Case Studies / Success with Skai

Skai Experiments Allow Quick, Data-Driven Decisions In Unpredictable Times


Digital marketing is deeply influenced by external factors. Keeping up with market volatility during a global pandemic requires next level thinking and powerful tools to keep pace with rapidly shifting consumer sentiment.

Rakuten Advertising, a global industry-leading provider of performance marketing solutions, knows that the only way to track evolving customer needs is through experiments. By adopting a test and learn approach, they could better understand which strategies were working for their clients and where they needed to course correct.

Backcountry, a leading outdoor retail business, was one of the clients that Rakuten Advertising worked with to become more profitable and efficient during these unprecedented times.


Rakuten Advertising set out to meet their client’s business goals by testing different bid strategies in order to stay profitable and boost efficiencies. They used publisher-supported solutions to take advantage of A/B testing, removing external factors affecting pre/post measurements.

The challenge they faced was applying these experiments at scale for this global retailer, which had hundreds of campaigns to assess. Running experiments using Google publisher tools required copious amounts of time since they needed to run each experiment one at a time in order to adapt to the rapidly changing environment in search and eCommerce. Time was a luxury they did not have. In today’s volatile climate, they needed immediate insight into evolving consumer behaviors in order to develop relevant and effective strategies.


Recognizing the need for a powerful tool that could run A/B testing at scale, Rakuten Advertising turned to Skai, powered by AWS. Skai Experiments enabled them to test multiple campaigns at once, giving them conclusive results, faster.

Another major advantage of the Skai solution was the experiments’ rich visual reporting. The tool automatically produced charts with side-by-side comparisons of their control and test group, giving high-level data at a glance. This seamless visual reporting was a game-changer for the agency, providing them an effortless way to make data-driven decisions. It also simplified A/B testing, which is the preferred test methodology to equalize control and experiment groups from the effects of consumer behavior and marketplace shifts, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


Skai Experiments greatly reduced the time spent pulling, analyzing, and visualizing data to share with their client, saving the agency approximately 16 hours each month. This freed up the Rakuten Advertising team to focus on more strategic efforts such as the development of new tests and planning launches of new campaigns utilizing YouTube and discovery ads. This better-positioned Backcountry for sustained profitability regardless of market fluctuations.

About Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten Advertising connects leading agencies, brands and publishers to active and engaged consumers around the world. With access to Rakuten’s diverse media properties and audiences, combined with an award-winning performance network and proprietary consumer research, Rakuten Advertising creates the right conditions to reach new customers and sustain long-lasting loyalty. Its foundation of advanced technology, data and strategic services positions Rakuten Advertising to offer a differentiated suite of marketing and advertising solutions, while constantly pushing the industry forward. It is a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with offices throughout EMEA, APAC, LATAM and North America.

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About Backcountry

Backcountry is the premier online specialty retailer of outdoor gear for snow sports, hiking, camping, paddling, biking, climbing, fly fishing, and more, including a wide selection of premium apparel, both technical and casual. Backcountry’s mission is to connect people to their passions by supplying customers with the gear, knowledge, and inspiration necessary to chase down life’s greatest moments. Backcountry does this by providing the biggest and best assortment of premium outdoor products, personalized Gearhead expertise, inspirational content, a superior shopping experience, and lightning-fast fulfillment. The Backcountry family of companies includes Competitive Cyclist,, Steep&Cheap, and, which is based in Germany.

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Performance Data

Approximately 16 hours/month saved running, pulling & analyzing data

“Due to the ease of access and utility of Skai’s Experiments tool, I have spent less time on gathering data and more time analyzing it, which allows me to make impactful decisions, quicker.”

Briana Rittersporn, Account Manager at Rakuten Advertising