How PPC Can be the Catalyst for eCommerce

How PPC can be the catalyst for eCommerce

Alarm bells may be sounding with the cost-of-living crisis swirling, but, if you are an online retailer digital marketing, and specifically paid media is more important than ever. Through PPC eCommerce initiatives, paired with great products and compelling offers you can capture crucial search and click share from your competitors.

But, you can’t just rest on what you already have. For PPC to be your catalyst, you will need to invest the time and effort into pivoting your campaigns for the changing consumer needs.

Businesses are looking for ways to support customers and keep costs down, with examples from the likes of Tesco’s entering a pricing stand-off with Heinz. You will need to position your brand and business in a favourable light that showcases great value and an indispensable need.

State of eCommerce in 2022

Overall, in 2022 there has been a stall and decline in ecommerce, but this varies per industry. However, in a glimmer of good news in May, we started to see the signs of an upturn. We can see this when looking across independent retail sites, as well as marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

The upturn seen has been predominantly on mobile so it is critical that you have a defined strategy for capturing traffic and ultimately sales on such devices.

eCommerce Industry Trend

Source: Similar Web, July 2022

With businesses fighting more than ever to win sales above their competition, you cannot afford to stand on the side lines and watch. In line with this, we have seen an increased reliance on paid search, with investments continuing, and in some instances increasing on levels we saw in 2021.

Traffic Source Trends eCommerce

Source: Similar Web, July 2022

How PPC Can Drive eCommerce Growth in 2022

PPC is unique in that ads will trigger only when a user is making a search. Whether that is text based or shopping based, it qualifies these users before they even reach your website. The only thing between you and that customer is your product offering vs your competitors.

To drive more results through PPC you need to focus across all touch points, and if you are also running ads through social channels this will only enhance things further. Through Google Ads this means:

  • Search ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Display ads
  • Video ads

There are techniques and campaign types that you can adopt to grow your reach and share of search.

Reaching the Right Audience Through PPC

To reach potential customers you first need to define who it is you are trying to target. You want to break these down into multiple personas so that you can develop custom messaging for each one.

To reach your audience you can use the following approaches

  • Keywords to reach users based on terms they input to Google
  • Remarketing to reach users who have already engaged with your business. Depending on activity you are running this could vary from video views, to past customers
  • Audiences to reach wide prospective users. This could be interest based, demographic based, similar audiences or a combination of multiple
  • Product feed is used in a similar way to keywords to match your products based on queries users enter in Google

Choosing the Right Campaign Types

Once you know who you are going to target you need to build a strategy around how you are going to reach them, and which mediums you are going to be using. Within the 4 previously identified ad types there are subtypes that also fall within these.

Which ad type will deliver the best results for your business, will depend on who you want to reach and the types of products you are selling.

Sale driving formats

  • Standard search ads
  • Dynamic search ads
  • Standard shopping ads
  • Performance Max ads
  • Dynamic remarketing ads

Awareness driving formats

  • YouTube ads
  • Display ads

How to Enhance Your PPC Listings

Just knowing your audience and having the campaign types in place to reach them however, is not going to keep you ahead of the competition. You need to optimise every corner of your paid media activity from the settings to the ad messaging and landing page and everything in between.

Elements that can make a difference to your PPC campaigns are:

  • Collecting and featuring product and seller reviews, through tools such as Reviews.io
  • Supplying quality product data. If your raw product feed lacks detail you need to be optimising every aspect of this from titles to attributes to ensure you are being found when it matters
  • Featuring price points in your ads, this is especially prominent when you are competitive on price
  • Bringing promotions to the forefront. If you have a sale or promotion on let prospective customers knows
  • Define your USPs and business values and showcase these
  • Get granular in your setup and structure so you can deliver targeted and tailored ads. This is across search, shopping, performance max, display and video.
  • Finally, test, test, test. Don’t just set things up and hope for the best. Even if things perform good, you should always be asking can they perform better

Tracking Your Results

To track the success of your PPC efforts you need to ensure you have sufficient conversion tracking and reporting setup. Data Studio provides a great visual platform to review results from all traffic sources, whether organic, PPC or social. As an ecommerce retailer you absolutely must be reporting on revenue, but it is recommended to get enhanced ecommerce reporting setup as well.

When it comes to understanding how you are tracking against your competitors you can use metrics like impression share and click share to see the volume of traffic you are missing out on. We can also run some competitor and market reports for you through our enterprise tool.

Utilise Free Product Listings

One great benefit of submitting a product feed to Google Merchant Centre is it makes you eligible for free product listings. In the last couple of years Google has made updates to their shopping tab, which opened up the tab from a pure paid model to offer retailers the chance to promote their products for free.

Google Shopping Free Listings

Look Beyond Google

Your activity doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t stop at Google. Microsoft Ads, though smaller in volume offers another route to customers. Social channels through both social commerce and catalog/eCommerce functionality also continue to open up new opportunities.

In Conclusion

PPC is more important than ever to capture clicks and conversions that may otherwise go to your competitors. But you need to be smart with your targeting and delivery to get the most out of your investment.

Get in touch with our team, who have extensive experience in running successful ecommerce campaigns.


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