Best Buy uses first party data to deliver more sales for brand partners
Success Story

Best Buy uses first party data to deliver more sales for brand partners


Best Buy, the multinational consumer electronics retailer, is always looking for new ways to help advertisers connect with more shoppers and drive increased sales. One approach they recently evaluated was a multi-channel advertising campaign using their first party data to reach shoppers on and across external sites. To test the strategy, Best Buy turned to Google to help deliver and measure a campaign for a prominent smart home electronics brand.

By combining their third-party measurement technology with Google Ad Manager and Google Marketing Platform, Best Buy was able to deliver the campaign, unlock new performance insights through a unified measurement and reporting strategy, and ultimately drive more purchases for their brand partner.

At a high level, the test results revealed that conversion rates for shoppers who were exposed to ads on and across the web improved by as much as 45 percent.

A seamless campaign design

By using Google technology and third-party solutions, Best Buy was able to simplify the setup and execution of a multi-channel campaign, which included audience extension ads that reached shoppers outside of Best Buy’s online store.

Best Buy used Campaign Manager 360 to unify the measurement and optimization of ads delivered onsite via Ad Manager and across the web via Display & Video 360. To improve the relevancy and performance of their ads, Best Buy implemented their high-quality, first-party audience data. Once the ads started generating sales, Campaign Manager 360 allowed for campaign level information to flow back to Best Buy, unlocking conversion rate insights based on shoppers’ exposure to different ad placements.

“Best Buy’s rich first party data is, and will continue to be, the foundation of our campaigns. It is critical to our ability to create personalized, meaningful connections with our customers while driving measurable outcomes for our clients.”

Mark Heitke, Director of Ad Platforms Strategy, Best Buy

The collective team was excited about breaking down technological barriers through this experiment. “The increased visibility to exposed versus unexposed shoppers allows us to get smarter in the way that we plan and buy media, design product solutions that solve real customer needs, and deliver experiences seamlessly across the customer journey,” says Heitke.

A holistic view of the shopper

By integrating their analytics solution with Google’s advertising and marketing platforms, Best Buy gained a more comprehensive view of customer behavior that revealed deeper campaign insights.

To measure the impact of the test campaign, Best Buy first established a benchmark conversion rate for shoppers who organically browsed the smart home brand’s product pages and ultimately converted on Once the campaign data rolled in, Best Buy was able to evaluate improvements in conversion rates among the three cohorts of shoppers against this baseline: those exposed to ads on, those exposed to ads across the web, and those exposed to ads on and across the web.

“By partnering with Google, we were able to look at campaign effectiveness based on actual customer behavior.”

Mark Heitke, Director of Ad Platforms Strategy, Best Buy

Results showed that shoppers exposed to any of the ads in the campaign, including a combination of them, were more likely to purchase the advertised product during their site visit than shoppers who weren’t exposed at all. Here’s how the campaign performed:

  • Conversion rates for shoppers exposed to the campaign increased by 29 percent for those who only saw ads on external sites up to 45 percent for visitors who saw ads on both and external sites.

  • Overall the campaign delivered a 10x return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) among shoppers exposed to the ads.

Investing in the future of retail advertising

Most online retailers have begun to realize the value and opportunity that their on- and offline shopper data presents; but only digitally mature retailers have started taking proactive steps to develop advertising offerings using their first-party data for their advertiser partners. By integrating Google’s solutions with third-party or proprietary technology, online retailers like Best Buy can build their own retail media businesses customized to their specific goals.

“This particular opportunity allowed for the ability to combine the power of Google’s offsite capabilities through Display & Video 360, and our existing onsite display ad server — Google Ad Manager — to create a simplified experience, gain faster learnings and deeper insights, and ultimately, increase the speed to market for this test,” says Heitke.

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