Bing Ads raises conversion rates for top party supply retailer

The Party People, a small family-run business founded in 1985, is now the Australian market leader in party supplies. The company has a history of moving fast in online retail. In 1999, The Party People launched Australia’s first online party store. The company embraced search advertising in 2013 which resulted in a turnover increase of one sale every nine seconds. Recently, the Party People began using Bing Ads to reach even more customers.


According to co-director Dean Salakas, the company’s main challenge in online marketing is to retain and enhance competitive edge. “It’s really important to stay up to date with new [search] features,” he says. “We always jump on board with something new as soon as we hear about it.” To add an extra dimension to its search marketing, in 2013, The Party People began investing in a sales campaign with the Microsoft paid search platform, Bing Ads. The company’s objective: to drive more customers to its online site and retail stores, and to market its 15,000 products more efficiently.


According to Dean, getting their Bing Ads account live was hassle-free. Using the Import Campaign feature, they quickly and easily imported their Google AdWords structure, meaning they could immediately serve ads on the Bing network with no additional work. The Party People dedicated account manager at Bing Ads has also helped Dean and his brother and co-director, Peter Salakas, to adopt new features fast. “We find we get great results when we implement something new — probably because the level of [advertiser] competition in Bing Ads is still low,” says Peter. “In the second half of 2014–15, we achieved an average search return position of 2.7, with a very low average CPC (cost per click).” Two Bing Ads features in particular have proved highly effective. Enhanced Sitelinks enable the Salakas brothers to add two additional lines of text below a link, which results in a more relevant, descriptive ad and an improved click-through rate (CTR). Meanwhile, Universal Event Tracking gives the brothers greater visibility on conversions, helping them to continually optimise ad spending.


With Bing Ads, The Party People now reach a wider online audience. “We are stimulating additional traffic,” says Dean. “With Bing Ads, we aren’t doubling up on our target audience because different people are using a different platform to do their searching.” The Bing Ads campaign has also bolstered The Party People’s offline sales as search helps draw customers into their physical stores. “When we ask our customers what brought them to our store, they consistently reference search and our website,” says Peter. Enhanced Sitelinks in Bing Ads have dramatically improved their campaign performance. “We achieved a 50 percent increase in our click-through rate, which delivered a 20–25 percent drop in our CPC,” says Dean. “The Enhanced Sitelinks also boosted conversion rates by 10 percent.” In terms of the future, the Salakas brothers anticipate that they will continue working closely with their Bing Ads account manager to ensure they adopt new Bing Ads features as they become available and to increase quality traffic and sales through their website. “We’re really looking forward to seeing where Bing Ads goes with integrating search solutions with all the other great Microsoft products,” says Dean. “This integration will present us with great opportunities to advertise in new areas.”

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