Having an e-commerce business is one thing, but without the ability to drive traffic to it, what use is it? Building an online e-commerce presence is a solid foundation, but to truly thrive and prosper in the digital landscape, you have to court shoppers and come to them, not the other way around. E-commerce advertising is an invaluable tool to have at your disposal. Under the right hands, it can be used to effectively drive traffic to your website and generate sales beyond what word-of-mouth could ever do.
In simple terms, e-commerce advertising is when a company purchases promotional placement on online platforms intending to sell products. While this has traditionally meant ads on websites or in search engines, e-commerce advertising has grown and established itself in various new platforms and mediums, creating an abundance of opportunities for companies to take advantage and start promoting their products.
To take advantage of e-commerce advertising, here are a few of the things you should consider:
Whom are you targeting?
Before going out and needlessly spending money, you’ll quickly learn that e-commerce advertising requires you to have a defined target audience for your products. Use resources like Google Analytics’ Audience Reports to look at the traffic reaching your website and identify the demographic traits. There is no benefit in casting a wide net with your advertising in hopes of catching as many clients as possible. Doing so is merely inefficient in terms of time and money. Find which type of buyer your brand and products resonate with the most; find out their interests, needs, and what compels them to consider your product. Then, craft your advertisements to strike at those points. You will quickly see that this focused approach will result in more clicks on your ads and more conversions than if you had kept things generic.
Is your website ad-friendly?
We aren’t referring to if your website is capable of hosting ads on it, but whether it is designed to give a favorable impression once someone clicks on your ad and is redirected to it. You need to be deliberate with what your advertisement links to once someone clicks on it, as redirecting to your homepage does little to generate sales other than cause confusion or a loss of interest. If you’re promoting a specific product, create a landing page for it that makes a strong first impression and builds a case for why consumers should purchase your product. In general, try to avoid convoluted product copy, instead focusing on concise, punchy writing that delivers a quick and persuasive sales pitch for your product. On the topic of website adjustments, it is vital that your website is mobile-friendly and optimized. More and more shoppers are making their purchases from hand-held devices, some even doing so as they shop in-person. According to Oberlo, mobile commerce sales are projected to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021, an increase of 22.3 percent compared to 2020. With so many shoppers making purchases on their mobile devices, the truth is that your website would benefit from prioritizing mobile-optimization, and it’s a step that you must take before fully committing to e-commerce advertising.
What Platform do you utilize?
Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of platforms a business can use to get involved with e-commerce advertising, the two giants being Facebook and Google. Both have their pros and cons, but if you’re only going to utilize one, it’s good to know some of the differences between the two so that you may make the decision that is right for your company.
Google has long been the market leader in online advertising, and with its powerful advertising tools, it remains a fantastic platform for businesses to use. Beyond general search engine and website ads, integration with the full suite of Google products and services means you can advertise in various places, such as Google Shopping, Google Maps, Youtube, and much more. With that said, familiarizing yourself with Google’s advertising tools’ full potential can be time-consuming and frankly daunting. You will need to invest much time to become proficient with it, but the rewards can prove to be worth it.
In recent years, Facebook advertising has exploded on the back of Social Media’s meteoric rise, and for reaching customers where they are, Facebook is among the most accessible and effective platforms there is. With an average conversion rate of over 9%, it often delivers results better than even Google. Advertising on Facebook is generally much more user-friendly, and with billions of monthly active users, countless potential customers are waiting to be exposed to your brand. Advertisements are visual-based and can be crafted in various ways. With Instagram being part of Facebook, there is room for even more room for creativity in how you approach your advertising.
Getting your e-commerce advertising efforts off the ground will take further research, planning, and much effort, but at the end of the day, the best way to pursue it is to jump in feet-first and take the bull by the horns. Don’t be afraid to learn on the job and experiment to see what works the best for your company, but at the end of the day, whether you use Google or Facebook, your company will be in a better position to succeed if you learn to embrace e-commerce advertising.