Case study: Footshop entering the Romanian market with MERGADO

Lukáš Horák
13. 2. 2023
4 minutes read
Case study: Footshop entering the Romanian market with MERGADO

Prague-based marketing agency Unikum manages the accounts of the branded footwear online store Footshop in MERGADO. What is their strategy for expanding to a new market and how does MERGADO help them?

Prague-based marketing agency Unikum manages the accounts of the branded footwear online store Footshop in MERGADO. The store advertises in the Slovak and Czech markets and covers Germany, France, Hungary, and Romania, as well. What is their strategy for expanding to a new market and how does MERGADO help them?

How to expand your online store to Romania according to Unikum

Information phase — Analysis

Jana Dzuričková, Inbound Team Leader at Unikum, shared her experience entering the Romanian market.

“When entering price comparison sites in any market, we always start with an information analysis, which we perform about one month before launching the particular language version of the online store. We always collaborate on this task with a colleague from the Footshop Customer Care department from that particular country. The analysis aims to detect what types of comparison engines are present in the country and what are the conditions for engagement,” Jana explains.

Before entering a new market, they identify the following areas:

  • monthly traffic of the comparison site
  • overview of competitors
  • the structure of the comparison site in terms of individual areas — in case it is not a purely fashion-focused comparator, they detect what share of total visits and sales the fashion and clothing area achieves
  • product feed specification
  • category tree in .xls or XML format
  • the format of the comparison site’s financial coverage — credit recharge or chargeback (necessary for cash-flow planning in a given country)
  • account termination options (immediate or on notice period, additional penalties, fees)
  • Bidding format — through the administration or via feed, at category level or even at the product level
  • CPC price — minimum, maximum, average
  • other options offered by the comparison site — baskets, display campaigns, shop of the month, etc.

Based on the analysis performed in Unikum, they choose which of the compliant comparison site will be accessed first. In the case of Romania, the order was,,

The preparatory phase

“Based on the outputs of the information analysis, we prepare a TO DO list of activities that we need to perform to run the comparison site. The list helps us track and control the individual activities we need to perform. It is useful if more than one department is working on the preparation, in our case, it is usually marketing, IT, and finance,” Jana describes the procedure.

Unikum decided to start with the GLAMI search engine, first. The product XML feed according to the GLAMI requirements was set in cooperation with MERGADO. For Footshop, Unikum uses a universal XML feed format created according to the MERGADO specification.

“We created a new export in MERGADO, removed/​added the necessary elements, and created/​imported the necessary segments and rules. The most challenging part is always categorizing the products into categories by the comparison site. In the case of GLAMI, if already used in other countries, it is quite fast. Apart from the language, the categories differ minimally,” Jana adds.

Unikum took care of this client’s complex arrangement and management of the comparison sites, which included:

  • overall account arrangement — filling out the profile, setting up billing information, inserting the feed, etc.
  • integration with Google Analytics, and deployment of GLAMI piXel via GTM (in the case of GLAMI)
  • bidding setup — within the administration at the category level, within the feed at the product level
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Optimization phase

The optimization phase is a long-term process in which Unikum works with bidding strategies according to the phase in which the online store is present within the search engine. Based on the performance, they determine which products to display and which to hide.

“In the first phase, of course, we tried to get the best visibility, so we worked with a higher CPC, as we currently do, even at the expense of a not very favorable PNO,” Jana says at the beginning of the campaign.

During this phase, however, Unikum struggled with technical issues — there was a problem with sending data from the database, which resulted in the account suspension. It took a month to identify and fix the problem in collaboration with MERGADO developers. As a result, the growth phase was prolonged from the one month planned originally to two months overall.

“In the first phase, the Black Friday campaign in November helped us a lot, as it kicked off our entire account and started bringing in the first conversions. We gained further growth within the Christmas period. Consequently, we were allowed to focus on the second phase during the new year, which aimed to achieve our PNO target of 25%. During the second phase, with the assistance of GLAMI support, we carried out several activities to drive toward our target PNO. The feed content and bidding strategy were and still are adjusted via MERGADO,” she says, describing the beginning at Romanian GLAMI.

In the third phase, Unikum focuses on maintaining the target PNO and strives for maximum account efficiency. In addition to monitoring overall performance and market sentiment, they don’t forget to communicate regularly with the purchasing and marketing departments. It keeps them up to date on newly stocked products or products that are overstocked and need help with sales.

The Romanian comparison sites now account for 8% of total sales for Footshop. Of the current product search engines, GLAMI has a 90% share of sales, Shopmania 8%, and Compari 2%. The particular budgets for comparison sites are split similarly, reflecting the sales results. The last-click PNO of the comparison sites has been successfully maintained at 20% over the long term, while GLAMI’s PNO is slightly above 23%.

We thank Unikum for sharing their data and experience with the expansion into the Romanian market. Do you have a useful use case for working with MERGADO to get the best results? Contact us at our support — we’d be happy to write a case study based on your experience, too.

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Lukáš Horák

Lukáš takes care of most of the Czech and English communication in Mergado. Through blogs, e‑mail, and social networks, he regularly supplies readers with e‑commerce news and news and tips from Mergado. In his time off, he enjoys simple things like badminton, digging the hidden gems of the 80’s, and seafood served with red wine.