The power of an ecommerce paid campaign is such that it can turn a small mom-and-pop operation into a major success story. Virtually all ecommerce sites are turning to paid search for better visibility and growth and also to create opportunities to compete with big names such as Amazon and Walmart.
Most ecommerce brands have paid search as their primary source of sales and promotional options. When you look at the report prepared by Unbounce, you will realize that this is a good move by ecommerce brands. The report states that a customer who clicks paid ads and enters a retailer’s website is more likely to buy when compared to those who enter the website by clicking natural links.
Once you have set up and kick-started your ecommerce website, you should not think twice about taking the necessary steps to enhance its potential to achieve repeatable growth. If you don’t, no one can save your business from going downhill. Your customers might end up leaving midway without completely understanding your brand’s potential. This will affect the growth of your business significantly and it would get knocked out of the market even before opening its account.
It’s obviously important to know the best ecommerce strategies that will help your business grow. However, before that, you should ensure that you have built a strong base. You should know what goes into making a good website. Along with building and maintaining a good website, you should also ensure that the quality of your product and customer service is top-notch.
What is Ecommerce Scalability and Why is it a Must-Have?
Scaling your ecommerce business means your revenue keeps growing. It is crucial to have an ecommerce site that can easily scale to accommodate your web store’s growing audience. Unfortunately, your business won’t last if it’s not scalable – or at least it won’t ever be anything more than a side hobby.
We are living in a digital world today and customer demands are bound to change from time to time. Therefore, ecommerce scalability is crucial as you should constantly evolve your business strategies to meet customer needs. The scalability factor has the ability to pull people towards your brand.
While running an online business, patience is the key to success but don’t expect that from your customers. It is quite obvious that they will grow impatient whenever your site takes more than a couple of seconds to load, causing them to go to your rival’s website instead. An online retail business can witness an unexpected rise in demand at any point in time, especially during the holiday season. When this happens, you should be prepared for it by ensuring that your online infrastructure is able to adapt itself to this sudden change, otherwise, your business could be at the risk of losing a lot of sales.
If you are looking for success in the long run, scalability is the key. Customer experience should be given the topmost priority while implementing each and every step to scale your business.
In a way, revenue growth is directly proportional to customer experience. The more effort you take to improve the customer experience (using digital tools to optimize business, managing CRM effectively, and so on), the higher will be your business revenue.
10 Ways to Scale Ecommerce Paid Campaigns
Looking at the explosive growth of online sales, making your ecommerce business scalable can be a challenging goal but important nevertheless. In this blog post, we will discuss ten ways to scale your ecommerce paid campaigns.
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Develop Your Ad Groups With Customers’ Needs in Mind
- Usually, an ad is based on a limited number of keywords and this is something that you may not be aware of. Therefore, you should consider experts’ recommendation of limiting your ad campaign to less than 20 keywords. Trying to add more keywords is more or less a waste of time and pointless.
- Look at the ad groups, analyze them one by one, and then try to break them down. Try to use a different ad group, ensuring that each keyword has a unique one, as it illuminates microtargeting — an effective strategy for capitalizing on potential customers.
- It is important to identify the performing and non-performing keywords which can be done by analyzing the ad groups one by one and breaking them down accordingly.
- Please try to understand the purpose of a search and add keywords accordingly. Stop the practice of simply adding random keywords that Google suggests. Certain keywords may be getting a good number of impressions but not clicks. Similarly, some keywords may be getting a lot of clicks, but those clicks may not be translating into conversions. Based on these factors, you may have to either fine-tune the ad copy or completely eliminate the words.
Retarget Customers Who Have Visited Your Website
- Tempting new customers to purchase your products by offering exciting discounts is a great strategy for scaling your business; however, you should also strive to retarget those customers who had found your store at some point in time but hadn’t converted due to certain reasons.
- A great way of convincing customers who have visited your website or abandoned their cart is by retargeting them which could lead them to complete their purchase.
- According to statistics, the average cart abandonment rate is about 70%, which is huge! So, don’t forget the customers who were close to buying as you work to attract new customers.
- Retargeting helps you win back most of your customers who were considering buying from your website, since retargeting makes it easy for users to remember your brand as they have already visited your website before.
- Well-written and brilliantly executed email campaigns along with targeted social media advertising can be an effective tool for convincing potential customers to complete their purchases. Many ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, allow you to automate this abandoned cart process of recovery.
