Solved

How much is expected to spend on ads weekly for a small store like ours?

Redtooth
Excursionist
12 0 5

Https://charmcitycellphones.com 

 

Ok, our website is a couple months old and while we've been close, there have been no sales yet. The main issue is that people don't know we exist- our web traffic is pathetic. This is despite the unpaid marketing we do on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. 

 

I manage the website and social media almost exclusively. Really I do pretty much everything, it's a lot for one person and probably not many sites with this model exist. Let me explain why.

 

The site itself is an extension of a real offline electronics store. Staff count is extremely low and so is the budget. Point is, my employer doesn't want to spend a dollar on advertising until we get at least a sale. 

This strikes me as a catch 22 to be honest, but it's his decision ultimately.

 

What is our best move, you think?

Accepted Solution (1)
NicoTPC
Tourist
4 2 4

This is an accepted solution.

Oh, my apologies. I don't see spending money on ads as a viable option for your store to be totally honest. Maybe in a marketplace setting with low CPCs and very specific search queries, but in Google Ads it will be very difficult.

I would rule out Facebook Ads entirely as it really needs a consistent flow of ad creative and a definite number of conversions to properly optimize.

 

If you went Google Ads you would want to target only the people searching for your exact products, e.g. "Refurbished/used x phone" and you'd have to close that ad out when the item sold.

 

All that to say, in GAds, your budget is totally influenced by the amount of search volume available for those very specific search queries. I can't really say without carefully studying your product catalogue and the keywords associated with them and their volume.

But it sounds to me like you'd want to start with a small budget, the great thing about Google Ads is that you can budget anything you want to it, as low as $1/day. So your budget is entirely in your control.

 

How much "should" a small business spend is not a 1-size-fits-all kind of answer. My agency has worked with small businesses with fewer than 25 items in their catalogue and spent 10s of thousands monthly, so it's really a individual matter.

 

Sorry for the not-so-helpful answer. But I hope my reasoning for the answer helps. 🙂

eCommerce fanatic, previous Founder and CMO.

Co-founder of The Peachy Company, an eCommerce marketing agency focused on increasing your profit through full-funnel marketing strategy and optimization.

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Replies 10 (10)

MarmetoCare
Explorer
70 6 19

Hi @Redtooth Welcome to Shopify Community. 

 

Definitely paid promotion results greater profits. Merchants spend alot of money when the website is generating good business. 

If you are not looking forward to spend money at this stage, you can follow below some strategies to raise some business - 

 

1. Social Media Influencers - You can take help from social media influencers to promote your products on Instagram and Facebook etc. In exchange you can give them free goodies or sample products. This will help you a bit in promotions. 

2. Parallely you can run email campaigns. You can collect the emails of your website visitors and send them offer emails and emails with the good deals. 

 

You can atleast try with these two for now 🙂 

 

I wish you all the very best.

 

Please feel free to reach us out at sales@marmeto.com in case you have any further queries and we will be more than happy to assist. 

Regards 

Team Marmeto

Redtooth
Excursionist
12 0 5

Thanks! I'm a bit confused about your suggestions though. First, giving away products that we paid for is essentially the same as spending money at the end of the day. Though maybe more economical, I wouldn't know.

 

As for email marketing, this only works when you have customer emails to begin with.

We don't.

Otherwise we'd have to buy lists or something and that's not only unscrupulous but probably not too effective in winning over many customers to begin with.

 

I don't really see a way out of this but I'd love to see more suggestions. By the way, I'm already incorporating SEO with alt text and proper tags and all that. It would help if I was better technically and could manage sales channels issues better, but I'm doing this all myself so of course mistakes will be more common.

NicoTPC
Tourist
4 2 4

Hey there, this is a great question.

Let me clarify, if you receive just one sale the boss will consider paid traffic?

Here are my suggestions for driving organic sales:

  • Have you thought about opening an Amazon storefront instead of selling through your website? The traffic is built in and all of the systems you need to sell are available.
  • There are also other sites specific to electronics like newegg.com and backmarket.com

 

If you're not into going down the marketplace route then here are some suggestions:

 

  • Search on social platforms for people who posted about recently loosing or breaking a phone and reply to their post with your website/the most appropriate product for them from your site. Try to be helpful.
  • Similar to the above, look for people who post about getting a new phone and direct them to accessories of yours that would be appropriate.
  • Create a product feed (easy to do if you're on Shopify) and sign up for Google Merchant Center. There is a free product listings service where Google will show your products for free but you have to configure this in Google Merchant Center. The traffic is usually small.
  • Similar to the first two, scour craig's list or other forums for people who need cell phones because they lost or broke one.
  • Get a Google My Business profile and link your site to it and optimize your account, people searching in your area for used cell phones can potentially see your site. SEO will be very, very tough for you because you're competing with national sellers who have massive inventories. But a local SEO campaign might stand a chance of working.

There are other routes to take as well but these seem to be the most appropriate for your situation. Organic is a tough route but frankly with your small inventory and new site that hasn't made any sales yet I agree with the boss. You can very quickly spend a lot of money on ads with nothing to show for it.

 

Cheers and good luck to you.

eCommerce fanatic, previous Founder and CMO.

Co-founder of The Peachy Company, an eCommerce marketing agency focused on increasing your profit through full-funnel marketing strategy and optimization.
Redtooth
Excursionist
12 0 5

Oh, I agree. If I could rewind the last few months, I'd tell him my candid advice, which is that a full website was unlikely to be successful for an operation as small as ours, especially with our budget and staff. He just always wanted a website, and I went along with it. We would've been better off just doing eBay or even Facebook Marketplace (not technically supposed to but so many interested buyers there).

