Blog Article

E-commerce advertising: how to build campaigns that convert

, Moloco

July 30, 2021

Your e-commerce advertising strategy must go beyond user acquisition to drive valuable conversions.

In 2021, e-commerce is no longer considered a novel alternative to brick & mortar retail — it is the default for many customers. In the United States alone, over 70% of the population shops online and millions continue to join them each year. That makes it all the more vital to develop e-commerce advertising campaigns that attract and convert valuable shoppers.

This article will explore what marketers must account for in their campaigns, such as setting clear goals, designing engaging ad creative, and conducting A/B testing.

Ready to learn more? Check out The Complete Guide to E-commerce Marketing.

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Set a clear goal for your campaign

Optimize your website and ads for mobile

Design creative for entire marketing funnel




A/B test creative

Set a clear goal for your campaign

Setting a clear goal helps marketers build successful strategies to convert users in the long term. The only way your e-commerce advertising campaign will succeed is if you fully determine its goal. So what precisely do you want to achieve, and what conversion events are you prioritizing?

Most e-commerce marketers will answer with revenue and checkouts, but focusing on top-of-funnel objectives — such as gaining account sign-ups or social media follows — are equally important starting points. Meanwhile, bottom-funnel goals such as reducing cart abandonment are crucial to increasing sales. Each of these goals will require different marketing strategies if you plan to drive conversions.

The only way your e-commerce advertising campaign will succeed is if you fully determine its goal. For example, if you want to survey a specific audience segment, you can target them by ad channel to increase the likelihood of gaining the most accurate data sets. Clear goals also help you choose the right key performance indicators to track how effectively you are converting users.

If your campaign goal is to guide users through the entire marketing funnel, one option is to set objectives for each step in the buyer’s journey. This approach can help you assign KPIs at every funnel stage, making it far easier to detect roadblocks and optimize for conversions.

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Optimize your ads (and website) for mobile

If your campaign goes well, customers will start making their way to your website or app. Perhaps they’ve decided to make a purchase, or they could be among the 87% of users conducting research before making a decision. In all cases, the last thing you need is a poorly-designed website or technical error that forces them to abandon their purchase at this crucial stage.

Branded websites and app content are just as crucial as any marketing channel, perhaps more so — they will have an enormous influence on how customers ultimately perceive businesses. For this reason, marketers must account for the following elements before a campaign launches:

  • Optimize for mobile web: Even if you manage retail storefronts, approximately 71% of customers will use their smartphone in-store to look up product details. Any e-commerce business must optimize its website for mobile devices to serve these audiences. If possible, use dynamic creative and responsive design to adjust between desktop and mobile settings depending on the user’s device.
  • Streamline landing page links: When a user clicks on a product advertisement, it should immediately direct them to a product landing page instead of a generic home page. This action makes it easier for customers to find what they need and reduces the number of steps towards completing a purchase.
  • Use high-quality product images: When deploying images to your website or ads, use colorful high-resolution visuals that reflect your brand and capture attention. Wherever possible, avoid colors that will clash with ad channels, such as Facebook’s blue-and-white style.

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Design creative for the entire marketing funnel

To build a truly conversion-centric e-commerce campaign, it’s not enough to only target top-of-funnel customers. Instead, marketers must guide customers to a checkout screen by deploying creative for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Of course, what this content looks like will vary depending on your industry, but most businesses follow some version of the following model:


Shoppers in the awareness stage are aware of your brand or a particular product you offer. Marketers should focus on top-of-funnel ad creative such as blog posts, social media posts, or video ads. Include call-to-actions with links that will direct shoppers from your awareness content to product pages or consideration content.


Shoppers in the consideration stage are trying to decide whether your e-commerce platform represents the best opportunity to purchase a product. Marketers should highlight mid-funnel content such as product pages and promotional emails. Highlight any limited-time deals or an “Add to Cart” call-to-action button.


Shoppers in the decision stage are just about ready to make a final purchase but may need a final reminder of your platform’s value. Marketers can offer discount coupons, related products, or a premium membership trial at this stage.

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A/B test creative

You can never be entirely sure of how a piece of content will perform until it’s out where audiences can see it. That’s why it’s vital to A/B test your ad creative before launching campaigns to the general public.

A/B testing lets you present two versions of ad content to audiences to measure how effectively they resonate with each group. With this data on hand, you can launch the better-performing creative to make further optimizations that drive conversions in a broader market.

One way to streamline this process is to leverage dynamic creative in your campaigns. Advertising platforms use this capability to deploy the most effective combination of ad creative by audience, often after marketers upload their entire product catalog onto its system. Likewise, e-commerce retailers can use dynamic creative to make campaigns more engaging while limiting obstacles like cart abandonment.

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Conversions are essential for any e-commerce platform, but they’re not the only factor to consider — retargeting and geo-targeted advertising can be equally important to a company’s long-term prospects. Moloco works with you to develop a complete e-commerce advertising strategy that helps you connect with shoppers and spenders to complete any objective. Reach out today to find out how Moloco can make a difference.

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