Even before anyone knew what COVID was, you probably noticed the frequency of online ads picked up day after day. Retailers and ecommerce businesses were, still are, and will continue to storm social media feeds and websites.
Why? Here are a few compelling statistics they simply cannot ignore, especially nowadays:
- The number of online shoppers across the globe has reached over 2.14 billion. That is up from 1.66 billion in 2016.
- Millennials spend around 6 hours per week shopping online.
- It is projected that eCommerce will account for more than 18% of worldwide retail by the end of 2020.
Targeting consumers online with paid ads is not just a nice afterthought for your marketing campaign - it must be a significant part of your strategy if you want your retail or ecommerce business to be successful.
There are a variety of ads to choose from and the best choice really boils down to the intended purpose of each ad. Let's break down the top three ad platforms for retailers and ecommerce businesses.
Top 3 Online ecommerce & Retail Shopping Ad Platforms Explained
1. Facebook Ads
In many ways, Facebook seems like it was tailor-made for inbound lead generation. Their paid ads offer a number of advantages for ecommerce companies and retailers including the following:
- Drive traffic to landing pages to convert leads or use their popup lead form so the user never even has to leave the platform.
- Create your own videos using Facebook's free tools or post videos from other places.
- Display multiples images in many different layouts and formats including animated gifts, memes, rectangle, square, etc.
- Call-to-action (CTA) buttons motivate users to call, click or message - ultimately driving conversions.
- Features like the ability to share posts, hide posts and use emojis and hashtags promote engagement.
- Messenger apps are an excellent customer service, automation and marketing tool when leveraged correctly.
In addition, there are several different types of ads offered on Facebook, allowing you to test and pick the best performing ad format for each individual product or promotion. Below are some of the most popular categories.
- Boosted posts - These sponsored ads look like a normal post, but you can extend their reach by choosing an audience you want.
- Carousel ads - Featuring multiple images or videos with accompanying headlines, descriptions, links or buttons. They offer the benefit of learning which verbiage, visuals and products your target audiences find most attractive.
- Dynamic product ads - Automation is the driving force behind these ads, which target users based on the actions they take or lack thereof on your website and tailor ad content to them accordingly.
- Lead ads - Let users take advantage of an offer or downloadable content without ever leaving your page and potentially getting distracted from following through on their intention.
- Page follow ads - Simple and straightforward, these ads feature a CTA that asks users to “Like” or "Follow" your company's page to build your audience.
- Offer claims - Showcase attractive offers with the featured offer, image and call-to-action. Clicking on the link triggers an automated email with details that is sent to the user.
2. Google Shopping Ads
Similar to Google search ads, Google shopping ads appear when people shop and browse products online or via voice command. They use the product name and category for targeting efforts instead of keywords. Each ad consists of the product photos with the accompanying store/brand name, titles and prices.
Google determines which products are relevant to show according to the product specs for each item. These ads get prime real estate at the top and top-right corner of search results. Right now, ecommerce businesses and retailers can use Google's PPC shopping channel for free.
3. Amazon Ads
The online retail giant’s ads share many similarities with Google ads. When a user types a word or phrase in the search box on Amazon, a number of the top results that appear will be sponsored. These paid ads are made to look like regular organic listings and just have a small piece of text saying "sponsored" or "ad" next to them to purposely blend in for the consumers that don't like to click on ads.
In fact, Google just started to do the same thing Amazon is doing to increase clicks, which in return increase their revenue since they get paid per click (hence the name pay-per-click or PPC).
One advantage Amazon offers over Google is the wealth of first-hand consumer purchasing data to which it has access. This data is incredibly valuable for improving ad targeting efforts across the entire purchasing funnel.
Make These Ad Platforms A Part Of Your Marketing Campaigns
Take advantage of these three giant paid advertising channels to rev up your online ecommerce and retail sales now and forever.
If you are not sure which one(s) to start with, then I would suggest using both Google and Facebook ads in conjunction with each other. Overall, this will produce the most optimal result when you take advantage of each platform's strongest features.
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