The video below shows exactly how I was able to take a specific Shopify store from $0 in sales all the way up to $317,000 in sales at a 14x return on ad sales in just five months. If I can start a store from scratch, there is no reason why you can’t achieve the same numbers.
Watch the video or keep reading below for the highlights of this case study using both Shopify and Google Ads.
[Case Study] $0 – $317k In 5 Months (Shopify & Google Ads)
Before we get into all the ins and outs that went with my strategy, let’s briefly introduce the store in question.
About The Store
Specifically, this Shopify store sells products within the automotive industry (small car parts, accessories, and more). Originally, the store owner was drop shipping these parts directly from U.S. warehouses however, with the continued success in terms of profit they began to see from Google Ads, they invested in a personal warehouse located in Pennsylvania.
Many eCommerce store owners don’t consider selling high ticket items with Google Ads due to certain misconceptions but this store proves all of these ideas wrong. The average order values ranged from $500 – $2,000 and there were certain occasions when the single orders would go up to $30,000!
The best part of all, this eCommerce brand was set up in a way where other retail stores would actually mass order products from the store. This was the main reason why they would get big individual orders occasionally.
We started handling this store around late October of 2021. By the time we began, this store had done well over $1M in sales using Facebook Ads. Google Ads was a completely new concept to the brand but they had no other way of getting around one of the major issues a big platform like Facebook ads has; fluctuations.
The fluctuations were so bad that the entire brand was running on 10% net margins. Holding big contests where people who purchased multiple items to win a car via Facebook Ads did little to help with the profitability. Though a really neat idea and a great way to add interest to your account, the downfall is that this style of campaign is not sustainable or highly profitable.
So in October, we started running Google Ads for this account with no real goal in mind. The profitability was there, but not at the scale the store owner wanted. Even though it had done over 1 million dollars in sales, those sales came with many problems.
Let’s dive into some of the most common problems this eCom brand faced (you might be facing these as well).
See How My Agency Can 10x Your Brand's Sales With Google Ads
Google Ads – effective targeting and scaling methods for ROI.
Bing Ads – dominating the market of a fairly untouched platform.
Facebook Ads (Retargeting) – helping stop the leaks from all sides of the bucket, especially with retargeting.
Shopify Store Issues We Faced
One of the most common issues that many Shopify stores have is conversion tracking issues. For example, this specific store would be making $1 in sales but tracking for $2 or not tracking any value at all.
Not only does this lead to inaccurate measuring which directly impacts your ability to make calculated decisions, but it actually feeds your campaigns the wrong data. This is catastrophic in the sense that your campaigns begin to optimize for the wrong keywords, audiences, interests, etc. As a result, your entire campaign can begin to perform much differently than it might have originally with the right setup.
Another major issue we faced with this specific store was that it hadn’t installed Google Analytics. Can you imagine a store making over a million dollars in sales with NO Google Analytics?
Fixing these issues was no easy task since we had to dive deep into the backend to figure out where they were stemming from. But once we could fix these issues, it came down to implementing the right strategy because at the end of the day, without a proper PPC strategy, you have no real chance of success.
Tracking The Numbers
Ups and downs are part of the game when it comes to eCommerce and business in general but it’s important to be on top of the numbers and know exactly how they impact your business.
I go more in depth with the sales graph within the video but here is exactly how the volume looked like from October 8, 2021, to March 25, 2022:
You can see that Google didn’t really start tracking until around the 25th of October, which is when we launched the initial campaigns. Taking a look at a broader time frame of October 25 to early December and you see something a bit more sinister; fluctuations.
The same exact issue that the store owner had left Facebook Ads for was showing itself during this time period on Google Ads.
We zoom into those months where the results look low, and you can see that this period was still highly profitable. Despite the initial fluctuations, which is just part of the process with a completely new Google Ads account, the strategy ended up being a big success (we’ll go into that strategy in a bit). So for that October-November time period, we spent about $3,800 in ads, resulting in over 50 sales and a total of $47,467 in revenue (12x+ ROAS).
Despite the profitability, the fluctuations were still present. One day, we would get over $1,000 in sales and the very next, it would drop below $200. But, again, we want to reiterate that this isn’t unexpected; this is how Google Ads works. When an account is in its “warm-up” period – which is typically the first few weeks of a campaign – the ad results aren’t consistent.
We see a lot of eCommerce store owners panic during this period and even quit Google Ads entirely. If you’re in this situation, wait it out. During this time period, the algorithm is in overdrive and doing its best to understand your store, products, audiences, etc. as efficiently as possible.
After that warm-up period, most eCommerce brands get to a certain level of consistency in terms of revenue and that happened with this one as well. We didn’t do anything special during this time period when it took a considerable jump. Simply put, Google Ads started to become more intelligent; it realized what the store sells precisely and who the target audience really is and started to show our ads to that specific audience.
So going from October 8 to March 25, you can see the results of how much we spent and how much we made. During those five months, you can see we spent just over $22,000 to get back nearly $350,000. If you do the math, you’ll see that the return on ad spend (ROAS) is nearly 15.86x. These are dream numbers if you’re only using Facebook ads or Tick Tock Ads and so forth. However, we didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to receive these kinds of results.
To be honest, only about three campaigns brought in the majority of the sales. Two of those campaigns were shopping campaigns and the third primary campaign was a search campaign. You can see on the chart that some revenue came in on a fourth campaign, but it was mostly just a testing campaign the original brand owner was running prior to the Yoru Marketing team’s entry.
Pre-Launch PPC Campaign Tips
So what exactly did we do to get these results? The first step (as it should be for any Shopify store) was to analyze the previous data. The only thing we knew was that this specific store had already done a considerable amount in sales from other advertising platforms. However, this also meant that the store had a lot of proven winning products.
