Growing an eCommerce business is all about getting in front of prospective shoppers. While SEO is a good start, it can take a company a long time to climb up the rankings — and that’s if they manage to at all. Paid advertising is essential to generate the volume of traffic required to drive expansion and increased sales.
When you get into the nitty gritty of designing your digital campaign you will come to the realisation that there’s a smorgasbord of placements and formats, and some perform better than others. To save you time trying to figure out what formats are best for your online store we’ve made a list of the top five eCommerce ad formats.
#1 Google Shopping Ads
Google shopping ads are the visual ads that appear across the top of the search engine results page (SERP) or on the Google Shopping tab when a prospective customer is searching for a product. The ads include an image, product title, store name and price.
Shopping ads simply rock for eCommerce businesses; every hour you don’t have them live you are missing out on business. They don’t require ad copy development or product-level keyword strategies. Instead, you can create a product feed within the Google Merchant Center to automatically sync the available products within your online store. For the most part this process can be automated at your end, with Google doing the hard yards of connecting businesses with prospective clients, but be warned that you do need a certain level of technical nouse to get this up and running properly. If you get stuck the ZOOLOGIC team are here to help.
Shopping ads are super-prominent within Google search results; they are visual and appear as a photo ABOVE the organic search results. Additionally, your prospects are better qualified because they’ve already seen the product and the price by the time they click-through.
#2 Facebook Carousel Ads
Facebook Carousel Ads are a form of a sponsored post that appears on Facebook. Unlike static sponsored posts, they allow two or more images, videos, headlines, and calls to action in a single ad. They’re engaging and dynamic and will enable you to tell a story about your brand and products with a specific defined audience.
They’re straightforward to set up from a Facebook page, however when performance is of the essence, it is recommended to run these ads through the Facebook Ad Manager, which gives access to a much broader feature set which can make or break your required ROI to scale.
Facebook Carousel Ads have a broad market reach, are versatile and have the potential to achieve deep engagement with your prospective shoppers. Also, because of their unique format, they offer the opportunity to craft something eye-catching and packed full of information.
#3 Facebook Collection Ads
Facebook Collection Ads give users a seamless and engaging full screen experience on within the Facebook and Instagram feeds. The ads are for mobile only and are geared towards providing users an awesome shopping experience.
Unlike Carousel ads, these experiences must be set up through the Facebook Ads Manager which can be daunting, but is necessary to run this format. As with Carousel ads, Collection ads can be tailored towards different objectives, including great options for eCommerce businesses. If you ever get overwhelmed with the extensive (and sometimes fiddly) Facebook Business Manager interface, get a little lost, or aren’t achieving your ROI target, don’t feel disheartened. Many of our clients have previously struggled with this step, and reach out to us for guidance. You’re not alone!
Collection Ads are flexible and professional-looking templates that users can instantly access within platform. You need at least four products to make a collection, but 50+ is recommended. Additionally, they make purchasing relatively frictionless which can boost you overall campaign performance.
#4 Facebook Shopping Campaigns
Facebook Shopping Campaigns allow you to serve dynamic ads that generate on-the-fly, targeting people who have either viewed a product, added it to your cart, or purchased.
This unlocks essential retargeting tactics such as reminding a user to return and purchase the product they are interested in, recovering abandoned carts, cross sell/ up sell, or any other tactic you need using view/cart/purchase trigger combinations. Similar to Google shopping ads, you’ll probably want to set up a dynamic product feed from your website to Facebook. This can be challenging to do on your own – but it pays dividends.
A long-time favourite of many an eCommerce advertising agency, these automated, personalised ads help to get products in front of interested shoppers, which means higher conversion rates.
#5 Instagram Shopping Ads
Instagram Shopping ads are visible in the users feed and through the Explore tab. As users scroll through their feed and see a tagged product on a post or story. If they’re interested, they can click the “shop now” button, which takes them to the relevant product page.
Setting it up is a little trickier than the other formats on our list, but it’s worth the legwork. eCommerce business owners first need a product catalogue on Facebook and then pass the Instagram Shopping approval process — which can take a few days. But it’s worth it for the increased traffic and sales.
In summary consumers love these channels because they’re visual, immersive, engaging, and they make product discovery easy. Instagram is becoming much more than a way to promote your brand and direct traffic to your sales platform, and many online shops are realising its potential as a platform to make sales.
Stay tuned for future blog posts where we will show you how to implement each of these ad formats and share best practices!
At ZOOLOGIC, our digital media buying team is here to help you with all of your digital advertising needs. If you’d like more details about how we can help your eCommerce business hit us up, we are here to help!