eCommerce Display Ads: Our Complete Guide

Published on

July 23, 2022

eCommerce Display Ads: Our Complete Guide

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Looking to expand your business reach, build awareness and make more sales? Display ads can be a great way to do that. 

With eCommerce display ads, you can place your business right in front of your potential customers and get them to convert. However, while many businesses implement display ads in their marketing, not everyone does it effectively.

Are you looking to gain insight into eCommerce Display ads, their advantages, and more? Then, you've come to the right place.

This article will take you through all you need to know about eCommerce display ads. 

We will cover:

  • What display ads are
  • Elements of good display ads
  • Reasons you need display ads in your eCommerce business
  • Benchmarks to help measure results and,
  • How you can design display ads that convert for your eCommerce business, and many more.

Let's get started.

What Are Display Ads?

Display advertising is a form of online advertising where banner ads advertise products and services on websites, social media, and apps. 

You can usually spot them at the corners of web pages and social media platforms in the form of banner ads. 

With display ads, texts, gifs, videos, and images are combined with a URL where the customer clicks to learn more or buy the products. 

Display ad example for ecommerce

The goal is to capture the customers' attention and stand out in the competitive eCommerce world. 

Now that we know what display ads are, let's check out the elements of an exemplary display ad. 

5 Elements of a Good Display Ad

Below is a checklist of elements that make up good display ads that convert:

1. A well-optimized landing page

When customers click on your display ad, that's just the first step through the door. Next, you have to make sure you're ready to receive them.

In other words, your landing page must be well-optimized to motivate them to complete the desired action. 

This means the landing page must be consistent with your display ad. For example, if they clicked to buy a product, the landing page must show how to complete their purchase. 

2. On-point targeting

Your targeting must be on point to get great results with your display ads. It doesn't matter how great your ads are. The right people need to see them if you want to get excellent returns. 

So while creating your eCommerce display ads, ask yourself: who is most likely interested in my products? Who are those that will be more willing to share my products with their friends and family? 

Smart way of targeting ecommerce display ads

A great targeting strategy used by many marketers is to target customers by their geographical location. This way, if someone around your locality searches for your products, your ad will appear on their screens.   

3. Attention-grabbing banner ads 

The goal is to create simple but high-quality banner ads. This covers everything from your logo and fonts to the colours and design assets-videos or images used. 

Focus on a clean and visually appealing design and implement graphics that best represents your business. Also, an excellent strategy is to use a short copy that clearly communicates the value of your offer. 

A visually appealing ecommerce display ad

4. A compelling CTA

A great way to make your eCommerce display ads stand out is by implementing a strong call to action that motivates action. 

Your customers are inundated by much information online, so your CTA must stop them in their tracks and draw them in to take action. 

You want to use a clear and bold font with compelling colors that complement your overall design. 

Your call to action must be:

  • Short
  • Clear
  • To the point
  • Include actionable terms; For example, offers such as 'Buy now and get 50% off

5. An effective tracking system

You need an effective tracking system to know how effective your display ads are. 

With eCommerce display ads, the most important metric to focus on is arguably your impressions — a measure of how many times your ad appeared on a page viewed by your customers. 

Another important metric is the number of clicks to your landing page. Metrics such as time on site and conversion rates will also help you know how well people engage with your content. 

Why You Should Use Display Advertising for eCommerce

Here are some of the advantages of integrating display ads into your eCommerce marketing:

Display Advertising Increases brand awareness

Experts have discovered that customers need to see an ad multiple times before they finally take action. 

With eCommerce display ads, you have a better chance of increasing your brand awareness and placing your business right in front of those interested in your offer. 

A recent study showed that brand awareness increased by 21% in campaigns that implemented display ads. 

The best part?

With great targeting settings, your ads will show on websites related to your products and customers who are already interested in your products. 

Appealing ecommerce display ad

They are visually appealing and attention-grabbing

With so many distractions pulling your customers in different directions, getting their attention to your products requires a strategy that works. 

With eCommerce digital ads, you can create graphic and eye-catching content that will stand out and draw their attention to what you want them to see.

