Finnish retail site SPOT-A-SHOP is a one-stop destination for the best fashion and sportswear discounts on the web. A lean start-up keen to expand further afield than its home country, SPOT-A-SHOP created a mobile responsive site, and implemented search marketing with Google Ads. As a result, the company has seen clicks increase by 500%, and has expanded into two new international markets in its first year.
SPOT-A-SHOP aims to help consumers find the best possible fashion and sportswear bargains online. As a start-up in the small country of Finland, international export has been high on SPOT-A-SHOP’s agenda since it first piloted the business nationally in 2015.
“We knew immediately that the market size was way too limited for our business,” explains CEO Jesse Jyläs. “The concept was built with the plan to scale to multiple countries in a short period of time.”
To help achieve this objective, the team mapped out a careful plan to expand internationally. “With the help of Google and internal analysis we were able to make a confident decision on which markets to enter,” Jyläs says. “We went through various studies giving us insights into consumer behaviour, macro fashion trends, market potential and competition landscape in order to determine the opportunity in various markets.”
The next stage was winning customers in these international markets, so SPOT-A-SHOP turned to search marketing, setting an affordable target cost per acquisition and using Google Ads to capture relevant traffic at the right moment in their journey from searching for an item to purchase. “Search has enabled us to acquire numerous new customers within a target cost per acquisition (CPA), as well as helped us to scale our business to new markets quickly,” says Jyläs.
Managing costs in this way has been a key factor in the young company’s success so far. “We have been able to push down the CPAs in order for them to remain at an acceptable level for us. This has enabled us to scale our business fast and efficiently. We’ve been able to increase our marketing expenditures across the Google channels by meeting the target CPA levels. As a startup, this was extremely important for us in order to scale up.” He adds: “We were positively surprised by the amount of resources available from Google in terms of exporting tools and advice.”
Mobile has also played a key role in SPOT-A-SHOP’s international expansion. The site is optimized for mobile, and mobile campaigns are also an important part of the company’s marketing strategy with up to 45% of visits to SPOT-A-SHOP coming via smartphones.
“We created a responsive site straight from the start, as mobile was an important play for us,” Jyläs says. “We realised the importance of mobile page speeds, particularly in the fashion marketplace. SPOT-A-SHOP provides a simple way for consumers to find bargain products among the massive assortment of items on our web page, and we want to ensure that they have a quick and convenient way to do so.”
It’s a strategy that has paid off: in just the first year of launch, search marketing has helped SPOT-A-SHOP achieve its objective of expanding into two new markets, increasing clicks by 500% and even achieving a 30% lower cost per click back home in Finland.
“Through SPOT-A-SHOP, consumers are able to find the best possible fashion bargains from various international web stores,” says Jyläs. “We see that the consumers really value the huge assortment of discounted products available through our web page.”
“We were positively surprised by the amount of resources available from Google in terms of exporting tools and advice.” Jesse Jyläs, CEO, SPOT-A-SHOP