Our normal go-to step would have been to import some of the previous data onto the Google Ads account but unfortunately for this store, Google Analytics had not been installed correctly. The beauty about having Google Analytics from the get-go is that you can import audiences, goals, and more directly from Google Analytics onto the Google Ads account.
Working without any of these external data sources simply meant we had to start from scratch. A difficult situation to say the least but not impossible.
We began the process by analyzing the problems we knew we had, like conversion tracking issues and no analytics, and worked on building up the foundation.
Our number one goal was to build a strong foundation, set up proper conversion tracking codes, and connect them across accounts. This included doing a ton of keyword research and market analysis to see what the buyers were looking for and how they were searching. These kinds of things are important regardless of the niche.
Who buys the products you’re selling? Without this data, you’re basically just burning through your advertising money. Take a little more time and care to do a deep analysis at the beginning so that you can adequately implement strategies you know will work.
The next step is to evaluate your website and see if there is any work you can do there to make your brand more efficient. In this case, the website needed a lot of work. The product pages needed the titles and the descriptions optimized. The images were great, but none of the text had any type of search engine optimized strategies.
Not only did we do a complete keyword research session for the brand, but we also helped implement many of these keywords and other SEO techniques within the product pages. The benefit of selling high-ticket products is that you’re often going to have a high barrier to entry, meaning that there won’t be many competitors.
However, just because you are in a competitive market does not mean that you can’t get similar results. The strategy on how we launched these campaigns will help you take the steps necessary to see the same level of success.
So once we cleaned up the site and fixed some backend issues, the next step was strategy.
Strategy Ideas For Your Shopify and Google Ads Campaigns
One of the first things we did was upload the Shopify store’s customer list onto Google Ads. You can do this too to help you create those remarketing audiences and reuse them inside your campaign.
The primary strategy that we decided to go with for this account was the smart shopping route. Before you go crazy and revamp your entire Google Ads account, hear us out. There is a reason we choose smart shopping for this account. Usually, for accounts like this, when there is no real data with Google Ads or Analytics, we normally go with standard shopping and set our own personal bids.
However, because we used the customer audience list that we got from Facebook, we decided to go the smart shopping route. Plus, we knew from previous data that there was already a high average order value. The winning products ranged from a low margin of $50 a sale to $2,000 – $5,000. Because there was a wide gap between the selling price per product and the order value, we decided to let Google Ads assist us in finding the right audience for our products.
We didn’t just pick a random smart shopping campaign; we had a strategy in mind. In the video, you can see that we launched two different smart shopping campaigns during the time we took over the accounts.
We wanted to see which products had gotten at least three to five sales or more as these winning products would help pave the way towards success for these smart campaigns. From this research, we actually found 10-20 winning products for this Shopify store and launched them all inside of one campaign. We didn’t stop there, though!
There were hundreds of other untouched products on this site that weren’t winning products, but ones that we felt could be winning products if advertised correctly. This process led us to the second campaign, where we spent a little over $12,000 to make back nearly $135,000.
Remember, none of the products in this campaign had been tested before. We were surprised to see that this campaign did about three times better than the first.
We did not set a target ROAS for this campaign. Typically Google gives you the ability to check that box to set a target ROAS, but we wanted Google to control the bidding fully. This worked out well for us.
If you’re looking at the data, you’ll see a third campaign that generated $117,000 in sales. We didn’t think it was too relevant here because it is a branded search campaign.
A branded search campaign is basically a campaign where people type in the specific brand name of the company into a search engine in order to get to the website and buy products. It’s a very generic search campaign you should have set up already, but check out the video if you haven’t already.
Now that we’ve talked about how the campaigns were launched and how far they’ve come, let’s discuss automation.
Full disclosure, we’re only showing you the Google Analytics and not the Google Ads account because we stopped working with the client in December. We ran into unrealistic expectations for where the ROAS should be and budget issues. Plus, the client needed more money to run those contests they were pushing on Facebook.
Regardless, you can see that the campaigns have done nothing but amazing things during this period. So after December, with little to no optimization being done, the client ended up spending roughly $15,429 to generate approximately $253,306. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the ROAS on automation was just as good as before (16.41x). So how did this campaign continue to perform well without anyone going in and taking care of it?
That’s the beauty of smart shopping campaigns and Google Ads. Though in the beginning, you’re going to have a turbulent time period where you’re going to get nervous and feel like it might not work out. Just trust the process and know that it does work out in the end if everything below aligns properly. Allowing Google to take the time to learn your ideal audience and where they are online, things become pretty easy and automated.
Standard shopping requires a little more of a hands-on approach, but these smart shopping campaigns allowed the owner to let the campaigns run without a lot of changes.
There are a lot of different things that we had to do in the beginning to identify the proper strategy for this specific Shopify store. If you have a lot of previous data for your ad account, smart shopping might be sufficient. What campaign route you decide to go can be categorized into two categories: 1) those who have a lot of data (at least 50-100 sales), and 2) those who are starting fresh with a brand new Shopify store.
If you fall within the first category, consider giving smart shopping a try and see how they work and let them automate on their own. Make sure you do your due diligence and make sure everything in the back end is adequately set up so you can track and manage your conversions and analytics.
If you fall within the second category and don’t have any data to work with, check out more videos on our YouTube channel. We’ll be providing tips and insights into setting up your shop properly and creating campaigns that bring you revenue. Consider the standard shopping route, set a maximum CPC Bid Limit of 40 to 50 cents, and collect that data before you automate it.
Lastly, if you’re doing over $30,000 in sales and want to take your Shopify store to the next level, book a free call with us today and get a free strategy report. Let’s work together to scale your ecommerce brand to levels you’ve only dreamed of.