• Jack Davey

Pier City Cycles – Paid Media For Market Share Growth

Our work with Pier City Cycles has been a fantastic example of consolidating an already-strong brand to grow revenue and profitability. We identified areas of ad spend that weren’t delivering growth in order to do more with the same budget – reaching new customers and leveraging the loyalty that the brand has inspired since its inception.



The team behind PCC approached us at the start of what promised to be a bumper year for their exposure – their diary was full of events showcasing their work, and they knew that it was a key moment to capitalise on all this publicity. To date, paid media spend had been limited to a longstanding Search campaign and an automated Shopping setup. Since Rory and Stu were up to their armpits in custom bike builds, these campaigns had been left to their own devices – both were converting, but the cost per acquisition was a bit on the high side and once we started digging it became clear that some conversions were being paid for when they could have come for free!


Despite being a relatively small operation, PCC has some significant advantages over the competition – primarily the customer journey, both online and offline. This means that once a customer has discovered them, they are unlikely to go elsewhere. So, we cut all spending on brand-based keywords. These were a significant source of traffic and sales, however we believed that ad spend here was skewing the results in the favour of the campaign. The data backed this theory up, with average figures simply transferring from paid to organic search traffic. We also took a deep dive into the performance of the broad range of keywords that had been in use historically. After identifying a much shorter list of keywords that not only drove traffic but also kept users on the site and spending, we were able to focus the budget for maximum performance.



Close monitoring of the cost per click and per acquisition meant that we were able to react quickly to increased ad spend by competitors with deeper pockets (there was a brief period where BMW were throwing their weight around a bit). Capping the maximum cost per click and reducing the budget kept funds available for later, when the quieter voice of PCC would be more easily heard.


Careful use of the limited budget, plus consistent monitoring and adjustment, saw the peak season (May - Oct) deliver 5650% return on ad spend. The average cost per acquisition was just £5.83 for an average order value of £335, despite targeting exclusively new users and the average time between first visit and conversion coming in at around 2 weeks. With a returning customer rate of nearly 35%, PCC will quickly see that investment back in subsequent purchases by those users.




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