They offer great targeting options

Display ads are great for targeting people that are most interested in your products. 

For example, you can set your targeting options to reach those in your locality who have browsed about your product before. 

It also allows you to target relevant keywords that your customers are most likely to search for when looking for your products. In addition, you can select suitable placements to display your ads. 

Display advertising ads are measurable

Display ads allow you to measure your results using metrics such as:

  • Impressions
  • Click-through rate
  • Frequency
  • Conversion rates
  • And so on. 

You can interpret your results and make changes as required with these metrics. Furthermore, you can conduct A/B testing on your ads till you find what brings the most results. 

They are great for retargeting purposes

For customers who have previously visited your website but are yet to make a purchase, display ads allow you to retarget and reach these with an even more enticing offer.

With display ads, you can also define your targeting to show to certain people while excluding others. 

They are cost-effective

With simple elements such as texts, images, and videos, eCommerce display ads are cost-effective compared to other forms of advertising like radio and TV. 

Furthermore, digital ads charges are calculated according to the number of impressions. Since one impression is equal to a single page view by an internet user, you pay for only what you get.

Besides, the pricing for even highly targeted campaigns can be as low as 50 cents per one thousand impressions.  

Display Ads vs. Social Media ads: The Differences You Should Know

For many eCommerce businesses leveraging paid ads, there is the need to know the best advertising options and leverage them to increase the conversions for your business. 

In this section, we will be considering the differences between these two popular ones — eCommerce display ads and social media ads.

Digital Ads vs Social media ads

We have already defined digital advertising as the process of advertising a product using visual elements such as texts and images on a publisher's website. 

But then, what are social ads?

Social media advertising describes the advertisement of products or services using social media platforms such as:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Etc. 

Other than the apparent difference in the platforms they are displayed on, they also have varying specific purposes. 

Example of a social media ad

Social media ads can be a great choice if your goal is to increase your customer base and increase brand awareness.

However, if you want to increase your conversions, get great targeting options, and get impressive ROI on your investment, then display ads are your best bet.  

Display Ads Trends and Benchmarks

Display ads trends

As the digital world is constantly changing and improving, here are some digital ads trends you need to stay on top of:

1. Designing for mobile: Mobile display ads are digital ads that are designed and optimized for mobile users. 

Mobile users account for 60% of all display ads, so you want to optimize your ads to appeal to these users. This requires using responsive HTM5 display ads. 

Users demand a mobile-optimized experience, so your display ads will need to reflect this if you want to stay on the winning side.

Mobile responsive display ad for ecommerce

2. Including videos to increase click-through rate: According to a study, 78% of marketers say adding videos to their page increases sales. 

Including videos in your digital ads strategy can be a great way to engage customers and increase conversions.

3. Personalise campaigns using data feed: A data feed enables a display ad to showcase different design elements. 

This means you can create different ad creatives from the same campaign. 

This way, you can deliver relevant and personalized messaging without republishing your ads.

4. Targeting key shopping days: Another trend in the eCommerce digital ads world is leveraging essential shopping days to deliver personalized ads to buyers. 

Key shopping days are important days of the year when customers spend and buy more — for example, Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays, etc. 

Because your customers are more willing to spend these periods, it makes sense to focus your advertising efforts on delivering engaging and personalized ads.  

Display ads Benchmarks

Want to know how well you are doing and how much you are spending on your display ads campaigns compared to others in your industry? 

Then, you need to check out these display ads benchmarks:

  • Average click-through rate: With eCommerce, the average click-through rate for Google ads is around 0.51%
  • Average cost per click: The average cost per click for eCommerce Google is ads is around 0.45%
  • Average conversion rate: eCommerce industry has some of the lowest average conversion rates due to limitations in making changes to their offers. The average conversion rate for Google ads is around 0.59%
  • Cost per action: The average cost per action in the eCommerce industry is around $65.80. 

Best Practices for eCommerce Displays Ads

How can you get the best ROI from your eCommerce display ads campaign? The following best practices can help you:

Create high-quality ad creatives

With your audience scrolling through their website and getting inundated by different content, your goal is to create high-quality ad creatives that stop them in their tracks. 

