How SmartSites Grew One eCommerce Store By Over 150% YoY In 12 Months
Director of PPC
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it in many ways, especially when it comes to consumer behavior. People simply stopped shopping in brick-and-mortar stores for 6+ months and realized there was an easier way to buy the things they wanted – opening their phone or laptop.
You need a new pair of shoes. Go online. Need groceries for the week? Order them to be delivered. Looking for a new car? Go directly to the dealer’s website or buy directly from somewhere like Carvana. The possibilities were endless, you could now buy anything you needed without leaving your bed, and businesses started to catch on.
It has been estimated that there were nearly 10 years of growth in eCommerce penetration in the US during the first 3 months of the pandemic, and an estimated 49% of consumers said they would shop online more frequently even after the pandemic was over (if that ever happens). So businesses need to adapt or die – if you didn’t improve your online presence, your business would be a thing of the past.
In late 2020, we at SmartSites started working with hundreds of clients who realized this and wanted to get onboard. One interesting client, in particular, sold custom products solely online and benefited from the boom of online sales. They had a ton of pain points, managing their online store on their own and with the help of another agency.
They had frequent ad disapprovals, no cohesive messaging, and lacked the ability to generate the revenue they needed to scale their business to the next level – they tried everything and didn’t know what to do next. That is where we came in and delivered on a strategy that generated a 152% increase in Revenue, a 27% increase in Conversion Rate, a 28% increase in Average Order Value, and a 117% increase in Return on Ad Spend… and no, we didn’t just double the budget… we did this while only increasing our website sessions year over year by 4%!
Our strategy focused on 3 main things, an Omni-Channel PPC Marketing Plan, Search Engine Optimization to increase those organic results, and Conversion Rate Optimization on-site and in converting sales with the help of very important strategic partnerships with multiple Shopify Partner apps.
The paid side of marketing was a very significant part of this client’s strategy before we took over, and our goal was simply to improve results with some new ideas to optimize their results without spending more. On the Google Ads side, the most important thing we could do was ensure we had a Product Feed that would not have any problems or disapprovals because, as many know, custom products can be difficult to run on Google Shopping.
After customizing the website to ensure we were set for success, our next priority became to focus on cohesive messaging across platforms. One major thing we have seen a change in addition to what was spurred by the pandemic has been the entire customer journey – people are not just buying products after seeing them once – they are starting their research on their phone after seeing a Facebook ad, checking reviews on their laptops to learn more and then finally purchasing after multiple clicks, touchpoints and knowledge of the product and store.
Here, our focus was to strategically find customers who have not heard about us, turn them into revenue-generating users and then retain those top customers and have them keep coming back. This started with top-of-funnel strategies like getting in front of people on Google Ads, Facebook/IG, and Pinterest to identify our target audience most likely to buy with fun ad creatives (flex those marketing muscles), optimized product titles, and cohesive messaging across those different touch points.
Once we were able to find these users, we had to ensure our check-out experience was seamless by making it as easy as possible to buy from our site, and then once we got the sale, we had to find more people like these users with lookalike audiences and more experimentation. With all of this effort, we were able to drastically improve a shopper’s experience when they first learned about our product and then purchased.
While we focused on improving the paid side of the business, we also utilized many strategies to improve the organic side – as many have said, the best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google, so our goal was to show up on page one as often as possible for our highest priority keywords which we identified with the help of multiple tools and past conversion data.
Here, our focus turned to creating a fun, yet SEO friendly blog that could help our rankings while also being something people actually wanted to read and simultaneously working on link building and optimizing the content on product and category pages to ensure success and the coveted top page ranking. These strategies became a building block for growing the business, so we did not have to rely nearly as much on the paid ads as they continued to get more and more expensive.
The final piece of the marketing acronym puzzle was CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization. None of our work meant anything if we could not get people to buy on our sites after clicking our ads or organic listings and kept them coming back time after time.
Here, we continued to focus on on-site optimization for product titles and ease of checkout but also focused on bringing people back with targeted email marketing to the highest value users containing exclusive offers and discounts and SMS messaging marketing for customer support, abandoned carts, and exclusive offers and discounts as well. We used multiple of our Shopify partners here to implement and supercharge these strategies to generate higher conversion rates, recover abandoned carts and keep our top customers coming back.
The world has changed, and businesses in the last few years have learned that they must adapt in order to take advantage of the ever-changing behavior of today’s consumers. Many consumers have shifted their primary purchasing behavior from in-store to online, and businesses whose effort has focused on having a seamless online experience combined with an omni-channel marketing approach have paid dividends in revenue and growth.
If you would like some additional insight into how you can improve the strength of your ecommerce PPC efforts and grow your business in 2022 & beyond, we at SmartSites can help! We utilize our years of digital advertising expertise and omni-channel strategic planning to identify the right solution to help you grow your business. Schedule a free discovery meeting to see how we can help you today!