Co-Founder, ECOM HOUSE GmbH, your e-commerce scaling partner.
On one hand, social network visitors no longer receive hyper-targeted advertising that corresponds to their purchasing or surfing behavior on the internet. The amount of advertising remains constant, but the relevance of the ads has decreased. This has affected the marketing of many companies, which are now significantly reducing their budgets for advertising—circumstances that require a change in thinking.
Carefully planned campaigns with strong creatives and precise target group understanding are all the more important. The perfect playground for testing was the now-completed Christmas shopping season.
As an e-commerce expert, I was responsible for a total advertising budget of around 6 million euros last Christmas. In this article, I’d like to share some marketing tactics that worked really well for me.
1. Adjust your paid advertising on social media.
Despite the change described above, it is important to continue to rely on strong constants, such as performance marketing on sites like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, to grow e-commerce brands. This can be achieved by making the ads look less like advertising and more native to the platform. Let the ad provide value, like “5 Tips on What Jewelry to Wear for Spring,” and make sure it’s creatively tailored to the target audience.
Likewise, it’s important to think about how you convert a prospect to a customer within a short time frame. Customer acquisition via ads placed on social media should be achievable within seven days—previously, it was still feasible to optimize for longer periods such as 28 days. But for privacy reasons and the impact of iOS14, Meta made its attribution model way shorter to only seven days. Therefore, brands that need longer retargeting funnels—for example, for a higher-priced item—will feel this impact quite strongly. For them, it might make sense to change strategy, like selling a cheaper product first and upsell them later with a higher ticket product.
However, those who manage to make ads that provide real value and look native to the platform can continue to successfully use Facebook and Instagram for their sales.
2. Use influencer marketing for building more trust.
In addition, it is important not only to advertise your items but to make use of influencers for this purpose. Here, people who already enjoy the trust of the potential customer come into consideration. If they advocate the advantages of a product and recommend the purchase of the same, this often results in a significantly higher advertising impact on the consumer.
The mix of all marketing measures can be broadened by working with the right influencers. In addition, it is possible to approach large target groups more effectively—and ideally to design the advertising in such a way that it is not recognized as such. It also makes sense to combine influencer and performance marketing within a period of a few days to increase sales.
3. Tap into personalized email marketing.
Professional marketing can devour time and money, which is reason enough to give the high efficiency of email marketing a chance. Once a customer has made a purchase in your store and has provided their email address, it can be used again and again without any significant effort or additional costs.
In addition, personalized advertising can be delivered in this way. New products can be presented and relevant information sent to the buyer. His or her trust in the store grows as a result of the individualized approach. These are considerable advantages that typically guarantee higher sales.
At the same time, however, this can also increase the value of the company—for example, with a view to a later sale. After all, every available email address is worth its weight in gold.
4. Introduce new products on a regular basis.
It is important to keep enticing customers to make purchases. This can be achieved, for example, by regularly introducing new products to which the buyer is made aware of through advertising on social networks or through personalized emails.
It also makes sense to primarily launch items that compensate for declining sales of other goods. Seasonal products are a good example: Sunglasses enjoy strong demand in the summer, but this drops off significantly between fall and winter.
During this period, however, jewelry and accessories can be offered that promise high sales for the Christmas business or Valentine’s Day, for example—and that give the customer new incentives to make another purchase.
5. Sales promotions can be useful.
Apple is considered to be special in marketing: The company does not offer any sales promotions. This is a model that many smaller companies follow. They are afraid of ruining their own image with offers such as discount codes. But this strategy needs to change.
Lowered prices, discount codes, buying two items and paying for only one of them, receiving gifts when a certain value of goods is reached—all of these are, in my experience, promotions that are appreciated and used by the buyer. Buyers are interested in getting as much as possible for their money.
However, it is important not to offer such promotions all the time, but to run them only on certain occasions—seasonal or holidays. In this way, the sales figures are increased, but at the same time, the image of the company does not suffer.
Digital marketing is still strong to scale any e-commerce brand to high revenues, with the right adjustments in strategy. The style of the ad or platform where we advertise might change in the future, but the fundamentals will stay the same.
Remember, there was a time before Facebook Ads—even before the internet—when brands used marketing to scale their companies. Fundamentals never change.