Everything matters — from how you speak to your recipients to the pictures and videos you use. 

For example, if you sell newborn products for nursing mothers, your language will likely be different from someone selling clothes for teenagers. 

  • You want to use clean and high-quality images and videos that communicate what your brand and products are all about.
  • It is best to use catchy copies that get your audience curious while also creating a sense of urgency. 
  • Then, follow up on your copy with a compelling call to action!

On-point audience targeting

With specific targeting with your eCommerce display ads, chances are you will be wasting money showing your offers to those who don't give a hoot about your product. 

Thankfully, with display ads, there are many targeting options that you can leverage when setting up your ads. 

For example, you can choose to target your audience based on their:

  • Locality
  • Shopping behaviour
  • Interests
  • Habits.

You can also target those that have visited your website in the past.

Another option is to target keywords that your audience uses when searching for relevant products and content.

Use Multiple Formats

In designing your display ads, you want to combine different ad formats as your ads will show up on different screen sizes. 

While it can be tiring to create ads in multiple formats, we advise that you stick to the standards and most-effective banner sizes, such as:

  • 250 x 250 (square)
  • 200 x 200 (small square)
  • 300 x 250 (medium rectangle)
  • 336 x 280 (large rectangle)
  • 728 x 90 (leaderboard banner)
  • 320 x 100 (large mobile banner)
  • 468 x 60 (banner)
  • 300 x 600 (large skyscraper)
  • Etc.

Test, measure and analyze

Test, and then test again! You need to keep testing, measuring, and analyzing till you find what works. 

With key metrics such as impressions, reach, click-through rate, and conversion rates, you can analyze data from your campaign and discover ways to improve. 

For instance, an increase in only impressions is an indication that your ads are reaching a wide audience but getting no conversions. 

This means you need to improve your targeting, offers, or landing page. 

How to design display ads that convert for eCommerce

While eCommerce display ads are great for conversions, your design significantly impacts the success of your display advertisement campaign. 

Let's check out how to design display ads for eCommerce

1. Use the most effective banner size: While there are over 20 banner sizes, you want to focus and test the most performing ones in your campaign. They are: 

  • 320 x 100 (large mobile banner)
  • 300 x 250 (medium rectangle)
  • 300 x 600 (large skyscraper)

2. Use bold and contrasting colors: Use overwhelmingly bright colors, and you may turn off your audience. 

The trick is to maintain a balance — grab attention while ensuring your design doesn't blend in with the website. 

Colorful display ad

3. Keep consistent banner ads and landing page: It is good to ensure a correlation between your display ads and your eCommerce website. In other words, when people click on your ads to go to your landing page, they should be able to see the similarities between both media.

This means using your brand logo and colors from your website on your eCommerce display ads. 

4. Keep your file sizes small: No one will stick around for an ad that loads slowly. So, it is a good practice to keep your file sizes small (preferably within 150kb).

5. Use only the best images and videos: With pictures and videos, you want to keep them clean, high-quality, and relevant to the products you are selling. 

Display Ads Pricing: How Does It Work?

One of the significant advantages of eCommerce display ads is how cost-efficient they are. 

With Google ads, banner ad cost is calculated according to the number of impressions with one impression equal to a single page view by a web user. 

This means it can be as low as 50 cents per 1000 impressions. 

Some websites charge a one-time fee to display your banner ads for a particular period, usually a month. 

Wrapping It All Up

eCommerce display ads can be a powerful advertising tool for your business. Over the years, they've proven very effective in:

  • Generating brand awareness
  • Increasing website traffic
  • Boosting conversion rates. 

However, if you want to get the best results from your display ads, you need to do it right! 

By focusing on the tips and strategies mentioned in this post, you have the necessary tools and knowledge to help you set up display ads that produce maximum returns for your eCommerce business.

Do let us know if you have more questions. We'd love to help!

Vince Moreau

I'm the CEO & founder of ScaleCrush. You can often find me ranting way too much about BS marketing advice, fluffy and regurgitated content, and calling out gurus. I also happen to have my very own unoriginal thoughts about the stuff we're going through.

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