The year 2020 was a unique one. With nationwide lockdowns in many countries, consumers and businesses increasingly opted for the digital route, purchasing and offering more goods and services online. This boosted e-commerce’s global retail trade to 17%, up from 14% in 2019.

However, building a successful e-commerce business is no easy task. The problem is that, despite massive numbers of online shoppers, the competition is fierce. To succeed as an e-commerce brand, you have to include paid marketing as a primary aspect of your promotional strategy. However, your advertising budget can be wasted on unsuccessful ads that reach the wrong audience.

This article will give you 3 paid marketing tips that can help your e-commerce brand grow.

1. Use Paid Marketing to Gain Small Data Insights About Your Audience

Paid marketing campaigns (if set up correctly) have the potential to offer valuable data to e-commerce brands, which helps in learning more about your target audience. Data from a paid ad can provide you valuable insights into your consumer.

However, when it comes to gaining insight from ad analytics, there is a small aspect that will be very useful to your e-commerce brand growth – small data. Rather than harvesting zettabytes of insights and massive analytics (big data), small data relies on people. Martin Lindstrom, the best-selling author defines small data as:

“Seemingly insignificant behavioral analytics that contains immensely specific attributes, which point towards unsatisfied customer needs. Small data is the beginning of fresh ways and breakthrough ideas to facilitate brand growth.”

The reason small data is crucial to mention is that most businesses aren’t aware of the personal data stock they have access to from paid advertising.

A survey by Iron Mountain and PWC showed that just 4% of all brands completely extract total value from their data, and only 43% get a tiny benefit from the captured information. Another study showed that 64% of marketers agree strongly that utilizing data for their sales activities is crucial for business success.

data driven marketing by the numbers

Image Source:

Next time you gather data from a paid marketing campaign, make sure to analyse it to know how to structure your future promotional campaigns.

For example, check on what page you get the most conversions and at what point does it happen? Which products does your audience interact with the most? And what type of conversion do you get on the first interaction? Is your first conversion an email sign-up, or a full purchase conversion?

Use these and similar questions to get data from your paid marketing campaign, to eliminate the irrelevant aspects that don’t align with the target audience’s wants. This will allow you to focus on the most effective and the most important preferences of your target audience.

Take, for example, DirectTV – the brand reevaluated its understanding of its target audience by using various data points, then created a unique homepage to match the new view and launched a targeted ad campaign. As a result, the unique homepage got more conversions than the normal one even though the other homepage offered a $300 gift card.

2. Use Ad Data to Create Laser Segmented Retargeting

Learning about your target audience’s likes and dislikes via paid advertising data can help you craft smart retargeting ad campaigns.

The brand GreenPal, the “Uber of Lawn Mowers”, changed its ad messaging based on data that showed new insights on a particular segment of its audience. The result was a 200% rise in click-through rate and a 30% increase in on-page conversions.

This means your ad data can be used for segmented retargeting – and a great way to do this is via the Facebook Ad Manager.

And don’t forget about retargeting. If you’re using Facebook, the ad manager allows you to upload your email list – or up to 1000 emails – and then analyzes your upload. You can retarget to this list or create a look-alike audience, which is an audience with the same characteristics as the list you uploaded.

Here’s how you upload your customer list in Facebook:

Facebook audiences
create custom audience

Image Source:

When this is done, the ad manager churns out valuable insights based on age, type of device used, demographic, type of products interested in, etc.

Image Source:

This information helps you create retargeting ads that align specifically with your customer’s needs and behavioral characteristics. You can then create personas for any type of outreach you intend to do, like segmented emails.

3. Leverage Gained Ad Data Insight to Analyse Micro-Conversions

Consumers usually don’t click an ad, read the content on the landing page and make the purchase. Most times they go through micro-conversions like simply giving you their email.

Here’s how it works. When a prospect finds out about your business while digging up some information, they will visit your e-commerce website say via your e-commerce blog a bunch of times, to build a relationship with your company. Once they trust your business as a value-added channel, the prospect may consider purchasing from you. That’s the whole idea behind the conversion funnel.

Since your customers are on a journey through your website before purchase, it only makes sense to analyse the steps between the journey. This is what micro-conversions are concerned with. It’s all about measuring one or more of the activities of your customer base done before conversion. Here are some of these activities:

  • Account creation
  • PDF download
  • Going to multiple pages in one session
  • Adding products to the cart
  • Email sign ups

It’s important to state the micro-conversions don’t necessarily have to end up as macro-conversions (sales). You can use them as supportive aid to your main goal and have a good idea of how well you are treating your visitors.

That said, you can also use the insights provided by your ad data to understand the behaviors behind micro-conversions and when they’d convert. For example, Matthew Woodward analysed micro-conversions and discovered that an email subscriber is worth $17.81 in 3 months.


Paid marketing campaigns take a huge chunk of your budget, so you need to ensure that you get a ton of value from them. To do this use the 3 actionable tips provided in this piece to foster e-commerce growth via paid marketing:

  • gain small data insights about your audience
  • use ad data to create laser segmented retargeting
  • leverage data insights to analyse micro-conversions

So why the wait? Put these tips into action!

Binh An NguyenBinh An Nguyen is the Founder & CEO of Market Ease Digital. Binh has worked with, and advised, some of the largest national campaigns and biggest brands in Australia and around the world, including Hyundai Motor Company Australia, Subaru Australia, Etihad Stadium, yd., Tarocash, Connor, Cartridge World Australia, and the Australian Federal Government.