Top Trends in E-commerce Advertising for 2023: Navigating the Evolving Landscape

Whether you work in marketing, sales, or product design, you understand the importance of a quality landing page.

Nejla

Nejla

Macy is the CEO of Outline and founder of multiple other design tool unicorns. She lives in Portland with her partner and 2 dogs.

With e-commerce experiencing rapid growth and evolution, it's vital for store owners and marketers to stay current with the latest trends to keep up with their competitors. This is especially true in 2023, as the advertising industry is undergoing significant changes that can greatly impact businesses. That's why we're here to share some valuable insights through this blog post! We'll be delving into the most crucial trends shaping e-commerce advertising this year and providing practical tips on how you can adapt your marketing strategies to leverage these developments to your advantage.

Instagram Takes Center Stage

So, in the beginning, we like to start with Instagram. In recent years, Instagram has gained popularity over Facebook, particularly among younger audiences. As a result, e-commerce advertisers should prioritize engaging Instagram users before focusing on Facebook. Utilize Instagram's various ad formats, such as Stories, carousels, and shoppable posts, to capture users' attention. Your target market will ultimately determine the most effective platform for your campaigns, but it's essential to tailor your approach to align with Instagram's best practices and audience preferences.

Actionable Insight: How you can use Instagram to your advantage? Well, to get the user’s attention we would recommend using Instagram’s various ad formats; such as Stories, Carousels, and Shoppable posts. Also, don’t forget to test different creatives and ad placements to determine what resonates best with your target audience.

The Decline of Retargeting Audiences

Due to the impact of iOS 14 on user tracking, retargeting audiences are becoming less effective. Facebook, Google, and TikTok pixels can no longer reach previous web visitors as efficiently as before. Retargeting ads, once a highly effective campaign type, now capture less than 20% of overall website traffic after the first seven days. Advertisers must explore alternative strategies to reach potential customers and adapt their campaigns accordingly - more on it in the next section.

Actionable Insight: Instead of depending exclusively on retargeting, consider combining email marketing and content marketing into your campaign to maintain engagement with your audience

Automated Campaigns: Advantage+ and Performance Max

Meta's Advantage+ Shopping Campaign and Google's Performance Max Campaign represent a new trend in fully automated advertising campaigns. These "black-box" campaigns offer very little control and transparency, making it crucial for businesses to double-check every detail. To avoid inadvertently optimizing for retargeting audiences or brand keywords, regularly monitor performance and make necessary adjustments to your campaigns. 

Actionable Insight: Regularly monitor performance and make necessary adjustments to your campaigns. Set clear goals and KPIs to ensure the automated campaigns are aligned with your business objectives. Don't rely solely on these campaigns; maintain a balanced mix of manual and automated strategies.

The Rise of Dynamic Creative Ads

And now, let’s talk about Dynamic Creative Ads. Dynamic creative ads now account for over 40% of total marketing budgets, reflecting a massive shift toward algorithm-driven creative decisions. As a result, advertisers have less control over their creative budget distribution, relying instead on the algorithms of Meta, Google, and TikTok to determine the most effective ad placements. This trend emphasizes the importance of data-driven decision-making and reinforces the need to trust and adapt to these algorithms' recommendations.

Actionable Insight: With Dynamic Creative Ads you can test multiple creative assets and messaging variations to feed the algorithms with a diverse set of inputs. Don’t forget to regularly review and update your creative assets to ensure they remain relevant and engaging.

Vertical Videos and TikTok Advertising

We can’t forget about TikTok Advertising. The increasing popularity of vertical video formats and TikTok advertising signals a new trend for e-commerce marketers. Brands need to harness the power of short-form, engaging content to captivate users and drive conversions. Embrace the unique features and ad formats available on TikTok to create memorable and impactful campaigns that resonate with your target audience.

Actionable Insight: To create memorable and impactful campaigns, consider taking advantage of the unique features and ad formats available on TikTok. Investing in short-form, engaging content that resonates with your target audience and encourages them to interact with your brand can also go a long way.

Case study: Broad targeting success

A recent case study on Facebook targeting strategies reveals that broad targeting, instead of manually selecting interests or lookalikes, is the most effective approach in the current advertising landscape. When it comes to ROAS (Return On Ad Spend), broad targeting outperforms lookalike targeting with a 113% ROI compared to 76%. Despite this, both targeting methods have similar click-through rates of around 1%. This contrasts with earlier years, such as 2016 and 2020, when lookalike and interest-based targeting were the top performers.  

Actionable Insight: Experiment with broad targeting on Facebook to reach a larger audience and allow the platform's algorithms to optimize your ad placements. Monitor performance closely and make adjustments as needed to refine your targeting strategy. Don't abandon interest-based targeting or lookalike audiences entirely, but be prepared to adapt as the advertising landscape continues to evolve.

The Growing Importance of Social Proof


In an increasingly competitive online market, social proof has become a critical factor in driving conversions. Showcasing real customer experiences can help you stand out from the competition and ultimately boost sales.

Actionable Insight: Encourage customers to leave reviews, share testimonials, and post-user-generated content to build trust and credibility. Consider offering incentives or rewards for customers who share their experiences. Leverage social proof in your advertising campaigns by highlighting customer reviews or featuring user-generated content.

The Rise of AI in E-commerce Advertising


Last but not least, let’s see how AI is one of the advertising trends in 2023. Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way businesses approach e-commerce advertising. With the ability to analyze vast amounts of data, AI algorithms can identify patterns and trends in consumer behavior that would be difficult or impossible for humans to recognize. This makes it easier for businesses to deliver targeted and personalized ads to their audience, resulting in higher engagement rates and ultimately, more sales.

Actionable Insight: In brief, adopting AI into advertising tactics can improve ad precision and customization, simplify the purchasing process for customers, and result in more sales for businesses.

The Bottom Line: How to Stay Ahead in Advertising in 2023

To remain competitive, businesses need to incorporate AI-powered advertising, social media marketing, and immersive experiences. But it's also essential to remember the importance of compelling storytelling, clear messaging, and effective targeting. By combining innovative strategies with fundamental advertising principles, companies can thrive in the ever-evolving advertising landscape.