We like agile marketing here at Econsultancy. It's a sign that an organisation has the right setup, as it can react quickly and take advantage of situations. 

It's also often very clever and / or amusing

Here's another example from Black Friday. Seeing that rivals' sites were suffering under unexpected levels of traffic, AO.com saw an opportunity. 

As these stats show, Argos, John Lewis and Curry's all experienced higher then expected traffic levels.  

Compared to Black Friday 2013, the three retailers experienced 100% more traffic than this time last year, 162% more for Currys. 

Still, this wasn't AO.com's problem and, since it sells many of the same electrical products as these retailers, it decided to take advantage with some PPC ads. 

So, while the Argos site looked like this...

AO.com put up this ad: 

When John Lewis couldn't hold up, AO.com did the same: 

The results? 

  • A 43% increase in paid search CTR. 
  • 136% increase in impressions. 
  • A 250% increase in clicks on PPC ads. 

According to Kobi Thompson, Head of Acquisition at ao.com:

Black Friday is bigger than ever in the UK this year, and it seems like none of our competitors anticipated it like we did. We made sure that Black Friday on ao.com went down without a hitch and our hard work paid off.  

Thanks to the lightning quick reactions of our acquisition team we managed to take the traffic that our competitors were forced to turn away or put into queues and turn that traffic into sales. 

For more on PPC, see our comprehensive Paid Search Best Practice Guide

Graham Charlton

Published 2 December, 2014 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Matt Cross, Deputy MD, UK at Hotwire PR

Would be most interesting to see if that led to higher sales for them or not.

almost 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

It did I'm told, though AO were reluctant to release numbers just yet.

almost 3 years ago

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

Surprising that major sites would have problems, because Black Friday activity was high but not extremely high.

Comparing Black Friday to a normal day, overall page views were 170% and sales 220%.

Also major sites are normally able to pause offers that are going too well, not least because this often indicates an error such as entering a false price.

Here are our Stats for Black Friday: Overall and broken down by Market Sector.

"Black Friday: How Beauty and the Geeks won 2014."
http://www.triggeredmessaging.com/blog/black-friday-and-cyber-monday-how-beauty-and-the-geeks-won

almost 3 years ago

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Dryden Geary, Marketing Manager at Smyths Toys Superstores

Good to see AO thinking on their feet again - some good common sense marketing.
Graham do you mind if I ask where you generated the traffic stats from? Just as a point of reference - thanks

almost 3 years ago

Will Lockie

Will Lockie, Programme Head - Multichannel at Evans Cycles

Good job Kobi ;)

almost 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@Dryden - they're from Hitwise - Ian Gregory provided them in an earlier post: https://econsultancy.com/blog/65839-why-amazon-was-the-winner-on-black-friday

almost 3 years ago

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Creed Van Ryt, Sales Manager UK at Become Europe GmbH

I wouldn't only put their success down to SEM driven white label pages. Having an online presence across CSE's prior to Black Friday insured AO.com established a foothold with consumers ahead of the buying journey.

almost 3 years ago

matt slingsby

matt slingsby, head of paid channels at surfdome

Speed of turnaround and CTR, click, impression raises are all well and good and easy to achieve - what AO did wrong was populating their categories correctly and testing their website functionality.

Their website didn't go down - but crikey trying to find their black friday offers was impossible.

In the end i didn't purchase anything from AO because i couldn't find a page with any products on it that they were linking me too. Usually it's a vaguely simple website to use but not on that day (everything looks back to normal now). No point boosting PPC spend by ££££'s if you can't convert it

almost 3 years ago

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