Three E-Commerce Advertising Opportunities to Leverage Now
For every transaction, there are many touchpoints. And digital marketers, brands, or online retailers need to account for as many as possible. This year, there are more opportunities to leverage for little effort. Google offers a wealth of opportunities, and there are several marketplaces and social channels like TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest offering tactics to attract more customers this year.
Ad Opportunities on Google
Google is a great fit for indecisive buyers, providing them the information they need to make a purchase decision. Additionally, these buyers are more receptive to ads. By utilizing Google’s ecosystem, you can take advantage of many advertising opportunities.
- Google Shopping presents your products first for browsing customers and others using price comparisons. To take full advantage of this channel, set up a product data feed connected to Google. A data feed is an XML, CSV, or data file providing an overview of products you want to advertise online. These can include product title, color, size, EAN/GTIN number, and more. With online shops built on e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce, you can easily extract or connect this data file to generate ads.
- Google Advertising maximizes visibility and gets your products in front of as many customers as possible. Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Product Display Ads help ensure your listings get in front of the right customers at the right time.
- Leverage Google Shopping Actions puts your listings in front of millions of customers as they navigate through the Google ecosystem. Ensure your products are displayed across multiple touchpoints including Google Search and Google Assistant.
- Google Reviews and Ratings play an integral role in the shopping process as people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Are you likely to purchase a product with no reviews at all? Likely not. Encourage reviews, monitor submissions, and respond to what your customers are posting to create an engaging business.
In 2021, we saw online marketplaces create direct-to-consumer (DTC) efforts to attract digitally native brands. We will see this more in 2022 as brands use marketplaces to attract new customers. They can create stores within an online marketplace, offer a brand experience with a seamless browsing environment and provide flexible payment and shipping options. Marketplaces help brands get discovered while searching for other items.
Customers use multiple marketplaces to find items and compare prices. When considering marketplaces, keep a few best practices in mind:
- Identify the best marketplaces for your products. Whether it’s Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, or Rakuten, the right one aligns with your customers where, when, and how they shop.
- Optimize product content across channels. As you expand into new sales channels, ensure your data feeds’ product titles, descriptions, and keywords match marketplace requirements to reduce errors and increase relevance.
Social Channels (TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest)
According to eMarketer, 34% of customers purchase products directly through social media. Social media is best for connecting with customers via product stories. Facebook and Twitter aside, three other platforms are emerging with ad opportunities: TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest.
In 2021, TikTok launched its self-serve advertising platform. This made advertising on TikTok more accessible to SMBs, allowing them to build brand awareness, generate customer feedback, sell products and services, serve personalized ads, track analytics, and measure conversions and ROI. Over 2.6 billion use Tik Tok worldwide — ideal for brand awareness.
TikTok’s Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSAs) are customized video ads automatically populated with product information (from a product catalog). DSAs are TikTok’s version of Dynamic Product Ads, which are popular among advertisers to promote large product portfolios in apps and on social media. DSAs build awareness and drive app downloads by promoting products and retargeting to increase purchase intent.
Users upload photos, apply filters, add captions, and share them with their followers or the entire Instagram network. This platform has over a billion active monthly users, and 80% of its users follow a business on Instagram.
Directly engaging with customers, Instagram offers sponsored posts (native advertising), tagging products in posts and video content. This is especially effective in attracting and engaging customers, leading them to convert. According to Brightcove, “85% of customers between the ages of 18-34 report they’ve purchased a product or service after viewing a video.”
Users can save or “Pin” visual content found on the internet. With 291 million monthly active users and half of them purchasing after seeing ads on Pinterest, this channel successfully reaches new customers with advertising opportunities like promoted Pins, promoted carousels, one-tap Pins, promoted video Pins, promoted app Pins, buyable Pins, and story Pins. Advantages include:
- Inspiration, information, and entertainment. “Pinners” (Pinterest users) can save Pins on boards they can create themselves. They can also follow other Pinners and boards. As there is more and more content on Pinterest itself, the search bar has become the heart of Pinterest.
- Raising brand awareness. People search for inspiration. Most of the time searches are unbranded. This is a chance for advertisers to reach users at the beginning of their customer journey to inspire them to buy products. Even though your ads will eventually go offline, your Pins will stay online forever and thus create clicks long after your campaign.
In conclusion, the path to purchase involves a multichannel strategy. Integrating Google, marketplaces, and social channels accounts for the many digital touchpoints in your customer’s purchasing journey. From browsing to buying and reviews, you can have a big impact on your customers at every stage with a multifaceted advertising approach.
Rob Van Nuenen is CEO of Channable.