Digital Advertising Strategies to Profitably Grow Your eCommerce Business in 2024

Published: 13 November 2023

Digital Advertising Strategies to Profitably Grow Your eCommerce Business in 2024

The pace of change in the digital landscape is staggering, leaving many business leaders struggling to keep up. According to a recent report from Accenture, 88% of executives believe that both customers and employees are evolving faster than their organizations can adapt, leading to a crisis of relevance. This is especially true in digital advertising, where consumer behaviors, technology, and market dynamics are constantly evolving. To thrive in this rapidly changing environment, eCommerce businesses must adopt a multifaceted approach that goes beyond traditional methods. In the following sections, we will explore key advertising strategies designed to help your business not only adapt but also scale profitably in 2024.

Table of Contents:

  1. Navigating the Challenges of 2024
  2. 5 Digital Advertising Strategies to Grow Profitably in 2024
  3. Prepare Your eCommerce Business for 2024

Navigating the Challenges of 2024

As we step into 2024, eCommerce businesses face both opportunities and challenges. While the digital marketplace continues to thrive, certain factors cast a shadow of uncertainty. Political instability is intrinsically linked to economic health. For example, the US presidential election cycles often bring about fluctuations in stock markets, exchange rates, and consumer confidence. Such uncertainties can have a trickle-down effect on advertising costs and customer purchasing behavior. The eCommerce sector is heavily influenced by global economic forces such as trade wars, inflation rates, and currency values. A downturn in a major economy like China or the European Union could drive up the costs of goods and subsequently influence consumer spending, requiring eCommerce businesses to adjust their pricing and advertising budgets.

However, economic instability is one dimension of the challenges; consumer behavior offers its own complexities. The digital age is characterized by rapidly evolving consumer preferences. Issues like sustainability and social justice are increasingly influencing buying decisions. eCommerce platforms need to stay attuned to these shifts and adapt their advertising messaging accordingly.

The advertising sphere introduces its own demands. High advertising competition is no longer an anomaly but a norm. This heightened competition inflates cost per impressions (CPM) and cost per click (CPC) rates. For instance, the average CPC for Google Ads in the travel sector increased by 12% between 2021 and 2022. Businesses must respond by refining their ad targeting strategies to ensure a greater ROI.

2021-2022 Avg. cost per click

Source: WordStream

But even the best-targeted advertising may stumble in the face of the next challenge: the impending transformation of tracking and data collection paradigms. With major browsers phasing out third-party cookies, traditional methods of tracking consumer behavior are undergoing a sea change. The “cookieless world” complicates metrics like attribution modeling and conversion tracking. Businesses start pivoting towards first-party data collection and implementing alternative tracking methods like fingerprinting and contextual targeting.

Given this complex backdrop, eCommerce businesses must approach digital advertising as part of a holistic marketing strategy. It is no longer sufficient to treat paid advertising as a standalone goal. Instead, it should be seamlessly integrated into a consistent process, executed with agility and precision.

5 Digital Advertising Strategies to Profitably Grow in 2024

1. Make Creatives the New Targeting

Creative ads that distinguish your business have supreme power. According to a study by Adobe, companies that foster creativity enjoy 1.5 times greater market share. Another study by Nielsen states that creativity provides 47% of the total sales impact, then reach, brand, targeting, recency, and context.

This proves the fact that creative ads are no longer a luxury. They are the first point of contact with your potential customers and reflect your value proposition. Traditionally, the focus has been on meticulously identifying the “right” audiences and creating a variety of ad concepts tailored to each group. However, the digital advertising field has undergone a transformation, with major platforms like Google and Meta embracing broader targeting options, limiting the effectiveness of granular audience targeting. The new paradigm flips the script. Instead of focusing on pinpointing the perfect audience, you need to understand the target audience and craft a variety of creative concepts tailored to their preferences. These diverse creatives are then launched simultaneously, allowing the algorithm to identify and serve the most effective ads to their respective audiences. The key here is not just to determine the “best-performing” ad within the pool but to identify the best-performing concept that resonates most powerfully with its target audience. This shift allows businesses to remain competitive and scale their paid advertising efforts profitably.

As a marketer, you should adopt the following practices:

  • Conduct thorough market research to uncover the heart of your audience’s desires and needs
  • Reflect on your previous ad campaigns, learning from both your success and your challenges
  • Tailor your sales strategies to align with the aspirations of your target audience; make it about fulfilling their dreams
  • Incorporate visuals that portray the ideal destination for your customers
  • Address the deepest desires of your audience, connecting on a personal level
  • Develop compelling headlines and hooks that not only grab attention but also resonate with your audience’s curiosity
  • Create headlines and hooks that evoke genuine interest in your ads
  • Simplify your message to ensure it lingers in the minds of your audience long after they have seen it
  • Proactively tackle objections and counter any limiting beliefs within your market before they become objections

But how do you ensure a continuous flow of inspiration to generate new ad concepts weekly, all geared toward achieving high conversion rates? Here are the three simple steps:

  • Continually analyze and improve your top-performing ads, fine-tuning them to achieve greater impact
  • Study ads from other advertisers, whether they are promoting similar products, addressing the same issues, or showcasing unrelated products with captivating ads
  • Seek insights through feedback and evaluation. This could be in the form of comments on your active ads, forum discussions, product reviews, and even what your competitors’ customers are saying. In these conversations, you will discover the keys to keeping your ad concepts fresh and your conversions high.

