Time changes, things develop, and we evolve. Just like how we adapt to these changes, markets also adapt. Nowadays, people are constantly adapting to eCommerce monetization models to keep themselves up-to-date and to help develop their revenue streams. The strategic importance of these movements is well known though it can be overwhelming to decide where to start, how to start, and what platforms to use. Therefore, we have compiled this article to help you out with this process.
Paid ads are one of the most crucial and immediate ways to impact your online sales and brand awareness, both in the long and short term.
Is it still a mystery for you to decide on which eCommerce advertising platforms is right for your marketing strategy? If so, we are sure that this article can help you find the best strategy. In this article, we list the most well-known and successful paid ads platforms including their pros and cons along with our experience-based knowledge to assist you where to start.
What is eCommerce Advertising?
With successful eCommerce Advertising strategies, it is certain that your brand is going to drive more awareness and generate more sales for your products/services.
You will be working with advertising platforms such as Google, Facebook, TikTok, etc. That means that you will be paying these platforms for your ad placements. Payment is made by publishers based on pre-arranged metrics & goals which can include:
- Placement: the advertiser pays a placement fee for hosting the ad on these sites.
- Impressions: the advertiser pays a fee per number of impressions or how many views their ad has. Usually, the sites charge the advertiser per thousand advertisement impressions. (CPM)
- Clicks: the advertiser pays the publisher only when a user clicks the ad, this is also knows as pay-per-click (PPC)
12 Best eCommerce Advertising Platforms
It is only fair to say that Google is the king of online advertising platforms. That is because Google is the most visited website on the whole planet. To put that in perspective Google was visited 86.9 billion times as of June 2021. The second most visited website was YouTube which was visited 22.8 billion times. The other outcome that we can have from this data, YouTube being a part of Google and you can publish ads on YouTube through Google Ads as well.
With Google Ads, not only you can display paid search ads on the Google search engine, but you can also use the Google Display Network (GDN) to advertise on popular websites including YouTube. This solely makes Google one of the best platforms to run ads on, whether to create brand awareness or acquire new customers.
High ROAS: The average return on ad spend (ROAS) for Google Ads is estimated to be 2:1 and for the Google Search Network it’s 800%.
Vast Reach: Needless to say, Google is the biggest search engine out there, processing more than 100 billion search results per month. Why wouldn’t you harness this extreme reach to drive more sales and clients to your eCommerce business?
Easy Integration: You can combine Google Ads with other digital marketing tools to create multichannel campaigns.
Affordable for SMBs: Online advertising is very affordable for small and medium-sized businesses compared to other non-digital marketing platforms. A great way for publishers with limited resources.
Takes Time and Effort to Learn: Unless you know what you are doing with Google Ads, even though it is affordable. Getting to know Google better will probably take you time and money. as well as it can be confusing because it has lots of nuances.
Strict Policies: Compared to other online advertising platforms, Google is known to be much stricter about the content of your ads.
More Competition: While Google may open you up to the largest networks, you are not the only one doing that. You’ll be competing with countless other businesses and advertisers which can lead to higher costs.
Can Get Costly: Pricing at Google Ads can scale up very quickly, so a campaign that is not built correctly can cost you lots without any revenue. You need to make sure that you’re getting a worthy return on ad spend.
Low Customer Service: Customer service is limited unfortunately so it is important to know what you are doing or consult a professional or an agency that does.
Google Shopping is a peculiar marketing tool that allows businesses to advertise their goods to Google searchers in a visually appealing way.
Set up in the Google Merchant Center, Shopping ads are image-based product ads that show a picture of your product, title, price, store name, and reviews. Product listings displayed on the “shopping” page of search engines.
If the user clicks on your ad, they will be directed to the product page in your eCommerce store, where they can make a purchase. Like paid search ads, you pay each time someone clicks on your Shopping ad.
High conversion potential: Google Shopping ads are excellent for driving traffic that converts, as many people still start their product search on Google.
Easy to run: Google does a lot of the work for you with algorithms automatically pulling product data from your store, creating ads for your products, and matching them with relevant search queries.
Solid visual appeal: Shopping ads get a prime position in search engines with a visual presentation to attract clicks.
Takes time to set up: Google Shopping campaigns require more time to get started, but less effort after everything is set up in Google Merchant Center.
The best type of products for this platform
Any! Shopping Ads on Google represent a highly rewarding pay-per-click (PPC) digital marketing tactic for publishers.
