In what order should you launch performance campaigns for your e-shop?

In this article, we will discuss the sequence in which to create and run campaigns for your e-shop. As a first step before launching campaigns, it is recommended to set a goal for how much you are willing to spend per order. Or ideally, what proportion of the total turnover (with or without tax) the cost can be.

Setting a target

You can use a number of metrics to evaluate the success of your campaigns, such as PNO, ROAS, CPA, ROI and so on. We recommend starting with tracking the cost per order as a certain % of the final product price.

In terms of setting a target, this is based on your margin. For example, if you have a 30% margin, a realistic and measurable target to start with might be 20% of the order value, which is 500% ROAS. Later on when your e-shop becomes more well-known, you can give yourself a target of, for example, 10 to 15% of the order value.

As your campaigns roll out and ROAS improves, campaigns with 1000% ROAS may already be profitable for someone, but for an e-shop that has minimal margins it might be a loss. Because it needs an even higher ROAS. For example, in branded fashion there are usually high margins, but in books, tires and perfumes there are very low margins.

When we set a target, we need to take into account that we may not get to the target until after a few months. This is because a number of factors affect the performance of campaigns, such as whether the campaigns have collected data, what bidding strategies you are using, how much the campaigns are spending, what products you are advertising on, what their prices are, and so on.

Whether you have someone looking after your campaigns and optimizing them on a regular basis also has a significant impact on campaign performance. Then your campaigns may become more profitable. When it comes to campaign optimization, you can reach out to Managino agency, for example.

You also need to take into account how the e-shop has set up its product and pricing policy, price and shipping speed, payment method, reviews and so on. Sometimes what happens is that even 100% set campaigns may not work well and bring the desired results because the e-shop is not competitive enough and interesting for customers.

Performance campaigns for e-shops

In order to get orders as soon as possible, start with performance campaigns for Google search and Bing.

You need to have Google Ads and Microsoft Ads accounts to do this. You also need to have approved products in your Google Merchant. You also need to have results ready, for example, goal scoring set up via Google Analytics 4 and events set up via Google Tag manager. And then imported conversions into Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.

Expert opinion:

“With performance campaigns, we reach users who are in the decision-making process. Therefore, highlight your USP’s – or the benefits of your e-shop – in your campaign text. Let users know why they should click on your ad and buy a product from you and not your competitors.”

– Janka Szabová, Head of Performance, dabl.

With performance campaigns, you’re targeting users who are searching for products in Google search and on Bing. These are users who already know exactly what they are looking for and are therefore closer to making a purchase.

In what order should you launch performance campaigns for your e-shop?

We often deal with running advertising through Google Ads and that’s why we have prepared these instructions to tell you in what order to run performance campaigns for your e-shop.

1. Performance Max Campaigns / Smart Shopping Campaigns

From the experience of PPC specialists, it currently makes the most sense for e-shops to run Google Performance Max campaigns or classic Shopping campaigns. The thing is that these campaigns show up in Google Shopping and therefore bring very accurate and relevant traffic.

Brand new vs. established accounts:

a) for brand new accounts, start with classic Shopping campaigns and only later move to Performance Max campaigns.
b) for accounts that already have data and conversions, you can run Performance Max campaigns

Creating a Performance Max campaign with BlueWinston is very easy, you can set up advanced filters (even multiple filters at once) to advertise exactly the products you need. You can also create Substance Groups and choose whether you want to add Substance as well or just focus on advertising in Google Shopping. This often results in a higher performance than if you created them in Google Ads / via Google Ads Editor.

For better performance of PMax campaigns, we recommend using a CSS service that cheapens the cost of click-throughs by up to 20%. If you use BlueWinston, you can use our CSS service Shopping in EU for free.

For advertising on Bing, it currently makes the most sense to run Smart Shopping or Shopping campaigns. The same applies here as we mentioned with Google campaigns, namely that for brand new accounts it’s best to run classic Shopping campaigns first. If you already have some data in your Microsoft Ads account, you can also run Smart Shopping campaigns.

Bing’s share among search engines is steadily increasing, so we’d recommend linking your Microsoft Ads account to BlueWinston, create and launch Smart Shopping campaigns as well.

2. Site search based campaigns

In cooperation with our partner Luigi’s box, it is possible to prepare special campaigns that contain search terms that real people have searched for on the e-shop. In the XML feed they can send these terms and the big advantage is that these are terms that have already brought conversions on the eshop. These terms can then be used in special campaigns that are based on real human searches on the eshop.

Campaigns based on real human searches – keywords are created from search terms that real people have searched for on the store. At the same time, these are terms that have already generated at least one conversion. The results from these campaigns are usually very good, you can see our case study here.

3. Product text campaigns

As a next step, we recommend running Product Text Campaigns because they have very precise keywords for individual products or product groups.

You just need a regular product XML feed to get started. These are the following types of campaigns:

1. Product Text Campaigns – here you will create keywords and text ads for individual products. The user sees the product ad and after clicking through, they are taken directly to the product.

2. Product-Group Text Campaigns – here keywords and ads are created for groups of products (2 or more products or variants). The user gets to the search result on the store and can choose from multiple relevant models or variants.

3. Product DSA campaigns – suitable for advertising little known products. The advertising system (Google Ads or Microsoft Ads) automatically pairs the search terms with the product and the user is taken directly to the relevant products on the e-shop.

This way you can advertise all your products via product text ads.

3. Category text campaigns

For advertising on keywords for selected categories, you can create Category text campaigns, either through BlueWinston, through the Google Ads interface or through Google Ads Editor.

1. Category Campaigns (keywords)
2. Category Campaigns (DSA)

In case of creating category campaigns through BlueWinston, you need a category feed, which must contain the names of the categories and their URL links. If necessary, you can send in the feed and use other information in Ads, for example, the lowest price in the category, the highest discount, and so on. And also more advanced category campaigns can be created, coming from combinations of categories and filters used on the e-shop.

In category campaigns, category names or categories with a certain attribute (brand, color, purpose, etc.) are used as keywords. In category campaigns, keywords can be, for example, “corner sofa”, “sofas”, “bunk beds made of solid wood”, “tuli sofa bags”, “huawei mobile phones” etc.

You can also run category DSA campaigns from the category feed. In this campaign, only search terms will be used and therefore it must be monitored and optimized regularly. The advantage is that you expand the advertisement and Google will automatically match search terms with specific URL links from the feed.

Conclusion and summary

As we said, when you have an ecommerce store, it is recommended to start with performance campaigns to sell products to get orders as soon as possible. When you have good results, we also recommend launching brand awareness campaigns as soon as possible, which should make up 10 to 30% of your total online budget. You can read more about brand awareness campaigns in this article on our blog.

In the end, it’s all about having the best performance possible while also building awareness of your store. This way, you will not only gain new customers, but you will also retain existing customers who will already be coming to you directly, without advertising.

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About the Author:

Account manager at BlueWinston & CCS Shopping in EU (I'm the guy responsible for the most effective PPC tool to create product text and Smart Shopping campaigns for Google Search)