As great as Shopify is, it's not a perfect match for every type of business.

 

I like the way you think with that kind of local, organic outreach you suggest. We do have a google business page, and on it a link to the site, but truthfully I haven't had a chance to add products to it yet. We have google merchant center, as well as a Facebook shop, and eBay - however, sales channels are tricky for me, and the sync is always getting thrown off by something in the code which I don't have the skill to fix. It seems like half the time, a quarter or more of our products are rejected and made unavailable there.

 

Could you answer the question in the title though? Assuming we stick with Shopify, let's pretend we get a sale. For the time being, how much should a small business - like with 25 products or less online- spend on any type of online advertising? I want opinions, I'm just curious at this point.

 

NicoTPC
Tourist
4 2 4

This is an accepted solution.

Oh, my apologies. I don't see spending money on ads as a viable option for your store to be totally honest. Maybe in a marketplace setting with low CPCs and very specific search queries, but in Google Ads it will be very difficult.

I would rule out Facebook Ads entirely as it really needs a consistent flow of ad creative and a definite number of conversions to properly optimize.

 

If you went Google Ads you would want to target only the people searching for your exact products, e.g. "Refurbished/used x phone" and you'd have to close that ad out when the item sold.

 

All that to say, in GAds, your budget is totally influenced by the amount of search volume available for those very specific search queries. I can't really say without carefully studying your product catalogue and the keywords associated with them and their volume.

But it sounds to me like you'd want to start with a small budget, the great thing about Google Ads is that you can budget anything you want to it, as low as $1/day. So your budget is entirely in your control.

 

How much "should" a small business spend is not a 1-size-fits-all kind of answer. My agency has worked with small businesses with fewer than 25 items in their catalogue and spent 10s of thousands monthly, so it's really a individual matter.

 

Sorry for the not-so-helpful answer. But I hope my reasoning for the answer helps. 🙂

eCommerce fanatic, previous Founder and CMO.

Co-founder of The Peachy Company, an eCommerce marketing agency focused on increasing your profit through full-funnel marketing strategy and optimization.
Redtooth
Excursionist
12 0 5

@NicoTPC Thanks anyway for your honesty and your attempt to address this. Google Ads is a possibility I hadn't put too much thought into.

Unfortunately we already put money into TikTok, some of which is unspent and it would be difficult getting a refund. We'll see what we'll do about this going forward.

flareAI
Shopify Partner
2405 223 537

Hello @Redtooth,

 

In general, organic search is more cost-effective in the long run. If you have an organic search result that gets the same number of clicks as an ad, the organic result will have a better ROI. While you may have spent time on the result, you won't have to pay for clicks, meaning your return is higher per click. By tapping into free sources of traffic, you’ll start generating good amount of sales on your Shopify store.

 

You can follow the below strategies to drive traffic to your Shopify store.

 

1. Optimize your Shopify store for search engine traffic
One way to optimize your store is by adding Keywords which are the search terms that people use with the search engines and will be what guide you in your search engine optimization. Once you gather all relevant keywords that are relevant to your product and your niche market, begin using them all throughout your website like in Product Titles, Product Descriptions, Alt Tags on Images and any other additional content.
2. Attract customers with content marketing
Just like your product descriptions will help attract visitors to your Shopify site, so will any other content on your website. A simple paragraph at the bottom of each category page with a lot of keywords that are likely used on search engines will do the trick.
3. Write guest posts for sites within your niche
The websites on the top of the search engine results pages likely have a lot of other websites linking to them. The more links pointing to your website, the better. Rather than wait for other websites to direct traffic to you through a link, it is easiest to offer to write a guest post for other blogs within your niche.
4. Write blog post features of influencers in your market
Another way to get more links and increase traffic to your online shop is by writing a blog post that features influencers in your niche market.
5. Integrate social media
Integrate social media in your website to receive all of the new traffic on social media.
6. Showcase your products with powerful text, images, and video
Your product description should be detailed and evocative. Include vital product specifications as well as a powerful story about the product.

 

It is an amazing strategy for gaining visibility for your brand and ultimately increasing sales without having to rely so heavily on doling out money for a large marketing budget. You will get more organic sales when your products are found on free sales channels like Google Search and you will start getting order conversions for virtually zero cost. flareAI is a bot, so unlike traditional stuff you don't need to do a thing. Apps & tools need you to learn skills, hire people and dedicate time to get stuff done. Bot is different, it does stuff for you saving you time & expense. flareAI works every day for you, tapping into Google Search and 20+ of world's best & biggest free sales channels.

 

Hope this was helpful,
Gina
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Redtooth
Excursionist
12 0 5

@flareAI Thanks for your expansive write-up. I'll check out your app.

AliReviews
Shopify Partner
773 90 355

Hi @Redtooth, thanks for your question. We could see that you're receiving lots of comments from the community members. We hope you find those useful! And we do agree with @NicoTPC about trying out the local organic approach first as a small business. As for Google Ads, if you truly want to go with it, it's gonna take lots of time and patience because you might need to constantly optimize every little details. The advantage with Google Ads is that there's no limitations in terms of budget, but it's important to have a proper ad structure and suitable strategy (it really depends). Also, do you consider polishing your product photos a little bit? If you're choosing to go with ads, you might need a more eye-catching ad image for a better experience. 

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Redtooth
Excursionist
12 0 5

@AliReviews Thanks! Yes, I know the photo quality and quantity could certainly be improved. We don't have good lighting in our store for photo taking and we're amateurs ourselves at it.

With the marketing, a local focus in general seems advantageous, since as Nico pointed out we can't compete with the national chains.