Amazon, eBay, Etsy.
As a small eCommerce business owner, these companies might give you the chills. They’re everywhere you look. I mean, Amazon accounts for at least 49% of online retail spending.
Statistics like these might get you down – how do you compete?
Well, let’s think about this. Large retailers sell just about everything. Small eCommerce stores focus on a handful of products (sometimes, just one).
What if there was a way to advertise your specific products to specific people? Wouldn’t your sales increase and… therefore, make you a competitor?
Hint: There is a way to target your ads online. It’ll increase your sales, and you’ll become a competitor.
This post will tell you how eCommerce PPC can help you increase conversions and compete against large companies.
Table of Contents
- How does eCommerce PPC Work?
- Does eCommerce PPC Show Results?
- How does eCommerce PPC Help You Compete With Large Retailers?
How Does eCommerce PPC Work?
Before we go over how you can compete with large retailers, let’s go over the basics.
There are different types of PPC (paid-per-click) ads out there. PPC ads, in general, are paid advertisements.
They’re popular within eCommerce because you can easily advertise your product on Google and social media.
Plus, they even out the playing field for small businesses. In fact, 45% of small business owners invest in eCommerce PPC.
On that note, let’s go over how eCommerce PPC works. In this post, we’ll focus on Google Ads and Google Shopping.
Assuming that you use the internet as much as the rest of us, you probably run into Google Ads every day.
They’re placed at the top of Google and are used to sell a product or service. When I typed in the word, “mattress,” a few Google Ads showed up about buying a mattress.
Google Ads can be summarized in 3 steps.
Keep in mind that the following is a simple way to describe Google Ads. If you want the full low-down, check out our free eBook, Google Ads Questions & Answers (For Small Business Owners).
1 – Create your ad
Write your headline and meta description about what you’re selling.
2 – Choose (fitting) keywords
The best part about Google Ads is how specific they can be. Keywords help make this happen.
You can use keywords to target your product or your audience.
As a small business owner, you want to choose niche-specific keywords. This guide will help you find the right ones.
3 – Bid on your keywords
Other eCommerce owners will want to use the same keywords as you. You can bid on your keyword to increase your chances of ranking high.
With that said, bidding isn’t only based on how much money you bid on, but also your click-through rate (CTR).
You can think of Google Shopping as a retail store, like Target.
Let’s say you go to Target to buy a mattress. You’ll probably find different brands of mattresses on their shelves.
Google Shopping is the same idea, but for online shoppers.
When I search, “mattress,” on Google, their shopping ads show up alongside the PPC ads.
Google shopping is best for those who sell multiple products. Google Ads are better for targeting a single product.
So, you know how eCommerce PPC works… Do they show results?
Does eCommerce PPC Show Results?
Short answer? Yes.
Long answer? Let’s take a look at one of our case studies. There’s nothing better than real evidence!
One Hundred Toys sells high-quality toys for children. They went through the same struggles as you – trying to compete with large eCommerce stores.
Their goal was to increase their conversion rate and values using Google Ads. We worked with One Hundred Toys for 13 months and came out with these results:
Within the first couple of months, their conversions (sales) raised from 1.35k to 4.65k. Google Ads increased their sales by 3.3k.
Also, notice how their click rate improved from 89k to 137k. Your click rate determines how well-targeted your ads are.
Now let’s look at their conversion value.
A PPC conversion value shows your return on investment (ROI). Did you make more money than your initial investment? Basically… were your ads worth the cost?
The stats for One Hundred Toys says yes. Their conversion value increased by 178k with our guidance.
Sure, you have to put money upfront for PPC ads, but the results are worth it.
You might be wondering how effective social media PPC ads are.
Along with Google Ads, One Hundred Toys advertised their products on Facebook and Instagram.
Conversion rates increased by 728.63%, and their conversion value by 911.99%. Not to mention, their ROAS (return on ad spend) went up by 124.88%.
So, yes, social media PPC does work for small businesses. And they work well.
Here’s a quick summary of One Hundred Toy’s success –
- Google Ads Conversion Rate: +3.3k
- Google Ads Conversion Value: +178k
- FB/IG Conversion Rate: +728.63%
- FB/IG Conversion Value: +911.99
- FB/IG ROAS: +124.88%
Maybe you’re thinking, “… But how does eCommerce PPC make me a competitor for large eCommerce businesses?”
You’re about to find out.
How does eCommerce PPC Help You Compete With Large Retailers?
Here are the answer(s) you’ve been waiting for. All of your doubts about eCommerce PPC will (hopefully) go away after you read this.
Ready to get started?
1. E-COMMERCE PPC IS WORTH THE INVESTMENT
One of the biggest fears about eCommerce PPC is they’ll be a waste of money. Large eCommerce companies have a giant budget… Why should you bother?
Large eCommerce companies have a big budget because they’re, well, big.
You, a small eCommerce business, don’t need a hefty budget to make sales. In fact, you can create your own PPC ad budget.
So, if your goal is to make 200 sales, you can set your own budget and make it happen. Learning how to set a budget correctly takes time, but it’s worth the work.
Plus, there are ways to keep your budget low and create targeted ads at the same time. All you have to do is analyze your data.