While Google has a strong lead over other search engines, Bing has managed to develop a substantial presence in recent years.
According to Microsoft, Bing still holds 14.5 percent of the global search engine market share. On the Bing Network, 687 million unique searchers conduct 14.5 billion monthly searches.
Here’s the nitty-gritty part: 100% of searchers on the Microsoft Search Network have bought a product or service in the last week. So, Bing Ads should be part of your advertising approach if you want to reach this audience. You can also use Bing Shopping, which is very similar to Google Shopping Ads.
Less competition: Fewer advertisers on Bing means you’ll get better returns from your digital marketing campaign. Reports by SEP (Search Engine People) have shown that the average CPC (cost-per-click) for a Bing Ad is 70% less compared to Google Ads.
Reach different audiences: By publishing advertisements on Bing, you will also be publishing ads on partnering sites like Yahoo or AOL etc. So that means you can reach users you would be missing if you only run Google Ads Campaigns.
Reduced reach: It goes without saying that the audience reach and search volume on Bing is much lower than it is on Google.
Less advanced features: Bing Ads are usually one step behind Google, which means new features get released after Google and reporting is less comprehensive.
The number of users of Facebook per month is over 3 billion people, according to 2021 data from Facebook, that’s more than a third of the world’s population! Being visible to hundreds of millions of potential customers every day is the most important reason to include Facebook Ads in your digital marketing strategy.
Facebook offers a wide range of ads for online advertising to help you achieve your campaign goals. You can build brand awareness by increasing your reach and getting products in front of target customers. Or use Collection ads to bring the purchasing process directly to Facebook, so potential customers can move flawlessly from “discovery” to “purchase”.
Want more sales? You can use smart targeting on Facebook to drive both new and repeat purchases from loyal customers.
Reach billions: Facebook boasts the most users of any social media platform, with billions of active accounts. Advertising on Facebook gives you an almost unlimited potential audience.
Find your audience: Facebook is prevalent among a very wide variety of demographics, across genders and ages, which means there’s a great chance of reaching your niche audience.
Outstanding targeting: The possibilities of Facebook ad targeting are almost infinite. You can target by geography, occupation, interests, past activity, and other data points.
Easy to control spend: Facebook ads are easy to budget for and you can track what you spend easily, cutting it off when you’ve reached your maximum budget.
Boost engagement with video ads: Facebook is one of the best video ad networks out there, with publishers able to use the original content in their in-stream video ads system.
Becoming pricier: It’s becoming increasingly expensive to advertise on Facebook due to heated competition. That being said, advertising on Facebook is still relatively cheap compared to other online advertising platforms.
Takes time to master: Marketing effectively on Facebook is a skill that takes a lengthy time to master. Many small eCommerce enterprises don’t have the time or resources to manage it successfully.
The best type of products for Facebook Ads
Food, tech, fashion, DIY—any products can be advertised successfully on Facebook. The key is to craft engaging ad copy, images, or video to attract people and to pinpoint your audience using Facebook’s in-depth targeting tools.
Instagram is another immensely popular advertising platform that advertisers should consider, though it is important to understand the platform is all about visual ads.
Instagram is a very brand-focused social platform: 81% of Instagram users use the platform to research products and services
130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts monthly Advertisers can create ads based on images, video reels and use Instagram stories to promote their goods and connect with their target audience. Instagram ads can be directly linked to your product page or another page, giving users a fast and simple way to engage with your products.
urchase products. Create effective paid ads strategies as part of a targeted Instagram advertising strategy, and you can make sales.
Comprehensive targeting: Since the platform is owned by social media behemoth Facebook, Instagram advertising gives you access to in-depth targeting.
Several ad formats: Choose between stories, IGTV, videos, shopping ads and more—test them out to find the ad type that gets the most ad clicks and conversions.
Increase sales on the platform: Customers can buy without having to leave Instagram (on the mobile ad platform only).
Takes time to master: As with Facebook, marketing effectively takes a long time to master and may require a specialist to help.
Requires high-quality visual assets: Instagram is a highly visual platform, which means you need to invest in good quality content if you want to stand out.
Best type of products for Instagram Ads
Products that are visually appealing and easily incorporated into visual media, such as cosmetics, fashion, homewares, food, and health products.
