Founder of TheWebMate, shaping marketing strategies in a digital world.
E-commerce is booming, especially during the past months. But is your business optimized for success?
Because of the pandemic and stricter retail rules in place, brands are accelerating their “digitalization” process and exploring new sales channels. E-commerce looks easy, but it’s not. Many companies think they just need to build a website and upload their best products, and boom — sales pour from the sky.
The reality is different. The online space is becoming more and more crowded with multiple new products. The competition is high, and the cost to advertise on the major platforms is increasing.
There are many advertising platforms you can test, and each one is different based on your audience and product. I’ve tested multiple social media platforms (basically all of them), and I’ve found that Facebook is one of the best platforms to test your product and scale your business.
In my experience, Facebook is the most effective platform in terms of targeting. You can target any audience, in any place, with any interest. During the past months, I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads. Based on my experience with the platform, here are a few things I’ve learned from the tests, results and failures.
Facebook ads are one of the most powerful advertising tools because they allow you to target any type of demographic. Within the business manager (Facebook ads platform) you are able to not only create campaigns for a specific buyer persona, but also target based on interests and behavior. This means that you can also focus your marketing budget on people who are used to buying and spending online, or who have traveled to a specific destination.
A Facebook pixel is a piece of code you can install on your website; it allows Facebook to track everything happening on your website. Once your pixel is fired up and tracking, you can monitor each stage of your sales funnel and understand your customer behavior even better. Facebook has become really accurate, and once your pixel has tracked several actions, it will be even more precise. Also, you’ll be able to track the ROI based on your ad spend.
Conversions Never Lie
You can pick different objectives when you start running ads on Facebook. It really depends on your goal, but I personally consider conversions to be the primary strategy you should focus on.
Tracking conversions allows you to monitor your return on ad spend (ROAS) and track your results. Many companies only focus on “branding” or “awareness” to drive views or engagement to their online products. Today Facebook has become incredibly accurate in terms of delivery.
If you pick views, you’ll get views but most likely no sales. So I recommend you pixel your website and track every single action your customers do on your website.
Pixel And Lookalike Audiences
You have to be sure your pixel is correctly installed and tracking. This analytics tool will become your best friend if you treat it well. In fact, when you track over 100 purchases, you will be able to create a “lookalike audience.” This is when the fun begins.
A lookalike audience means that Facebook will search for people with similarities to your current customers who would be likely to make a purchase.
It’s like a dog sniffing around the web looking for the perfect match for your products. Cost per conversion is typically lower when you have a healthy lookalike audience campaign running. After 1,000 purchases tracked, your pixel will become even more targeted and accurate — that’s why it’s your best friend.
Retargeting Is Key
The average conversion rate for e-commerce sales is roughly around 1%-2%. That means around 98% of your traffic is lost forever. You are basically paying for visitors that will never become your customers, and that’s why retargeting is crucial.
What does retargeting mean? It means you target all your visitors who have never purchased and show them an ad with the goal to convert them into buyers. Based on my experience, that’s where most of your profits will be — if you do it right.
Retargeting is crucial for your ads’ success. When you retarget a warm audience, you have the chance to increase your conversion rate. For instance, let’s say someone left your website, but they still had some products in their cart.
A good retargeting strategy is to make a customized offer or a discount to increase the conversion rate. You can retarget them with a tailored offer, knowing they have already picked a particular product, but they didn’t buy it yet. That means you can offer a special discount, and use a different picture, video or graphic than the one you would have used for the cold traffic.
Cold traffic means people who don’t know your business and see your brand and ads for the first time. A warm or hot audience already knows your brand. Maybe they are already your customers. That’s why they need a different message and ad creativity — you’ll need to offer a more tailored experience to solidify the conversion.
If you implement these strategies for your e-commerce business, I am sure you will set yourself up for success and increase your sales while scaling your business.
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Author: Stefano Mongardi, Forbes Councils Member