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Google Adwords Case Study: Havaianas


Our Digital Marketing branch, Tiny Axe, has been running the Havaianas NZ Google Adwords campaign for the last 18 months. Throughout the campaign, the goal was to consistently improve their performance in two ways:

  1. Increase the quality scores for each AdGroup.
    This was achieved by increasing the relevance between the keywords people searched, the ads displayed and the landing page visitors landed on. Having a high quality score is beneficial because it means you don’t have to pay as much to purchase a click as an advertiser with a lower quality score.
  2. Increase conversion rates.
    Conversion rates are increased by studying which ads are sending quality traffic to the website (the ones making a purchase) and which are sending poor quality traffic (those not completing purchases). To put it simply, we optimise the campaign so that we are spending the majority of the marketing budget on the ads that are resulting in conversions.

Business Challenge

The client first approached us after their new website was built. It was right around peak season and they were worried that they were not selling enough of the product from their website. Tiny Axe was given two objectives:

1) Increase the amount of visitors coming to the website

2) Increase the number of sales generated by the website.

The biggest challenge for us was budget. Even though Havaianas is a huge international brand, the spend allocated to digital marketing was just a fraction of the tens of thousands other big fashion brands were spending on digital advertising each month.

Our Approach

In the space of digital marketing, there are numerous ways in which to market a product online. Given the objectives that were handed to us, coupled with our knowledge of the digital marketing landscape, we decided that the best way to utilize a limited marketing budget was to invest in Search Engine Marketing.

Here’s why:

  • You can pick up the ‘low hanging fruit’. Because people are already searching for the product that is being advertised, they are more likely to be receptive to the ad and therefore more likely to click on it.
  • Since Havaianas is a well known and well respected brand, there were thousands of searches each month happening for their products.
  • Given that people are searching for these products (rather than pushed to them through display advertising or emailers), they are more likely to actually go through and complete a purchase.
  • As the website had only just been developed, Google had not started displaying the Havaianas website in the organic rankings yet. Consequently, search ads were even more vital to the success of the campaign.

The Results

The new Havaianas website went live in December 2014.

Tiny Axe started running the initial Google Adwords campaign in January 2015.

In the early stages of the campaign, we saw a big influx of traffic to the website and a significant boost in total purchases and revenue. By the end of January 2015, traffic increased by 969% and revenue increased by 3,250%.

Havaianas results1

Ok, not a totally fair comparison considering the website had just gone live in December and there was no real website traffic to speak of.

The notable results are those in the second year of running the Havaianas SEM campaign.

When comparing Q1 of 2016 to Q1 of 2015, we see some significant improvements:

Havaianas results2

The most notable improvements are the number of clicks more than doubled (113% increase), compared with a budget increase by only 39.6%. At the same time, the conversion rate increased by 3.81% ultimately leading to a revenue increase of 135.75%.

The diagram below shows which channels generated conversions within Q1 of 2016:


The overlaps within the diagram depict the visitors that came to the website via two or more channels before completing a purchase.

The diagram also shows that allocating the majority of the marketing budget to Search Engine Marketing, Havaianas achieved higher conversion rates.