitors.

Wrong Creative Assets.Performance Max

Also, it’s targeting for the Performance Max was too broad – it was targeting males and also other consumers that weren’t in their target segment.

So, the budget was being wasted. Their products were lumped together and not segmented properly by product type including creative and messaging matches, as well as seasonality of the products.

Solution: distinct asset groups and specific audience targeting

Distinct Asset Groups.High Funnel

In Asset groups pictured above, this category was not set up properly. Previously, it was targeting high funnel affinity audiences with all aspects lumped together. Meanwhile, it had the same creative while targeting all products.

This is not a beneficial game move. It helps to be more targeted.

Affinity segments.Performance Max

This is more of a catch-all campaign. It’s testing a variety of new video creative for this client, while seeing which products are going to stand out, as well as get the best Insight and reports.

Asset Groups.Shoppers.Retail

Then I could see how products are doing because they’re broken down into their own asset group.

Romper.Convert segments

For example, a romper would get a more specific target of females. This group would be similar to converter segments or consumers who are into fashion trends or summer fashion as an In-market segment.

Targeted asset groups.Boyfriend Blazer

But, then I implemented even more targeted asset groups going directly for people searching for a boyfriend blazer or other keywords.

Custom segment.Boyfriend blazer

In this audience signal, it shows some of the different types of keywords I was targeting. So it’s the direct type of customer that we want at the bottom of the funnel as well as the gender and age directly targeted for this customer.

Also, we’re not using any custom data segments, like email lists, because we only want to target new customers.

Asset reports.Performance Max

While we’re still in the Asset group, we can view, for example, this boyfriend blazer and look at the details. I would then review these reports and decipher the best creative assets in this campaign.

I also like to have specified assets to the product only. So, I'm showing someone that is wearing the product or different variations in lifestyle imagery showing people using the product.

Then, I like to include YouTube videos on top of that.

It’s good to incorporate targeting and targeted copy specifically for this listing group.

Lady wearing product.Asset report
Insights Tab.Ecommerce Retailer

I found these Insights by checking out the Insights tab. As we collected more data, I could narrow it down to a search category "Sweater with Leopards On It," and I would create an asset group specifically tailored to sweaters through creative.


Insights page.Understand performance

The conversions are mainly coming from the targeted search term rather than from the initial main testing asset group.

It was isolated to stand on its own. I would segment the sweater products from the main testing asset group and scale it. And as we scale and test and have more budget to play with, we can target these In-market and Affinities with less targeted assets.

Also, this account was able to scale even as it was limited by budget. By increasing the budget by about 20 percent either week-over-week or bi-weekly, that allowed it to slowly scale up and Performance Max wasn't forced to relearn. I was able to keep the account below threshold while maintaining that target. I was also getting enough data to complete testing.

Insights.vertical scale


1.      Low budget

One of the big challenges with this strategy is a lower budget and not knowing what type of creative is going to convert. That uncertainty makes it hard to get the right types of assets or combinations.

Image Combinations.Ecommerce

A lot of data will be impending, so, it’s going to be hard to know what assets are resonating. It will be necessary to A/B test to get an idea of what is performing. That testing will solve the question of whether to keep testing in a specific area.

2.      Insights

Knowing which Insights to target is another significant challenge. If, for example, I'm looking at online Black Friday shopping – that could be an In-market segment that I can shoot for, but I want to make sure I'm not spreading myself too thin given my budget.

So, it's important to know when to pick these Insights and understand where the client account stands. What are the store’s seasonal trends and promotions?

Wrapping Up


Campaign set up was a big factor in turning this client’s campaign around, as well as the challenges of a small budget and generalized Insight targets. By facing these problems strategically, I was able to overcome each one while scaling this account and pushing it to new heights.


If you would like more details on how to expand your online sales, book a free one-on-one consultation.


Need Some Help With Your Google Ads?

Shorten your learning curve, make the most of your resources, an maximize your impact both online and off.

Book Your Free Consultation

About the Author

Ted is the founder of TGQ Marketing a PPC, Analytics and CRO agency focused on client results.