The challenges ecommerce companies face evolve as they scale. Your challenges will evolve from the time you’re at $100,000 in annual revenue to $1 million and then again on the path to $10 million. What’s more, not only will those challenges naturally evolve along with the size of your business, but unpredictable events will pop up, often when you least expect it, and force you to adapt to keep scaling.
Organic Ocean, which sells wild-caught seafood harvested off the coastal waters of British Columbia, is deeply familiar with these evolving challenges. Organic Ocean started out primarily as a B2B play, selling premium seafood to restaurants. When COVID hit, the high-end restaurants that were Organic Ocean’s clientele started shutting down and canceling their orders. To survive, the brand pivoted to a consumer-facing home delivery business.
To reach new consumers and accelerate growth, Organic Ocean launched a new strategy for promoting business in late 2021: Google Ads.
By tapping into the brand’s customer attribution data to optimize ad campaigns, AdAmplify helped Organic Ocean generate over $250,000 in revenue in their first full year of running Google Ads campaigns. AdAmplify’s Dimensions Attribution platform provided deep understandings of user behavior that allowed Organic Ocean to achieve over an 850% ROAS on their paid search campaigns.
Organic Ocean’s experience isn’t one of a kind. Rather, it has something to teach all ecommerce stores about how they can scale and stay nimble — with the help of technology that shows how their marketing can be optimized to make the maximum impact.
Here are five lessons from Organic Ocean’s experience that can help all ecommerce stores understand how to scale and stay nimble.
Test new marketing channels
When Organic Ocean first partnered with AdAmplify, the ecommerce store was relying primarily on email and word of mouth. For companies like Organic Ocean with tight margins, paid media can seem hard to justify. Plus, with customer acquisition costs rising, advertising can seem like an impossible game to win.
But to power continued growth, Organic Ocean had to stop thinking of the point of sale as the ultimate goal and start thinking about it as just the beginning. Understanding which channels drive first-time customers to return for subsequent purchases was a huge untapped resource for the seafood company.
AdAmplify’s Dimensions helped Organic Ocean see the efficacy of Google ads, both for driving initial purchases and, more crucially, subsequent purchases. The data revealed that the impact of paid ads stretches far beyond the initial click or website visit, and the real value of paid media shines when new customers become loyal fans.
With the help of Dimensions, Organic Ocean was able to understand how paid search impacted business beyond the first sale, allowing them to see the full value of the channel. In the first full year of running paid search ads, 40% of the company’s revenue came from subsequent purchases. Now, the ecommerce brand uses paid search as a major channel for customer acquisition.
Prioritize the channels that have the highest probability of purchase
As you test channels, it can be tempting to follow the latest trends and invest in flashy platforms like TikTok. But each brand will have a different optimal mix of channels, and striking the right balance is an ever-evolving challenge for ecommerce stores.
Attribution takes the subjectivity out of the guessing game and allows businesses to focus on the channels that are actually working. Particularly for companies with smaller marketing budgets, a laser focus on channel performance is crucial.
AdAmplify’s proprietary Machine Learning modules crunch the overwhelming amount of attribution data any brand has to build “probability of purchase” models, which are based on user behavior from the various channels bringing traffic to a site. Using these models, Dimensions allows brands to understand which campaigns and channels will drive future sales.
For Organic Ocean, these predictive models informed optimizations that got the company to a point where 20 to 25% of revenue each month is now coming from paid search — up all the way from zero. Attribution helps build confidence in the channels with which a brand can win, guiding investments based on strategic priorities.
Maximize subsequent purchases based on marketing attribution’s report
A lot of ecommerce startups struggle to understand where their first-time customers are really coming from, which also means they struggle to find them again. How did the customer hear about the brand? And what might get them to come back for another order?
Organic Ocean’s legacy marketing approach revolved around email but lacked the analytics to optimize the channel. This left the company at a loss to understand the full customer journey as well as how to increase the efficacy of email marketing tactics aimed at customer re-engagement.
With analytics from Dimensions’ user journey report, Organic Ocean was able to see the average number of days between purchases, identify high-value customers who hadn’t placed an order in a certain number of months, and retarget that segment specifically in email. For example, if first-time customers hadn’t returned within 90 days, the brand could be sure to try to drive a second purchase to avoid attrition.
These actionable insights helped the company optimize their email channel into an ongoing source of revenue.
Optimize campaigns down to the ad unit
Beyond understanding how different channels drive business outcomes, ecommerce brands need granular insights into campaign creative and messaging to determine what’s connecting with audiences and driving conversions.
AdAmplify’s Dimensions analyzes campaigns down to the ad unit, revealing regional trends, popular products, high-converting keywords, and winning approaches at the most granular level. With AdAmplify’s tools, Organic Ocean was able to run 20-plus campaigns with multiple ad units across Canadian regions and constantly assess what worked best where.
By learning from geographic trends and ad unit performance, Organic Ocean achieved a strong ROAS on Google ads (upwards of 850%). By constantly analyzing the data, the company was able to connect with audiences outside their geographic market, optimize media geographically, and unlock informed decisions on marketing spend.
Enable transparency across managerial levels
As a brand like Organic Ocean grows to new heights, new marketing challenges will emerge. When marketing teams expand, it becomes increasingly important to maintain transparency and coordination across managerial levels to ensure everyone is on the same page.
From a tactical standpoint, marketing teams need detailed analytics on campaigns, ad units, and creative to optimize their efforts. But for managers, high-level information and trends are more important, as VPs and other executives want to efficiently understand how marketing efforts are contributing to overall business growth.
Dimensions offers the ability to provide both detailed information and high-level trends to help companies sync across teams. Marketing managers at different levels can access the data they need to make informed decisions, whether it’s for optimizing campaigns or understanding overall marketing performance.
How marketing attribution powers ecommerce growth and adaptability
AdAmplify helped Organic Ocean scale an entirely new consumer business using marketing attribution, campaign-level data, and more than two decades of experience in digital marketing. With its restaurant market business now fully back on stream as well, Organic Ocean is in a stronger position to buffer itself long term from tougher months in either of its two business models.
Nimbly powering revenue growth and customer acquisition is critical for ecommerce brands — and doing it efficiently requires scrupulous attention to detail, along with tools to make sense of the overwhelming amount of marketing data that can inform future marketing decisions.
If you’re an ecommerce business looking for a trusted partner to provide you with the data-driven insights needed to optimize marketing and grow, book a call with us.