Your data can tell you the following things about your sales:
- The most popular locations you sell to
- The most popular time of day for your business
- If you sell more products on a desktop or cell phone
- Seasonal trends
Once you’ve collected this information, you can tweak your Google ads to target your highest sales.
Need an example?
Let’s say your business sells wrapping paper. You probably sell the most products during the holidays, like Christmas or Easter.
In this case, you could redistribute your budget annually, and increase your ads during the holidays vs. the rest of the year.
Or, let’s say your product sells like crazy in Denver, Colorado, but not so much in Boulder. You can increase targeted ads in Denver and decrease them in Boulder.
Your budget can spread as thin as you want it to. Make sure to analyze your data and learn how to budget properly.
You can optimize your PPC budget AND boost your chances of competing against large companies by:
- Aligning your budget and sales goals
- Analyzing your data for targeted sales
What else is worth saying about eCommerce PPC?
2. E-COMMERCE PPC IS CUSTOMIZABLE
Let’s point out the obvious – you’re competing with large retailers over customers and sales.
An effective way to win the game is to stand out.
- What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)?
- What specific benefits do you offer?
- What’s your incentive?
The beauty of PPC ads are its customizable features. You can answer all of the questions above in your ad copy and images. Take a look at One Hundred Toys’ Google Ad.
What’s their unique selling point?
One Hundred Toys sell classic toys, like Grimm.
Classic is reliable and never goes out of style. Sure, you can buy a plastic toy on Amazon, but it won’t last long.
What specific benefits do they offer?
The benefits are listed in the short description below the title – 10% off your first order for classic toys your child will play with for years.
This tells their audience, “Our toys are durable and fun. We believe this so much that we’ll give you 10% off your first purchase.”
What’s your incentive?
Along with the 10% discount, One Hundred Toys offer free guides and activities.
The guides and activities may pique a user’s interest – What are inside of those guides and what can I learn from them?
Here’s another example with Google Shopping. In this example, I searched for “dark roast coffee beans.”
What’s their unique selling point (USP)?
This brand is organic and sells 2 lbs of dark roast beans. And whomever searches for this specific type of coffee would be happy to buy 2 lbs of it for a decent price.
What specific benefits do they offer?
Organic products are better quality, and 2 lbs is a lot of coffee.
They deliver sustainable coffee at an affordable price, right to your door.
What’s their incentive?
Their incentive is easily visible at the bottom of the ad-free shipping, no tax.
Notice how the coffee ad to your left displays their reviews. This is another effective way to attract new customers.
Something else to mention in this Google Shopping ad is the image. Their product is displayed clearly on the page. There are no distractions.
Speaking of images, notice how this business used a photo of their product. When you create social media PPC ads, make sure to use lifestyle images.
Your ad copy is the most important part of eCommerce PPC. It’s your selling point and competitive edge.
So how do you write high-converting ad copy?
You can start by filling out a creative brief. A creative brief guides you to your USP, benefits, and incentives.
Here’s a short creative brief to help you get started:
- What are you selling? (Be specific)
- Who are you selling it to? (Be specific)
- Why should they buy from you?
- What are your features and benefits?
- Who is your competition?
- What are their benefits?
- How are your benefits better?
- What are your incentives?
- Do you have testimonials? Raving reviews?
- Do you offer free shipping? No tax?
- Do you offer any discounts or free returns?
3. E-COMMERCE PPC TARGETS ‘READY TO BUY’ USERS
Most users who search for a specific product on Google want to buy it, asap. This is where your targeted keywords come into play.
Large eCommerce businesses sell many items. Users can easily browse their site and leave without buying anything.
You, on the other hand, can use keywords to target ‘ready to buy’ users. We briefly went over this earlier in this post – now we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details.
You can target keywords with the following metrics:
- Device (mobile or desktop)
Sometimes your sales are more popular on one device and not so much on the other.
This is common for local businesses who are open during a specific time period.
Even if you only sell online, there might be a popular time of day for your customers.
This is especially helpful if you’re a local business. You can target users around your area.
On another note, you might have more sales in one location than another (ie. Denver, Colorado vs. Boulder, Colorado)
Here’s an example of how you can increase your conversion rate with target keywords.
Essentra Components wanted to target the highest-selling areas of Italy. The counties in bold bought the most products, and the counties in red/yellow bought the least amount of products.
We redistributed their budget to meet their needs. Most of the budget was used to target the highest-selling counties.
And the results?
Their conversion rates grew like crazy for each county. Tuscany, Italy increased by 4233.33%.
Not to mention, the cost per conversion (CPC) decreased. So, their PPC ads now cost less and they’re making more sales.
You have a higher chance of making more sales with targeted ads. As you boost your sales, you’ll become less intimidated by big companies.
Use your analytics to determine what targeting techniques are best for you. Also, consider redistributing your budget to align with your target goals.
To Sum Up
After reading this post, you’ll most likely agree that eCommerce PPC is competitive, dynamic, and works within your budget.
It gives you a leg up against companies like Amazon and Walmart.
On that note, eCommerce PPC isn’t a walk in the park. I encourage you to learn more about PPC with our eBook, Google Ads Questions & Answers.
Read as much as you can about eCommerce PPC, analyze your data, and be open to new ideas. You’ll see results in no time.