- You should remarket to your customers, otherwise, you will be missing out on ecommerce revenue. Remember, website visitors who see retargeting messages are more likely to convert than those who don’t.
Provide Top-Quality Customer Support
- No matter how good your products are, the harsh reality is that customers will not return or recommend your brand to their friends if your customer service is below par.
- Using chatbots to automate customer support as your business grows is definitely a progressive step; however, it shouldn’t jeopardize the quality of customer support you offer. To provide the best experience, you should ensure that there are friendly customer service representatives who could guide your customers well.
- To resolve common issues you can have a 24/7 chat feature; however, for more complex issues, live chat and telephone contact are more effective options as such issues often require the assistance of a stellar customer representative.
Improve Your Quality Scores and Find Opportunities to Lower Your Bids
- Google assigns a Quality Score to your keywords so that you can find out how close your ad and landing page experience is to what your customers want or expect. A positive traffic experience can be achieved if your score is close to 10.
- To improve your Quality Score, you should create ads that are closely related to your keywords. You can also consider building landing pages in such a way that customers land exactly where they want to go.
- If you achieve a higher Quality Score, Google will be more likely to lower your CPCs and increase your average position. This will help you grow your sales – helping you get more for less.
- Certain terms (for example, big brand names like Adidas, Amazon, and so on) are extremely competitive, and you may end up paying a fortune and still not see the light of day – seeing your profitable items get sold. Based on research conducted by WordStream, about 41% of the paid clicks go to the top three ads on a page, so even by targeting the fourth position in the ads, you could still find success by getting the desired clicks even if that means lower CPCs.
- You should always keep in mind that an ecommerce paid search campaign is a portfolio of ad groups and keywords. Therefore, it is important to look at each segment individually to ensure it’s profitable.
Expand Your Reach
- Including a new product, upgrading your service, and attracting a new demographic is crucial if you are trying to expand your reach.
- Another way to expand your reach is by ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. Many users use mobile devices for online searches, so they expect your business to be optimized for mobile. Many ecommerce brands have developed mobile apps to make their service even better.
- If you want to step into a new market and make a mark there, you should embrace mobile technology as almost 83% of the world’s population owns smartphones today. Therefore, optimizing your business for mobile phones is a no-brainer if you want to expand your reach.
Improve Your Brand Reputation By Highlighting Customer Reviews
- Customer reviews are a great way to enhance the image of your e-commerce brand and promote its credibility.
- Purchasing online means customers don’t get to see the product directly before they place the order. This is one of the main reasons why so many customers prefer to read reviews of individual items before they hit the “Buy Now” button.
- Displaying customer reviews is an integral part of the consumer journey that can speed up your growth. Remember, customers will purchase your products only if they trust your brand. Therefore, you should strive to build that trust with your audience which can be achieved by displaying customer reviews.
Improve Your Ad Campaigns By Checking Your Conversion Tracking
- While operating an ecommerce brand, it is important to check your conversion tracking to get a better understanding of what ads and ad groups are driving sales.
- Conversion tracking helps you determine if your current efforts bring the desired results. It allows you to see what happens after a customer interacts with your ads – whether they purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, and so on. When a customer completes one of these actions that you define as valuable, then these customer actions are referred to as conversions.
- Conversion tracking lets you see which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns are performing best at driving the conversions you are looking for. This is very crucial, as it will give you a clear image of the path your customers are taking across different devices or browsers before they convert. Based on these insights, you can fine-tune your campaigns to drive more traffic to your website, increase calls or generate more customers.
Include Multiple Payment Options
- Limited payment options cause online shoppers to abandon their carts without following through on a purchase. Therefore, any ecommerce business that does not offer as many payment methods as possible may fail to maximize its conversion rate and will fail to scale.
- Businesses operating online should offer customers multiple payment options (e.g., PayPal, Apple Pay, anything that isn’t just a credit card number) as it could boost their conversion rates while encouraging customer loyalty.
- Different generations and demographics of customers have different preferences when it comes to payment methods, so by offering multiple payment options, you will not just position yourself as a progressive-minded business with your customers’ interests at heart but will also increase your sales and improve your brand reputation. You can attract a wider audience by providing multiple payment options.
- You should be proactive and find out which payment platforms are feasible and the most preferred ones. You should also analyze and see which payment gateways work seamlessly day and night since your customers could be spread across different demographics and it would create a bad impression if a customer’s payment does not go through while purchasing a product.
