Campaign Management Series: How to Test a Campaign for E-commerce Advertisers

MediaGo Staff | 11/11/2020

Things are certainly looking good for e-commerce in 2020 and beyond. Regardless of your company’s size, if you sell things online, it’s well worth investing the time and energy to jumpstart your e-commerce operations. There are two key aspects to consider: your e-commerce ad campaign itself (including your creative and placement), and your company landing page/website. In this post, we’ll discuss how to approach each of these items, with an emphasis on setting up and testing your ad campaigns.

How to Set Up an Ad Campaign for E-commerce Advertisers

1. If you’re truly new to the market, your first step will be to get a better idea of your product’s demographic. There are many ways to do this, and if you already have a company Facebook page set up, you should be able to easily glean some insights into your audience demographic, such as age, gender and geographical location.

2. Next, choose the ad platform you want to work with. For some guidance on selection criteria (particularly for advertisers interested in the native ad space), check out our previous post on this topic.

3. After you’ve opened an account on your chosen ad platform and have started to create a campaign, then it’s time to dive into the filtering options. Ideally, the ad platform you’ve chosen supports geotargeting and also lets you choose the specific pages where your ads will appear on the publisher website(s). This will allow you to drill down on your target audience since you’ll be able to choose ad placements on special interest pages, like the finance or entertainment section of a news website.

4. Next, you’ll want to upload your creatives. As a general rule of thumb, the more creatives you’re able to upload and test in a single go, the more data you’ll have available to optimize your campaigns. Because of this, we recommend you select a platform that allows you to upload multiple creatives at once (ideally more than 10 at a time). This will shorten your optimization turnaround time and enable you to make your campaigns ROI-positive, faster. 

How to Test an Ad Campaign for E-commerce Advertisers

1. The first step when testing your campaign is simply to sit back and wait. You’ll want to let your ads run for at least a few weeks in order to really know which creatives perform well and which flop. Assuming you uploaded multiple creatives, you’ll have a decent amount of data to dig through when it comes time to optimize.

2. After a few weeks of live ads, review the conversion rates of your various creatives. Ideally, you’ll have set up your ads in a way that allows for a scientific A/B testing approach. For example, you might run the same creative on two different landing pages or on two different sizes of ad placements in order to see which performs best — thus effectively isolating the creative as a constant. With the data you’ve collected from this initial run, you’ll be able to easily see which ads underperform and remove them from the campaign immediately. The ads you choose to keep and optimize should show at least some hints of positive performance, which you can continue to improve upon with additional A/B testing. 

3. Finally, one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle is your own website. If you’re driving significant clicks to your landing page but for some reason aren’t seeing many sales, it’s possible that there’s an issue with your website. The potential problems are numerous and could range from technical issues — like web browser incompatibility — to unintuitive design or too much friction. You should also consider the possibility that your product is simply priced too high for consumers, or that they expected to receive free shipping but instead got sticker shock when they saw the final price in their cart. These specific issues can be isolated through the use of tracking pixels – a topic we’ll explore in a future post.

We also can’t dismiss the possibility that, although your ad is driving clicks, the audience you’re engaging with isn’t the right fit. If you suspect that’s the case, you should adjust your campaign’s filters or placements to see if you can improve your conversion rate.


We hope that you found this advice helpful in your native advertising journey! Keep an eye on the MediaGo blog for the next post in our series covering the ins and outs of campaign management.