Liftoff Campaign Decreases Cost-per-First-Purchase 47.4% for Sam’s Club Mobile App

Scan & Go mobile app CPIs reduce nearly 50%

The ChallengeSam’s Club, the American chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned by Walmart, reached out to Liftoff to run a User Acquisition campaign for their Scan & Go mobile e-commerce app on Android and iOS in the USA. The Scan & Go mobile app, released in 2016, allows users to scan items while they shop and pay for them inside the app, skipping the checkout line. The campaign goals were to increase mobile purchases while staying within range of their target cost per install and cost per purchase.

The SolutionThe Sam’s Club Scan & Go user acquisition campaign began by defining the user flow within the app and agreeing to the client’s CPI and CPA targets. The user flow of the app looks like this: Install > login > checkout > purchase.

Next, all required postback data was sent to Liftoff from Apsalar, a mobile attribution tracking platform. Postback data included impressions, clicks, installs and purchases – essential data for measuring the effectiveness of an ecommerce mobile UA campaign.

The Liftoff creative team then designed a series of ad creatives to test including banners, interstitials and native ads. The team also designed multiple variations of animated banners showing different scanning motions simulating use of the Scan & Go app. Different animation file types (GIF & HTML5) and animation speeds were also tested. Winning results of the banner tests were then applied to the interstitial and native ads for further testing.

Once the campaign went live, we began bidding on all major RTB exchanges within the USA. Our machine learning (ML) platform would optimize bids based on the likelihood that specific users would both install and convert inside the app, resulting in purchases.

Working with Liftoff has gone really well. It’s definitely blossomed into more of a partnership than your standard agency relationship. We recently presented new campaign goals for Liftoff and some ideas on how to get there. The Liftoff team immediately started to add value instead of just blindly running with it. Drew Frost · Sr. Product Marketing Manager @ Sam’s Club

The ResultsThe UA campaign for the Scan & Go app within the USA was a success from the start. The Liftoff ML platform identified and targeted users most likely to install and purchase with the Scan & Go mobile app with positive campaign results following.

Creative A/B tests played a big part in making the UA campaign a success. Many banner tests yielded high double-digit gains in conversions. These tests included static vs animated creatives, blinking vs non-blinking CTA buttons and numerous copy tests.

With interstitial and native ads, tests included comparing various images against each other such as lifestyle vs product. One such test included a static image of a phone scanning a barcode vs the same phone image also animated with a common product the phone was scanning. The static image resulted in an improved CPA by 56%.

Liftoff was able to run the campaign while staying within defined CPI, CPA and ITA targets. Sam’s Club was on a dynamic CPI payout allowing Liftoff to make faster progress in achieving post-install KPIs. Other successful results for the Scan & Go UA campaign include:

  • CPIs reduced 45.2%
  • CPAs dropped 47.4%
  • CTIs increased 7.6%
  • ITAs went up 3.9%

With the success of the user acquisition campaign, Sam’s Club also spun up a successful re-engagement campaign with Liftoff. They are now in a great spot to maximize their mobile advertising dollars with a nice blend of UA and re-engagement campaigns to scale and achieve their goals.


Sam Walton opened the first Sam’s Club in 1983 to help small business owners save money on merchandise purchased in bulk. Since then, Sam’s Club has grown rapidly to serve families and entrepreneurs through more than 650 clubs in the U.S., 100 international clubs, and mobile applications.

  • Founded in 1983
  • Headquartered in Bentonville, AR