The way consumers behave depends on several factors, including the ease of transactions, time-saving, costs, and more. To illustrate, we are in the era of information technology, where our needed goods are readily available online. Now, we can shop for items with a few taps on our phone or desktop and wait for the order to arrive. The rise of e-commerce is, indeed, among the hallmarks of the age of the Internet.
E-commerce is a booming industry as more people prefer finding goods online. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, retail has seen one the fastest digital transformations since many platforms are available for immediate use for aspiring e-commerce business owners. From social media to video marketing and custom website design, this sector shows promising marketing opportunities for entrepreneurs.
However, the rise of e-commerce’s popularity comes with tighter competition. For consumers, this provides more options to choose from, but for business owners, you will need to create better strategies to get your target audience hooked. But which digital tools should you utilize as a marketing approach? Well, that depends on your consumers’ behavior and needs. Microsoft advertising, for instance, is best for Bing users and offers less competition for digital marketers.
In this blog, we will look into the pros and cons of Microsoft Ads for e-commerce businesses in 2021.
WHAT IS MICROSOFT ADVERTISING?
Microsoft Advertising is a PPC-based digital marketing tool that enables businesses to promote their brand’s ads on a search query.
PPC or pay-per-click, as the name suggests, is an advertising system where marketers (businesses) only have to pay for the clicks obtained. Advertisers will bid on a particular webpage space, and when approved, their ads will appear along with a specific keyword search.
Every month, search engines like Bing get billions of searches. As an e-commerce business, you can drive more sales when users click on your ads and purchase your products. To do so, you need a strategic marketing approach. With Microsoft Ads, you have a reserved spot on a specific keyword search query on Bing, MSN, and Yahoo. You can also customize your ads based on your target audience’s demographic, location, or availability.
According to comScore qSearch, around 37% of desktop searches are on Bing. Using a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model, you can save costs while reaping more sales!
MICROSOFT ADVERTISING ADVANTAGES
Are you just getting started with your digital advertising efforts? Do you currently run a Google Ads campaign but are looking for other marketing avenues? Microsoft Ads offers these perks:
1. High-Income Consumers
As of March 2021, around 35% of Microsoft search users are in the top 25% in terms of income, and approximately 34% are college graduates. As a retailer, you can secure higher sales and find more prospects from a group of high-income consumers.
So, if you are selling luxury and other high-end commodities, your market might be on Microsoft or Bing. From expensive to low-cost products, retailers can expand their customer-base with Microsoft’s diverse user demographic.
Image from Microsoft.com
2. Ease of Implementation
If you are new and planning to launch a Microsoft advertising campaign, you can save time with the platform’s automated processes. Who wants to spend extra time setting up your ads, right?
Microsoft advertising allows you to import your materials from your existing Google Ads campaign. If you have a busy itinerary ahead, you can have the import scheduled in advance. This feature is best for advertisers who are already familiar with Google Ads.
With its ease of use, you can even do a split-testing between Google and Microsoft Ads, affording you more time for data analysis, upgrade, or optimization.
Before you start the data import, keep all the details in mind, including the small ones like the type of audience, time, and device bid adjustments.
3. Relatively Fewer Competitors
Google may hold the record of the largest search engine, but Microsoft also boasts almost 14 billion searches per month. This number proves the platform’s marketing potential for online retailers. With a few marketers leveraging Microsoft Ads, you have more room to tailor your materials to your audience.
Furthermore, Microsoft Ads offer lower costs per click (CPC) than Google Ads. Thus, if you are not on Microsoft Advertising, you are missing out on cost-effective search traffic. Along with less competition, cheaper advertising increases your chances of getting organic clicks while saving more on costs.
Microsoft’s affordable advertising, on the other hand, lets you experiment with the platform and determine what works best for you. But like any other tools, you will need a keen eye to analyze data and optimize results.
Image from Microsoft.com
4. Target Desktop Users
Undeniably, mobile responsiveness is becoming more crucial for digital marketers. But as some focus on optimizing their e-commerce business for smartphone users, they may tend to overlook desktop users.
In many instances, conversion rates are higher among PC or desktop users, especially for B2B transactions. Admit it! It is much easier to fill out forms or browse a website on a computer over a mobile phone.
If your online products convert more among mobile users, you never have to worry. These users still comprise a significant chunk of Microsoft searches. But for e-commerce business owners that gain impressive sales from desktop users, you know which tool to take advantage of.
5. Ad Extensions
Do you want your business to get more recognized? Do you wish to provide further details about your products? Microsoft’s ad extensions can improve your online visibility and drive more returns of investment (ROI).
As Microsoft defined it:
Ad extensions are additional pieces of information about your business, like a phone number or a link to a specific page on your website, you can add to your ads.
You can add these extensions to your Microsoft Ads for free, but you may get charged for certain clicks. Regardless, this feature helps your prospects to look deeper into your e-commerce business and see what is in store.
6. Device Targeting
Microsoft Ads gets the crown when it comes to targeting specific devices. Unlike Google, you can customize your ads for consumers based on the device they use. So, if your products get more conversions on mobile or desktop, you can easily tailor your brand to your audience.
Moreover, Microsoft Ads has a feature called In-House Audience that allows you to target consumers who are ready to buy based on their previous search behavior. In fact, an Australian e-commerce company, MyDeal, has seen a 389% increase in conversion rates using this tool!
DISADVANTAGES OF MICROSOFT ADS
Like the rest of digital marketing platforms, Microsoft Advertising poses specific disadvantages to some online retailers. Take a look and learn how to mitigate these drawbacks.
1. Outdated User Interface
Although there was a recent upgrade, Microsoft Advertising might not have the best appearance for marketers. Some of our Ads specialists have found it a little clunky and unorganized.
Nevertheless, the platform’s UI is not the problem here. You might only need to get used to it and focus on data analysis and performance improvement.
2. A Smaller Market
Everyone may have known that Google has the largest market share. Yes, Microsoft has fewer searches than Google, but it also offers other perks.
Microsoft search has a higher conversion rate on average and a lower cost per click (CPC), which are a great deal for online retailers.
3. Broad Match
Microsoft’s broad match keywords trigger relevant terms. For starters, this may sound ideal because you can cater to a larger group, but for some, it is the other way around. Some e-commerce business owners prefer a specific keyword that will trigger their site to show up. So, be sure to follow the broad match feature’s best practices according to Microsoft to maximize its use.
4. Not as Good Customer Support
Bing is a relatively smaller search engine company that may have lapses in customer service. Due to its size and resources, some issues may take time to resolve, and you might have to wait longer to speak to a representative. Google, for instance, has invested in its support staff to develop a baseline of information and promote quality customer care; the tech giant also has AI-based chat support that works 24/7.
As a Microsoft advertiser, keep in mind that the platform is growing, and you might expect significant improvements in customer service as the company moves forward.
Running an e-commerce business involves experimenting with potential avenues for growth and expansion. Although Google offers a huge market, Microsoft Ads helps you reach out to the other side of the door, which is often overlooked by marketers.
Multiple businesses have successfully run a campaign on the platform while others are starting to explore what it has to offer. More advertisers are now scaling their digital campaigns on Microsoft Ads, and we can see why. Its cheaper costs per click, higher conversion rates, and promising traffic results provide wonderful opportunities for online retailers.
Having more well-planned and strategic advertising models can drive consistent and long-term success for your e-commerce business. With Microsoft’s rising advertising potential, you can give it a try and see if it works as an addition to your existing marketing campaigns. But like any other digital tool, you will need a collaborative effort to maintain optimal performance and prevent unwanted risks.