CASE STUDY Ernsting’s family

Ernsting‘s family was founded in 1967 and today, with more than 1,800 branches and almost 11,000 employees, is one of Germany’s leading clothing and home textiles retailers. The traditional enterprise sells fashion articles, accessories and home textiles for the whole family with a focus on women’s and children’s wear. In 2003, Ernsting‘s family launched its own online store at In addition to classical advertising for the marketing of their brand and products, Ernsting‘s family actively employs the most important online marketing channels, like SEA, affiliate, display and newsletter marketing, and has worked successfully with blueSummit in the area of performance marketing since 2012.


The most effective classical media used by Ernsting‘s family are their catalogs, which, depending on the season, are printed in editions of up to double-figure millions. Every year, more than 30 catalogs with up to 80 pages are distributed in the chain of stores or by various other distribution media. The mission was to increase the reach of the catalogs online and simultaneously raise brand awareness.


For the task of expanding the success of the print catalogs in an online context, blueSummit initially chose Google Catalogs to reproduce the catalog in identical form on the Web. Google Catalogs enables end-customers to browse through catalogs online just as they would with a print version. The marketing of the Ernsting’s family Google Catalog was realized with the Catalog Lightbox display format from the Google Display Network.

The Catalog Lightbox ads are implemented as in-page ads on the Web site. After a three-second mouseover, the advertising medium opened at the center of the screen. This made the Ernsting‘s family Google Catalog visible and, due to the prominent positioning on screen, monopolized the users’ attention. The three-second delay reduced the numbers of unintentional mouseovers.

As the catalog only had to be prepared in PDF format for browsing and compensation was on a cost per engagement basis – i.e. whenever a user opened the medium with a three-second mouseover – the costs and pricing structure for this display format were easily manageable for Ernsting’s family. Another argument for the use of the Catalog Lightboxes was that the products in the catalog could be cross-linked to the corresponding product pages in the online store and also offered the capability of displaying double-page spreads to cater for the fact that outfits in the print catalog were frequently presented on double pages. In addition to the compilation of the advertising media set, which was configured to be performance-dependent, blueSummit also provided tracking and targeting oriented on the catalog content.


The implementation of the Catalog Lightbox display format was enormously successful. Reach figures rose to up to 20 million impressions The average opening rate was 2.5%, and the advertising medium even registered up to 530,000 openings. On average, users browsed the Lightbox for a period of 20 seconds. The impressive level of interaction with the advertising medium was also clearly reflected in an equally impressive sales ratio in the online store.

average opening rate
users browsed the Lightbox for


With the changeover from Catalog Lightbox to the new Ready Lightbox Ads format, we now had the opportunity to offer users more information than was previously possible with the simple catalog pages. The future will also see the integration of YouTube shorts in the flights. As soon as it is available, a link to the Google Merchant Center will enable us to offer customers a better product experience and make navigation to the product even easier.