Launching, growing, and scaling a new e-commerce store can be a challenge for a variety of reasons. If you’re in a niche market, you can relax—for now. But if you’re competing in a tough vertical, like women’s fashions, you’d better gear up as if you’re going to war.
To set the stage, first I want to clarify the most common statement we hear in the realm of e-commerce. Here it is:
“I’ve got this really great product line and I know it. I also know Facebook is some kind of miracle and all I need to do is run some ads to be instantly successful.”
While you might think the statement is a myth, it’s not. But it is conditional. You will never get 10x results for a hard-to-crack new funnel, “just by running some ads.”
To get top results, you basically need to go to war and blow the competition out of the water. Hint: Marketing always has been that way—unless you’re the only kid on the block.
You need to play to win in the digital marketing world, not just play. If you buy your bat and ball at el-cheapo-mart don’t expect to play in the big leagues.
Growing and scaling a new e-commerce business is a challenge our agency often faces for our clients. To help nail this question, I’ve looped in a couple of e-comm guys I know—gurus in all respects. They were part of the 35 or so who were in Maui this past spring for our little FB gathering.
Dee Deng is co-founder of Right Hook Digital, a marketing agency located in Surfers Paradise, AU.
Scott Seward, also is co-founder of Right Hook Digital, a marketing agency located in Surfers Paradise, AU.
Both of these guys are among the very, very few top FB e-comm gurus in the world today.
Here are some of their comments regarding hard-to-crack new e-comm stores:
Scott: “Yeah, there isn't really some simple one trick way to guarantee success with new brands because at the end of day you're essentially just validating their business model/product-market fit initially because they haven't yet done that themselves - you need to set that expectation HARD.”
New sites often need a lot of branding and copy writing to nail results. With these things, if all you do is ‘just run some ads’ will 100% guarantee failure.
Scott: “So many variables - product appeal, price point, site UX, content quality, influencers to leverage etc etc. Our ad funnel for the most part is always the same (see the post I did on this in the group) just the strategy and tactics may change primarily TOF. What tactics will largely depend on how much consideration/education needs to go into the purchase, is it problem solving or 'want/desire' product (ie. fashion/apparel etc) - problem solving will likely require more content to agitate the problem/offer a solution etc, different audiences may work better with gamification via quiz/bot etc - it just depends on several things as to what the strategy needs to be or what strategies to test. Retargeting sequences will also vary depending on buying cycle length/education /trust needed too.”
Here's the funnel:
Tough e-comms and a few lead-gen funnels like coaches require a lot of funnel steps, a lot of optimization to key in the best audience, and time. You don’t run these funnels, turn the ads on, and expect to become a millionaire the next day.
Dee: “Like Scott mentioned - getting a brand off the ground is tough.
Getting any new biz or initiative off the ground is tough in general.
There are certain laws of physics that cannot be avoided - I liken it to launching a rocket ship - you expend the MOST fuel during the first part of the launch. You expend the most time PLANNING the launch to make sure nothing blows up. And you are the most NERVOUS within the first phase of that launch.
And then once you get over the inertia (gravity) for first wave of anxiety ends, and you’re sipping fuel for the rest of the journey.
That’s when the real challenge begins (and also when most sci-fi movies start getting interesting).”
Often, it’s important to “warm up” an audience by building up branding before you can expect sales to come rolling in. While we’re talking mainly FB here, it’s important to not overlook other potential channels, like YouTube—and of course, video assets on FB as well.
FB is magic only to the point that it is created magic. Basically to run FB in a way that produces success, the marketer must "tell" FB what to deliver.
FB runs off of a very complex and ever-changing algorithm. FB wants you to win, but to win, you must know how to run the system against their highly evolved algo.
"Optimization" doesn't mean changing out ads, it means telling FB what you want. And everyone wants the same thing: more results at the lowest possible ROI or ROAS.
This is the massive, massive difference between somebody "running ads" vs an agency knowing the science of how to produce results from some ad campaigns.