Marketing Strategies

Client Success Story: Hotel Chocolat

Founded in 2004, Hotel Chocolat is a British chocolatier and a unique type of chocolate company that connects luxury chocolate making and retailing with cocoa growing – it is one of the world’s few chocolate makers to grow their own cocoa.

The brand currently has over 80 stores in the UK as well as a thriving online business supported by Rakuten Advertising’s affiliate and display network.

Hotel Chocolat wanted to drive brand awareness of their newest product, the Velvetiser an in-home hot chocolate system. The brand utilised Rakuten Advertising’s display services to support the product launch and drive awareness and sales.


The primary campaign objective was to drive brand awareness and traffic to the Velvetiser product from new customers with a focus on awareness reach, traffic and driving new to file customers.

The secondary objective for Hotel Chocolat was for the campaigns to assist in driving high-quality leads and conversions.


Product: Prospecting
Rakuten Advertising used first and third-party audience data to reach potential customers that were passionate about chocolate.

Product: Retargeting
Retargeting campaigns were deployed to target customers that visited the website to drive conversions.

Strategic Optimisations

The Rakuten Advertising campaign optimisation team balanced optimisations between strategy, tactics and creatives to drive performance. Keeping the budget fluid between prospecting and retargeting strategies helped to deliver traffic growth and revenue while identifying individual audience segments that pushed performance even further. The creatives used within each strategy allowed Hotel Chocolat to present their brand to users differently depending on their place in the funnel, as well as optimising important variables within retargeting such as products.


Two weeks after launch, the Hotel Chocolat ads improved the performance of the core metrics with Cost-Per-Click (CPC) decreasing and Return-On-Ad-Spend (ROAS) increasing.

Overall, the campaign drove over 15,00 visits to site, 95% of which our attribution platform confirmed were new users. Of the 10 million impressions delivered, and 318K engagements generated, our strategies drove over 1.7K in orders, resulting in a blended ROAS of £2.22. Further result include:

  • Post-Impression, Post-Engagement, Post-Click ROAS was £2.22
    • Prospecting – £0.72
    • Retargeting – £41
  • ROAS increased by 24% after proposing landing page optimisations
  • Rakuten Advertising’s insights and attribution platform revealed that 95% of visits from the display channel were from new users higher than Hotel Chocolat’s other online channels.

With our optimisations, we were able to increase the prospecting CTR by 269% and the retargeting ROAS by 66%, when comparing the first four weeks to the last four weeks.

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