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Case Study

McDonald’s Hong Kong uses Google Analytics 4 to increase in-app orders by 550%


With dining habits changing during the pandemic, quick service restaurants saw foot traffic drop and online orders spike. While people found it challenging to enjoy their favorite food at their local restaurants they were still looking to recreate those feel-good moments at home. To stand by its values and keep making tasty food easily accessible, McDonald’s wanted to provide its millions of customers in Hong Kong with the convenience of mobile ordering. With this objective in mind, the McDonald’s marketing team decided to uplevel their app user experience and optimize the path to conversion accordingly. They wanted to use turnkey machine learning solutions to quickly gather customer insights and use them in their in-app ad campaigns to drive orders.

Using the best of Google machine learning

With the technical consultation from their data analytics partner Media.Monks, the team at McDonald’s implemented Google Analytics 4 and started collecting real-time ecommerce data from their app.

From there, McDonald’s turned to predictive audiences, a tool that allows marketers to predict future purchase behavior based on those automatically refreshing ecommerce insights. A predictive audience is built using conditions known as predictive metrics. For example, using the purchase probability metric, Google Analytics 4 can automatically suggest a predictive audience made up of customers who show the highest likelihood of purchasing in the next 7 days.

McDonald’s tested a handful of ready-to-use predictive audiences that met prediction-modeling prerequisites by design. With the predictive audiences quickly populating, Google Analytics 4 shortened what could have been months of data analysis work into just a couple of weeks. This ease of implementation helped McDonald’s efficiently map opportunities that were and weren’t working, and how to move forward.

“Google Analytics 4’s machine learning capabilities allow us to transform our digital advertising strategy efficiently and effectively by leveraging its out–of-the-box solution.”

Kai Tsang, Senior Director Digital Customer Experience, McDonald’s Hong Kong

Due to the nature of the industry and high repurchase rate, the “likely 7-day purchasers'' audience turned out to drive the most ROI for the restaurant chain who decided to focus their ad investment on that segment.

Activating insights in Google Ads

Thanks to the integration between Google Analytics 4 and Google Ads, those predictive audience segments could be seamlessly exported to their ad campaign. McDonald’s media agency, OMD, recommended they use App Campaigns for Engagement, a fully automated Ads campaign type that prompts app users across multiple Google platforms to take action. Google Ads automatically tested different combinations of text, images and video to create optimized ads for relevant audiences. Used in tandem with the insights on likely purchasers, it became a powerful tool for McDonald’s to reach customers more effectively and drive in-app orders.

Despite their community’s rapidly changing needs, Mcdonald’s Hong Kong was able to adapt to their customers' new cravings and deliver those delicious moments that they’re known for. In just two months, the team increased their conversions 550% for “likely 7-day purchasers'' and decreased cost-per-acquisition 63% among that group. On top of that, McDonald’s saw 560% increased revenue within that audience. With this new data-driven strategy in place and strategic partners by their side, McDonald’s Hong Kong marketing team continues to thrive in its digital transformation.

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