With over 2 billion users per month, YouTube is an excellent platform that provides you with the opportunity to increase brand awareness as part of your conversion funnel and drive traffic to your online store. If you don’t have a YouTube eCommerce marketing plan, you’re missing a crucial opportunity to reach new users and leads.
Part of Google’s Ad system: That means YouTube has great support, strong data and targeting capabilities, including remarketing & retargeting ads.
Wide and diverse audience: More than 1 billion hours of videos are being watched daily on YouTube on wide-ranging topics.
Built-in engaged audience: Users aren’t just idly browsing through a feed—they go to YouTube for education and entertainment—and that makes it a powerful place to reach them with your video ads.
Cost of creating videos: YouTube videos need to be high quality to grab viewers therefore this can be costly for smaller businesses.
Video ads can be interruptive: Depending on the advertisement format, viewers can exit at any time and may be annoyed by video ads.
The best type of products for YouTube Ads
Products that require an element of informational or educational content.
It is probably not the first platform you think of for eCommerce campaigns, but Twitter has been one of the most popular social media channels since its launch in 2006. It’s a go-to platform for breaking news and engaging with small and big-name influencers and celebs.
High engagement: Engagement rates for Twitter ads can be as high as 1-3%, according to a study by TBG Digital. This was much higher than Facebook’s average click-through rate of between 0.90%.
Limited competition: While other social media platforms are home to millions of advertisers, Twitter only has around 130,000 business advertisers.
Pricier: Twitter advertising is typically more expensive than Facebook (but the engagement rates mean it could be worth it).
Limited analytics: Twitter analytics does not have the range and accuracy of Facebook or Google Analytics.
Lower audience reach: Twitter is home to 187 million users daily, which is far less than Facebook and YouTube. However, they are a highly engaged audience for your ads.
The best type of products for Twitter Ads
Male-skewed products would be the go-to products. Twitter has far more male users (70%) than female users (30%) meaning it could be a better platform to reach male customers.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is a very visual-oriented platform and a great way to boost eCommerce sales.
Pinterest advertising enables brands to advertise their products to users with promoted ads appearing as Pins in the organic search results.
There are over 444 million monthly users and 90% of weekly Pinners make buying decisions on Pinterest. As of January 2021, Pinterest identified the female audience at 77.1%, the male audience at 14.5%, and the remainder as unspecified.
High conversion potential: 85% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on Pins they see from brands on the platform, meaning there’s high potential for customer acquisition.
Pinterest ads blend in: Promoted pins blend into Pinterest boards which means advertising is less likely to interrupt or bother users as on some other social media platforms.
Many ad options: Pinterest offers an array of advertising options for brands to reach consumers based on goals according to the stage of the sales funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversions.
Less diverse audience: Pinners consists heavily towards 20-40-year-old women, though the audience is gradually becoming more diverse.
Less user-friendly platform design: The platform is harder to navigate than other online advertising platforms.
The best type of products for this ad platform
Products with a target audience of females aged between 20 and 40. Visually attractive products that will catch people’s eye on Pinterest boards. Goods with emphasis on craft, DIY, home and garden, or foodie audience.
TikTok Ads, one of the latest ad platforms on the block, offers a unique opportunity to promote your products to a young and hyper-engaged audience. Users spend 450+ minutes per month on the app, second only to Facebook ads. TikTok has over 1 billion users worldwide, including over 50 million active users in the United States alone.
Like Instagram, TikTok offers influencer marketing, as you can partner with established TikTok influencers to reach their audience by promoting your product in a natural way. TikTok created the Creator Marketplace to help brands find influencers to collaborate with.
Highly engaged audience: The beauty of TikTok is that engagement publishers can have their specific audience.
Get creative: You can get artistic together with your advertising and connect with users for the best possible engagement.
Most of the best advertisements on TikTok use a Hashtag Challenge as a part of their campaign. Once a user clicks on a hashtag, it takes it to the brand’s landing page and shows a lot of videos curated with a similar hashtag. According to TikTok, these challenges have a meaningful engagement rate of 8.5%.
Integrate with eCommerce platforms: Add TikTok’s app and pixel to your Shopify store so you can implement the pixel and create new posts without leaving your Shopify dashboard.
Access to new markets: TikTok’s rapidly growing global reach means new marketing opportunities for international advertisers.
High cost to advertise: TikTok ads pricing is rather expensive compared to the other platforms and begins at $10 per CPM (cost per 1,000 views).
