If you’re thinking of starting or scaling an e-commerce business, then keep reading because what I’m about to share with you is the thought process behind the 1000% Return-on-Investment Paid Ad campaign we used to grow the revenue of an e-commerce business during the COVID-19 lockdown when customers were literally conservative in spending and what you do as well.
To give a little background to this industry...
According to reports the e-commerce market size was valued at USD 9.09 trillion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2020 to 2027.
In 2019, e-commerce was responsible for around $3.5 trillion in sales and is expected to hit $4.9 trillion by 2021. In the US alone, e-commerce represents over 10% of retail sales and that number is expected to grow by nearly 15% each year!
In other words, if you had a 0.000001% market share (which translates to $3.5 million you could still be profitable), and of course the market keeps growing.
Hey! There’s room for everyone if you know how to do it the right way.
And YES, there is a wrong way to do this and it could cost you a ton of money( but you’ll be able to avoid that after reading this article to the end).
So, back to my story...
For the sake of this post and on request by the client to remain anonymous I’ll use Aurora Beauty as a pseudonym.
Sometime in January (long before the lockdown), Aurora Beauty, which is an e-commerce beauty store reached out through a mutual friend. Their business needed more visibility that would convert to sales.
And this process took much longer than normal, and here’s why...
From experience, we know most clients would have tried a couple of other agencies who would have promised them not just the solar system, but the galaxy and milky way only to realize at the end of the day it was just smoke and mirrors.
So most of the time we expect skepticism when clients approach us (but there are exceptions to this rule), I mean no one should jump from one sour relationship to another without some form of due diligence.
We had a couple of meetings to understand their needs and define the successful customer outcome (which includes KPIs).
Here’s a screenshot from one of our dashboards showing a portion of the sales generated over a 7-month period.
Keep reading to get the full scoop...
Now, I have to buttress the fact that most of the sales came in during the COVID-19 pandemic, when a lot of people were on lock down...
Which makes it more interesting...right?
Typically during economic downtime (such as that of COVID-19 era), consumers basically are in conservative mode and aren’t willing to spend as a result of the uncertain times, so your marketing has to be strategic...
or you could lose a lot of money.
When it comes to digital marketing strategy, talk is cheap but RESULT speak volumes and if you’re not tracking user behaviour and other key metrics then its “hope-marketing”, more like throwing mud on the wall and hoping it sticks.
You’ve lost the game before you even got started.
We did a couple of test campaigns to figure which channels would work best and to get the results they needed.
But to give a little perspective; very campaign we launch is created using this framework which serves as a guide along the way so we know exactly what to tweak to guaranty result.
There are basically 5 stages all campaigns go through to guaranty success.
It always begins with awareness about your product or service, and this requires quite a good chunk of a narrative on the needs in the marketplace and how what you offer is the solution. A good awareness campaign with a clear understanding of the customer’s needs will always generate traction and amass goodwill that you can capitalize on. Long story short, the goal of awareness is to get the attention of your prospective customer
The next best thing after getting the attention of your prospective customer is knowing what they really want before they tell you, and it is not as difficult as you might think because the customer always leaves clues about what they want, and this is where engagement comes in right after an awareness campaign. Awareness is the point where your prospective customer wants more information about your solution and this is where the selling process is initiated by them.
If you’ve done a good job in your market research before launching the awareness campaign everything will become a science that you can review and optimize for maximum result and this is conversion. For instance, you create a campaign that 500 people see, and 100 people reach out to you and 20 people purchase. You can clearly say that you have a 20% conversion rate. So with a few tweaks you can effect a positive change in your business outcomes.
A lot of business owners rejoice at this moment but this is just the beginning, as this only allows you to have enough data to analyze and optimize so you can scale your business. A simple way to put it would be; you ran a campaign that brought you 20 customers, the next step is how you can make them make repeat purchases. This shouldn’t be as hard as the first time if you have a great customer experience,it basically about doing the work of convincing them to buy and then leveraging that initial marketing effort so you can get more from it.
5. Upsell/ Down-sell/ Cross-sell
This should be the ultimate goal for your business on each transaction because it maximizes the profitability of that business and allows you to create and deploy more dynamic strategies that establish market dominance that the customer can’t ignore because it is too irresistible.
And this brings us to the thought process we use everytime...
The Market: defines what segment of the market we are targeting.
The Message: this identifies what we’re telling them,
The Medium: sheds light on how we intend to reach and engage them.
Now because Aurora Beauty’s target market are women we then drill down to which of the social channels will help us connect with them.
Google is the biggest and most powerful search platform with about 3.5 billion searches made globally, and what makes it big is the ability to get at customers right when they are looking for answers.
Think of it this way, when a customer has a question in mind with respect to a challenge they might be experiencing they make a search online and you can position your business as the solution by providing an answer and that gives you an edge.
Next Facebook is the biggest social platform with over 2.45 billion users and it owns Instagram and Whatsapp.
We decided to lead with awareness campaign on Google where most of our ideal customers will be making searches based on their needs, and then back it up Facebook campaigns geared at driving conversions geared towards the sale.
Based on data gathered we settled for Google and Facebook(and instagram).
And it worked brilliantly well.
As you can see with Google, we had an ad spend of $782 (about NGN 359, 720), and generated over 3,000,000 impressions, which means our ad was seen by our audience over 3million times and we got over 29,200 clicks to website over a 6-month period.
Also for Facebook,
We had an ad spend of $2,976.63 (about NGN 1,369,249.8)and reached 1,101,824 people and had 3,860,422 impressions which generated 39,888 clicks that brought in 686 sales, amounting to $38,147.53(about NGN 17, 547,863.8) over a 7-month period.
At the end of the day, we have a total ad spend on Google and Facebook at $ 3,758.63 ( at about NGN 1,728,969.8)and that brought in revenue of $38,147.53 (NGN 17,547,863.8) which is a 1000% Return on Investment.
Here’s a table that makes it clearer:
At the end of the campaign, the only thing that matters the most is your Return-on-Investment, and for any business owner, you should hold every dollar invested in marketing accountable to the results expected.
Here's the analysis we did for the Google campaign based on the desired expectation...
Also did the same for Facebook..
- 0.01% ad impressions ad on Facebook or Google clicked on it to visit the website
- 0.019% of website visits converted to sales.
- Average Order Value was at NGN 19,250.67
- Customer Acquisition cost was at an average of $4.28 (NGN 1,967.31)
- Return on Ad Spend was 1000%.
- For every $1 invested in paid ads, we made $10.14
Here are key takeaways:
1. Know Your Audience
Results may vary from industry to industry as well as the buying pattern of the customers, and thus the need to understand the market you’re engaging cannot be over emphasized. Deep research based on the search queries made could be a good starting point and leveraging tools like Google keyword tool could help in uncovering the buyer’s intent that you can leverage.
2. Track Everything
Marketing without some form of tracking is basically like water in a bucket with lots of holes. Keeping a tab on all metrics allows you to find your winning formula and then repeat it continuously until it becomes perfect. Accountability in marketing is what makes digital marketing superior to all forms of marketing a business can deploy.
3. Know Your Numbers
The most effective way to scale is to know your business numbers, because the numbers uncovers insights and brings to surface untapped opportunities that any business can plug into and get immediate results. This is what defines the success framework that can be used to drive growth across the board.
Here’s my offer to you...
Now, while results may differ in your market we have broken down each step into a science and we are confident we achieve the same results in your business.
There’s no point going slow, if you can go faster and we can show you how to do it.
So, click on the link here and fill out the form and let’s talk about scaling your business.