Implement Effective Discount Strategies
An effective discount strategy can help you gain and retain loyal customers even in bad times, thereby increasing your conversion and retention rates. However, a poorly executed discount strategy can program your customers to only make a purchase when a product is on discount, which not only diminishes your brand value but can also hurt your business in the long run.
Before implementing a discount strategy, you should have a good understanding of psychological pricing tactics that attract customers without hurting your revenue. Taking a step forward blindly without being tactical can paint a poor picture of your business – the one that isn’t confident in its product value.
Here are some effective discount pricing strategies you should practice.
- Use promo codes. Cart abandonment is one of the biggest issues that online businesses face today. There could be several reasons for this; however, hidden charges and high shipping costs are the main reasons for this issue. Offering promotional offers and discounts can motivate shoppers to complete their purchase. During the checkout process, you can show a pop-up with a discounted product. Additionally, you can suggest other related products with better discounts. Coupon widgets, promo code pop-ups, and coupon codes help in maximizing sales, thereby increasing the conversion rate.
- Reward your loyal customers. Spending time on getting new clients is good, but rewarding your loyal customers for their continued business can be a boon for your online business. It will increase their chances of returning to your website and boost customer lifetime value. When you start caring for your loyal customers, it will help you grow your business and better understand their purchase history. This data is significant, as it will help you to customize your offers and create personalized rewards for each customer.
- Create a discount offer for new visitors. Most often, people don’t buy on their first visit, so giving them a discount for their first purchase will create a lasting impression. In exchange for this, you can ask the customers to provide their email addresses, as we all know that email coupled with the right messaging can become one of your most impactful marketing channels.
- Provide seasonal and pre-order discounts. Offering discounts on specific products during Christmas, Easter, and other holiday seasons can result in a surge in customer traffic and conversions. You can create a landing page including all of your seasonal deals to provide a better user experience. A pre-order discount is another great way to bring in organic traffic. While launching a new product, you can boost your sales by offering pre-order discounts for customers. Early-bird discounts work well for hooking customers into purchasing.
The results of a brilliantly executed discount strategy can exceed your own expectations. You can make this strategy even more effective by personalizing it for your target audience which can be achieved by having a clear idea about the current trends, sales of similar products in the recent past, and so on.
Employ the Right Content
- Content marketing strategies are essential to your brand and employing the right content will bring you a step closer to your goals and scale your ecommerce brand.
- Depending on the content marketing strategies that you have in place, you could use video content, written content, or even audio content like podcasts. Content varies depending on what you want to convey to your audience and also based on the social media platform you are using. You should analyze and find out which social media platform your target audience is using the most, so you can implement your content marketing strategies there.
- It is a no-brainer that the content should be of high quality and engaging. The initial few seconds of the content should capture the attention of the audience. So, if you are preparing a video, you have about 10 to 15 seconds to capture the interest of the audience and the remaining part of the video to sustain their interest. Similarly, when it comes to written content, you should have a powerful introduction and an engaging description before concluding on a thought-provoking note.
- The success of your ad campaigns depends a lot on your content ideas and how effectively you implement them.
Scaling your ecommerce paid campaigns requires not only a strong foundation, but you should also be able to set smart business goals and invest time and effort to reach them.
If you do not employ the right strategies, running an ecommerce brand can turn out to be an unpleasant experience. Deciding to scale your ecommerce paid campaigns is a significant step and can prove to be challenging. The important elements to consider while trying to scale your paid campaigns are your brand positioning, marketing strategy, processes, finances, and customer experience.
At the end of the day, you should realize that the key to scaling your ecommerce paid campaigns is knowing your audience and understanding them on a deeper level. Since your audience is spread across countless demographics, they cannot be viewed as a single entity. It is important to identify your key buyer personas. A buyer persona is more or less a semi-fictional representation of your target customer or ideal client which can be done based on market research, interviews, and so on. Once this is done, you should customize your content accordingly.
You should put customer experience first above all. You’ll be able to scale your ecommerce marketing strategy in no time if you understand how to communicate and interact with your target audience.
Andy Beohar is the VP of a HubSpot and Google certified agency in San Francisco – SevenAtoms. He develops and manages ROI-positive paid and inbound marketing campaigns for Tech & B2B companies.