Just look at how we made a real difference for one of our clients! We dedicated $8.5K to thorough testing over nine months, which amounted to just 1% of their total ad spend. During this period, we conducted 105 tests, averaging around three tests per week. These tests explored various angles, desires, problems, and solutions. The result? Our approach helped us find a dozen winning ads that not only caught attention but also translated into substantial sales, raking in over $1.1 million in revenue.

Ad testing results

Our commitment to testing and fine-tuning yielded fantastic results, and we are ready to deliver the same excellence to you. If you are eager to learn more about how we can tailor these strategies to your business goals, we invite you to get on a quick call with us.

2. Diversify Ad Platforms

While core platforms have their place, diversification across ad platforms is essential. Not only does it provide safety, but it also enhances the efficiency of your paid ads strategy. For example, when we added TikTok Ads into the media mix for our retail apparel and fashion industry client in early 2023, they had an additional 8% in sales with profitable ROAS. Diverse tactics within the same channel, such as display and video ads, can also amplify your reach.

Diversifying media mix results

Diversification is not merely a precautionary measure; it is a strategic advantage. Relying solely on one or two ad platforms can expose your business to risks. A sudden policy change, account suspension, or algorithmic shift can disrupt your entire advertising strategy. By diversifying your ad platforms, you not only mitigate these risks but also open up new growth opportunities.

3. Change Measurement Strategies

With the demise of third-party cookies and the advent of a cookieless tracking world, measurement has become more challenging. To adapt, consider a technology stack comprising server-side tracking like Meta Ads conversion API, Google Ads server-side, and GA4 server-side. Unlike client-side tracking, which is more susceptible to ad blockers and browser restrictions, server-side tracking is more reliable. It minimizes data loss, offers faster load times, and is less intrusive from a privacy standpoint. Moreover, server-side solutions are designed to comply with emerging privacy laws and regulations, ensuring that businesses remain on the right side of compliance while collecting essential data. Therefore, adopting a server-side tracking approach becomes critical. Such a move enables more precise measurement and allows for a more ethical way of data collection, aligning with consumer expectations for greater privacy.

4. Cultivate an Agile Mindset

Achieving profitability includes being adaptable and swift in strategic execution. Stiff, pre-planned approaches are taking a back seat; the market conditions and consumer preferences are too dynamic. In terms of paid advertising, a rigid budget is a straight path to missed opportunities. eCommerce businesses should be prepared to scale their advertising budgets up or down based on real-time performance metrics and market trends. For example, if a specific product gains unexpected social media traction, immediately reallocating the budget to promote that product can capitalize on the moment, potentially driving sales and profitability.

The same goes for agile promotions and targeted offers. Gone are the days of setting a promotion and letting it run its course. Today’s environment demands a more agile approach. Promotions should be calibrated in real time based on variables like stock levels, competitor pricing, and consumer demand. This might mean dynamically adjusting promotional codes, flash sales, or bundling options to tap into real-time market conditions for maximum profitability.

Moreover, embracing dynamic pricing models allows for the real-time adjustment of product prices according to supply and demand, competitor actions, and other external factors. This strategy maximizes revenue and ensures that businesses remain competitive and appealing to their target consumer base.

Here is a great example of how an agile mindset works. In 2022, a major bike retailer with a strong presence in both the Australian and US markets adopted a smart approach to maximize their Black Friday sale by implementing a two-phase strategy. They initiated the Early Black Friday sale on November 1st, showcasing compelling offers, though not the most enticing ones. Over the initial fortnight, the product range on sale was tailored in response to market demands. During the second week of November, a series of strong deals were introduced, yielding an immediate surge in conversion rates of nearly 40% and an impressive 60% spike in overall revenue. This strategic maneuver not only informed their approach for the main event, the Black Friday weekend, but also resulted in a higher rate of ‘add-to-cart’ actions, subsequently translating into increased revenue. Ultimately, the decision to launch the sale ahead of time resulted in revenue growth of 90% in Australia and 67% in the US.

Black Friday campaign results

5. Enhance Efficiency

As CPMs and CPCs continue to rise and the margin remains the same, efficiency is vital for scaling. Businesses must relentlessly seek ways to optimize their advertising processes, from ad creatives to landing pages to the user experience. This qualitative approach is essential for maintaining and enhancing efficiency as you scale your eCommerce business. With this context, it becomes increasingly imperative to look into automation tools that can perform real-time adjustments to your campaigns. Leveraging machine learning algorithms for bid optimization and A/B testing can lead to more intelligent spending, thereby improving ROI.

Moreover, attention should be paid to funnel analytics to identify any bottlenecks that may be hampering conversion rates. Data-driven insights can provide the necessary guidance for refining strategies, be it altering the call-to-action phrases, improving page load times, or tweaking the design elements. In summary, a multi-dimensional approach to operational efficiency is non-negotiable for eCommerce businesses aiming for profitable growth.

Prepare Your eCommerce Business for 2024

In 2024, retailers should acknowledge several key insights:

  • Not all types of growth carry the same value
  • Growth that is not profitable can negatively impact long-term viability
  • The ultimate goal should be to achieve healthy, sustainable growth

Given the challenges expected in digital advertising for the coming year, a proactive strategy is a must. By adhering to such a holistic strategy, businesses are not just bracing for the challenges of 2024, but are also laying a robust foundation for success. If you need expert advice on how to grow your business in this changing market, book a free consultation with us to help you turn challenges into opportunities for profit.

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