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Matoa Indonesia brings Indonesian handcrafted watches to the world with Google Ads

Bandung-based wristwatch retailer brought its business online and increased sales by 160% in one year.

Seizing the chance to make changes

Lucky D. Aria is an only child and the sole breadwinner in his family. After graduating from high school, he gave up further education to find work. However, his monthly salary of USD 75 was hardly enough to make ends meet, so it wasn’t long before Lucky was pushed to make a change.

In 2010, Lucky took the huge risk of quitting his job to start Matoa, a business that fashions handcrafted wristwatches from local recycled hardwood. He spent his life’s savings to take a year off work, using the time to fully understand customer preferences. Lucky knew that for his product to do well, he needed to build something people wanted to buy.

In 2011, the first Matoa watches launched through small, local exhibitions in Bandung. Matoa’s uniquely Indonesian design helped grow love for its products. Soon Lucky began seeking customers beyond Bandung but faced an immediate hurdle: Matoa did not have enough capital to build physical storefronts. Determined to overcome this barrier, Lucky sought to build a digital storefront -- a website -- for his business.

A novice becomes a digital marketing expert in months

Lucky first promoted Matoa’s site through social media. But when online sales remained low after several years, he knew it was time to branch out. Matoa needed a way to reach potential customers who were interested in his products. Indonesians often turn to Google Search in order to find out about things that they are interested in, be it answers for homework, new job openings, or even Matoa watches. This is why Google Ads, an ad platform that leverages the Search network and beyond, caught Lucky’s attention in 2016. Google Ads works by targeting specific terms -- called keywords -- that people use while they search online. By targeting the right keywords, Matoa could appear whenever someone looked online for something related to its products.

Lucky appointed Taufik -- an ex-accountant with no experience in online marketing -- to grow Matoa’s online sales and brand awareness through Google Ads. Taufik built Matoa’s Google Ads account from the bottom up, learning from available online resources like the Google Ads Help Center and YouTube help videos. He worked with the Google Ads support team to clarify concepts and discuss strategies.

With these resources, Taufik quickly honed his Google Ads skills and devised a three-step strategy for success. First, he introduced Matoa’s brand to new audiences in popular websites and apps in the Display Network, a platform that reaches over 90% of internet users worldwide. Second, he re-connected with previous site visitors with remarketing ads. These ads targeted only those who had visited the Matoa site and left without making a purchase, encouraging them to visit again. This kept Matoa top-of-mind, and convinced potential customers to purchase over time. Third, Taufik made sure that his ads on Google Search targeted Millennials, so the ads would appear when this target audience made searches related to Matoa’s products. In fact, Millennials use Search as their main shopping advisor.

Google Ads enables small and medium businesses to dream big

Matoa’s ads received nearly 15.5M impressions and more than 40,000 clicks every month on Google’s platforms. Nearly a third of these clicks translated into online sales conversions for Matoa. Overall, Taufik’s three-step strategy drove a 160% increase in sales in 2016, 70% of which came directly from his ads. Now, 90% of Matoa’s sales orders are placed through website visits from all around Indonesia. The company has even entered markets across Asia, Europe, and North America.

Matoa’s journey shows that small capital is no longer a barrier for entrepreneurs to dream big. The internet now gives business owners the opportunity to share their passion with potential customers all around the world at the touch of a button.

“We were slow to make good use of the website, but then in 2016 when we started to use Google Ads we attracted far more online business, and sales for the year grew by 160%.”

Lucky D. Aria - Founder, Matoa

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