Why Your eCommerce Ad Strategy Isn’t Working (and How to Fix It)

Every week, we’re speaking to eCommerce business owners ready to throw in the towel with Facebook ads. Luckily, we have created a solid strategy that has worked for fashion stores, gadgets, jewellery, custom-made gifts, car parts and more.

eCommerce Strategy

So what are the common problems and more importantly, how do you fix them?  The phrase we often hear is “I’ve been running ads for 2 days and not had 1 sale” which is where we begin….

Because Facebook makes it so simple to switch ads on and off, it can be easy to assume it’s like a tap. Think about purchases you’ve made online; did you instantly buy from a company you had never heard of after one click?

As an example, I am currently dress-shopping for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I stereotypically like to order at least 10 dresses to try at home, will probably return all of them, visit stores, try to lose 3 stone in a month to fit into the one I like, go back and order 10 more, before eventually choosing ‘the one’ (usually the first one I bought).

I’m currently being retargeted with ads on my Facebook and Instagram feeds by Next, Dorothy Perkins, Asos, and many other smaller independent brands and drop shippers.  I am seeing their ads and clicking, I’m genuinely considering options from all of them.  These are the ads currently in my feeds from a few minutes of scrolling (for research purposes obviously.) 😉

eCommerce Fashion Ads

These brands are constantly running ads to me, I know when they have sales on via Facebook and Instagram ads. This is the only reason I repeatedly purchase from these brands – I never Google them or open their emails (which I find in my spam folder usually) – they always catch me on impulse on my Facebook or Insta feed.

The reason I purchase from these brands is that I feel like I know them and I trust them. When I ask myself why, there really isn’t any answer other than the fact they are ‘familiar’, and the reason they are familiar is that I see their ads all of the time – I don’t even visit their stores and I’ve never read their reviews come to think of it.  I just feel like I know them as they’re always there.

So why is this all important? Because you can’t run ads for 2 days and expect someone to feel comfortable giving you their card online, trust you’ll deliver to them, or to decide on a purchase without shopping around. Sometimes you’ll catch the odd sale this way, but it’s not going to bring home the bacon.

Think Longer-Term With Ad Budgets

If you’ve ever ordered flyers, hired a billboard ad, booked a radio slot, or even a newspaper insert, this is likely to have cost you a lot more than £15 to spend over 3 days. You’ve made a fair-sized financial commitment to that marketing campaign, and that’s how you should treat Facebook and Instagram ads.

Whatever business you run, set out a 3-month plan as a minimum for your spend.  Commit to focusing on building awareness and credibility at the start, getting traffic to your website so that the pixel can collect that data and learn from it – put sales to the back of your mind at the beginning.

There’s always an exciting turning point in a campaign which is where the patience pays off.  At this point, you begin retargeting people who have been clicking. They are warm as they already know about you, they’ve built some trust, they know what you offer, and they’re more inclined to purchase.

Not only this, but all of that learning on the pixel means you can create ‘lookalike audiences’ – these are people similar to those who have clicked. Lookalikes have such a fantastic response rate compared to people you just find based on interests.

So how do you fix your eCommerce strategy?  You change your mindset, you have patience, and you have a longer-term strategy.  We have many clients with budgets as low as £5 a day, that’s around £150 a month. You can still get a good amount of reach and clicks for this budget – run ads consistently, and you can then retarget this ‘virtual database’ with ads. This is more powerful than emailing a physical database, where you’d be lucky to get 10% open rates.

Case Study – FunStuff

Here is an example of a client we built up awareness and traffic for over a few months – they still had solid sales in that time, but we were ramping up to the big Black Friday sale week.  In just 7 days, we turned €670 ad spend into €21,000 in sales – and this was just the tracked online sales.  You can see that the initial interest campaign was costing €18 per purchase, but the retargeting campaign was down at €1.43 per purchase (a 146 x return on ad spend).  The lookalike campaign had a 41 x return on ad spend compared to 11 x on interests, showing the power of lookalikes too.

eCommerce Sales

If you’d like some help with your eCommerce marketing, we offer fantastic ‘done for you’ packages which include pixel installation, dynamic product 
catalogue setup, strategy creation and your own account manager, for an unbeatable price.

Contact us here for more details.


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