As global interest in fitness and wellness continues to grow, it’s also led to a big impact on the sports retail market. Sport retailers like INTERSPORT Finland are embracing this opportunity.

INTERSPORT’s mission is to serve sports for everyone. With 6,200+ independently owned and managed stores across 58 countries, INTERSPORT has an unmatched understanding of their local customers.

“We want to support our customers to have a healthy and active lifestyle,” says Aki Kaipainen, Digital Marketing Manager for INTERSPORT Finland Oy. “It does not matter if customers want to try out a new sport or to be better at a specific sport with a long-term plan. We are here to support their whole journey to a sporty lifestyle.”

Fueling customer inspiration

This trend has meant an increase in national and local competition as new players enter the market. The go-to market speed of new products and styles has also created pressure to quickly adapt marketing to digital consumers’ needs.

One of INTERSPORT’s key drivers is to understand how customers become inspired in new ways to find the best, current, and most relevant products.

“We have to be present in moments that matter,” says Aki. “To make this scalable, we need platforms that can deliver the right content to the right customer at the relevant time.”

A full-funnel approach

INTERSPORT began working with Criteo in May 2017, more than two years ago.

“We had good retention, but we were challenged on attracting new buyers and making new traffic convert,” says Aki. To justify the investment, Aki also needed to show measurable results.

INTERSPORT Finland employed Criteo’s full-funnel suite of marketing solutions. INTERSPORT used Criteo’s look-a-like technology to attract new, high-value audiences to their website. Criteo’s dynamic ads re-engaged customers who’d left the site, encouraging them to convert with product offers personalized to each individual.

When compared to other display campaigns aimed at prospecting and acquiring new buyers, Criteo delivered 2.3x the number of visitors, and 1.5x the number of new users.

“Overall, the full-funnel approach has brought good results,” says Aki. “We can feed new traffic to the site constantly and get good reach (when needed) on profiled audiences to max out sales.

There was a -53.8% decrease in the bounce rate for the users exposed to the Criteo campaigns, and a 42.5% increase in time spent on page. The campaign also led to an improvement in Customer Lifetime Value.

“The [self-service] platform is super easy to use and set up and it can still work with full funnel approach model,” says Aki. “As we want to automate the flow of the product-based marketing, this is ideal for us.”

“Criteo provides multiple optimization goals that actually gain the desired results. The automation engine’s audience insight seems to be well-modelled.”

As INTERSPORT looks to stay ahead of the ever-evolving customer journey, finding flexible solutions is key.

“We experiment with new ways all the time to fully automate content flows and new tools and platforms to better find converting customers,” says Aki. “We can constantly find new areas to explore and enhance our current [Criteo] setup. Also, it’s very important that we’re aligning with the recommended best practices when it comes to display ads in general.”

“I think everything will become even more data driven,” says Aki about the future. “Data optimizing data.”

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Increase in visitors


Increase in number of new visitors


Click-through-rate increase


Decrease in bounce rate for users exposed to Criteo campaign


Increase in time spent on page