Lack of ad placements: There are fewer options for ad placements, with most brands restricted to in-feed ads, meaning viewers see interrupting ads as they swipe through their For You page.
Must be native content: You can’t use ad creatives from other platforms. It must be a native TikTok approach if you want to ensure audiences don’t swipe away.
Videos are essential: You cannot post ads in the form of static graphics only. You will always have to produce videos and that can put a strain on the budget.
The best type of products to use this ad platform for
Products targeting Gen Z and millennials, who account for 75% of TikTok’s user base. Products that provide an opportunity for creative content—think fashion and cosmetics.
Snapchat features 306 million users per day, and we’re not only talking about a younger audience either. There’s a significant group of people who are joining the platform who are aged 26 and up.
This platform offers advertisers the capability to create interactive ads where users swipe up or tap for site visits or conversions. You can even use personalized branding filters and AR lenses to increase brand awareness.
Proven success: Snapchat users are 60% more likely to make impulse purchases, and hold a global spending power of $4.4 trillion, according to the company.
Reach mobile audience: Snapchatters are 20% more likely to use their phone when shopping in 2022 than in 2021, according to Snapchat, so you can place your brand at their fingertips anywhere.
Make an instant impact: Snapchat ad formats let you show off your products using immersive, full-screen mobile ads to make a real influence.
Low entry cost: You can launch ads for as low as $5 per day.
AR drives conversions: Interacting with products that have AR experiences is shown to deliver a 94% higher purchase rate, as individuals feel associated with brands.
Lower audience numbers make it harder to scale: On the other hand, this means it’s a good platform to test out your eCommerce marketing away from Google and Facebook.
The best type of products for Snapchat advertising
Products with a marginally higher average order value, as it’s easier to get a better return on ad spends.
As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn holds a large professional user base which means LinkedIn Advertising is largely pitched towards a corporate audience.
This means, unlike most other platforms, which focus on B2C advertising, the nature of LinkedIn makes it better suited to B2B advertising campaigns. So, B2B publishers tend to get better results on LinkedIn than other platforms.
B2B centric: LinkedIn offers B2B advertisers the opportunity to generate high-quality leads by reaching the right decision-makers.
Less competition: For B2C brands who want to reach a specific audience, it’s easier to stand out.
Less effective for eCommerce: Traditionally best suited to B2B over B2C products, which makes it less prevalent for eCommerce advertising in general.
Basic reporting tools: Reporting is basic, and you cannot access the range of metrics or customize reporting views as you can on Google, Facebook, or other platforms.
Inferior user experience: It’s harder for advertisers to quickly and easily duplicate ads, campaigns, or campaign groups. There is no bulk editor or duplication tool, so testing is cumbersome too.
The best type of products for LinkedIn Ads
B2B products and professional B2C products, such as tech products, work-from-home products, and business attire.
Amazon advertising helps brands connect with potential customers on a specific platform designed for shopping. Amazon lets you bid on specific keywords and placements to rank higher in search results for your goods, which helps get your goods in front of a wider audience of people who are specifically searching for whatever you are selling.
Shoppers are ready to buy: Amazon is the very top destination for shoppers who are ready to buy and has built trust amongst shoppers which brands can leverage.
Low barrier to entry: Publishers don’t even need a website to advertise on Amazon, making the barrier to entry extremely low so basically anyone can enter this market.
Takes minutes: The simple ad setup and interface mean advertisers can quickly choose products to advertise and start showing these products to customers in minutes.
Multiple campaign types: Choose the campaign type that suits your objective, including Sponsored Products, Automatic Targeting Campaigns, Manual Targeting Campaigns, and more.
Higher fees: Amazon is not a free tool, it charges an additional referral fee on top of advertising fees as a percentage of the sale (up to 15%), though this depends on the product category. This can be unreasonable to some sellers.
Stringent standards: Amazon holds sellers to strict standards, like shipping times, confirmation emails, order cancellation rates, and more.
The best type of products for Amazon Ads
Products with high-profit margins. Brands with established customer service and logistics processes.
In the end, the goal of social ads for advertisers is to drive valuable traffic and generate more sales.
As the world of digital and content marketing develops, it’s never been more important to choose the right advertising platform for you. Spend time assessing their unique strengths and limitations for your brand to find the platform that will help you reach your audience in the most engaging way.
Then, do what you do for all your marketing campaigns: experiment, test and assess until you get the best results.