Display ads are one of the most traditional advertising tools on the internet. They’re used to attract customers’ clicks, specific engagement, inform, and are oftentimes used as triggers for users to take certain actions. From a display ad, you can be redirected to a product page, sale page, registration, you name it.
Display ads (in its various forms) are the leading advertising asset today, and if you own an e-commerce store, you might already be aware of this.
Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss some of the best practices for successful e-commerce display ads that will make your audience click click click and avoid the so-called banner blindness many users are currently experiencing.
Let’s jump in!
1. Keep it Simple
Chances are you’re reading this article because you want your display ads to be noticed, for your clients to click, and for your engagement rate to shoot through the roof, right? Well, if you’re looking to achieve this… you’ll want to keep it simple.
Display ads today are nothing like 90s advertisement, not even when the first internet display ads appeared. The BUY NOW calls to action, for instance, are totally different nowadays compared to what they used to be. The use of very bright colors, too much information (or too little), and colors that make no sense are practices that should be thrown out the window.
Today, you’ll want to keep it simple, making sure design and copy make sense and complement each other. Keeping your display ads simple will make your customers understand your message and take action, instead of making them look away or not see your ad at all. Because even if you used the brightest of colors and the biggest of fonts, they might scroll right past it.
We understand it can be tempting to use bright red and yellow font (yikes) but if you really want your ROI to be something out of this world, you’ll want to avoid throwing everything you can think of into a single display ad. Also, in terms of size, these guys are pretty small. Too much information or overwhelming color palettes can be difficult to read, confusing, overwhelming or a combination of the three.
2. High-Quality In-Banner Video
We all know how successful video has become over the last several years. Video advertising is now a huge priority for advertisers and brand owners across all media platforms and online formats. And now, it’s starting to be the best format for display advertising as well.
Creating in-banner videos isn’t too difficult, especially if you’re using the Only Mega tool. You’ll be able to capture your audience’s attention while creating great content for your brand and boost your branding strategies as well.
In terms of e-commerce, in-banner videos are opportunities for retargeting. Dynamic videos offer advertisers a great possibility to amazingly remarket previously viewed products with a video. These will drive you more engagement compared to static display-ads.
3. Use High Quality Assets
Whether you’re using video, animation or static images, make sure you are utilizing high-quality assets. You wouldn’t want your display ads to look pixelated, would you?
Even if display ads are quite small, this doesn’t imply the quality of your images and videos should be cut back. Whether you’re using illustration, photography, video, or monochromatic colors, as well as brand logos and other graphic information, make sure these are of quality and look crisp and clear. Most users nowadays are aware of what’s good and bad quality and their expectations are much higher than they used to be, this, thanks to the accessibility of information the internet has been providing for years.
This is why e-commerce owners or marketers should not expect to serve a pixelated, display ad and receive a considerable engagement rate.
Moreover, make sure you use the highest-quality possible when exporting while keeping the style 150 KB file limit to use Google Ads. Read our guide here.
4. Create HTML5 Ads
When competing in e-commerce advertising, it’s not an easy task to create ads that stand out from the rest. The truth is, lifeless and static ads will most likely not grab your consumer’s attention, this we know for sure.
What is rich media, you say? It is an ad that includes any features such as audio, interactive elements or video which encourage viewers to engage. This includes Spotify playlists, in-banners search, and others.
5. Create Dynamic Content for your Latest Offer
If you’re interested in serving several display ads for different offers you may want to look into dynamic advertising.
For instance, with dynamic content, you’re able to create ads per product, promotions, and sale dates, among other options. To do this, use live data feeds. The information on these sheets will automatically reflect on the different offers going live.
Additionally, dynamic ads allow you to create different types of ad creatives and copies for different audiences. You can use geolocation, latest purchases, recent interests and more, in order to serve different ad types to different consumer types.
On the other hand, dynamic content will help you make your e-commerce more relevant and engaging. Not many brands are taking advantage of dynamic ads, and at this point, you can be the first one in your niche!
6. Stand Out
We are aware of how competitive the advertising world can be for e-commerce. Everyone wants to stand out, everyone wants a slice of the cake. However, most e-commerce sites looking to stand out end up using the same design trends, color schemes, and copy type, only because it is “what people like”.
The best way to stand out is to have a clear brand narrative and sticking to it. Make sure you’re not designing just for the aesthetic that is in style presently, as this will not reflect your brand, just a moment in time. Your brand needs to be timeless.
Not only that, you will need to make sure your ads are approved by ad networks, meaning that design specs like having defined borders and correct sizes are essential.
7. Stay Relevant
Ensure your ads are well-targeted and relevant. As mentioned earlier, it’s tempting to do what everyone else is doing because it gives you the sense of doing “what’s right”. However, studies have shown that users will click on ads that reflect their needs or current situation. In which case, the ads you serve will need to be created based on your target audiences’ needs. From there, tailor your copy and images to that audience.
Be useful to your users! Highlight sales, selling points, product values, and show your consumers how your product is used, how it will make their life simpler. Engage with your audience through your ads.
8. Sticking to your Brand
You’re you. Your unique selling propositions are different than your competitions’. This, you need to communicate the best you can. Make sure you know what your brand style is and follow the same stream of line, this consistency will make sure your users know who is “talking”.
Each display ad campaign should have the same feel and look, so even if you’re looking at a different promotion, sale, or ad, your user’s senses need to instantly connect the ad to your brand.
This consistency you can achieve will create a sense of loyalty and recognition, which is important amidst the competition. If you come to think of it, you can easily imagine display ads for Apple or Target right now. The colors, patterns, images, everything. You will need to achieve this with your brand as well.
9. Spell Check your Ads
This might sound like something obvious to do before publishing, however, some people don’t to it enough. Make sure you are not rushing your advertising and are skipping one of the most important parts: spell checking.
Even the slightest mistakes can slip your mind, especially if you’ve been working on something for quite a while.
Here’s the thing: Even if you need to rush display ads out the door in a minute, you should never, ever stop spell checking. If your audience encounters ads that have spelling errors, this will create a sense of untrust and will prevent conversions immediately.
So, if you ever feel the temptation to skip this step, you may end up ruining tons of hard work for creating well-founded trust in your brand.
7 E-Commerce Display Ad Examples
1. Harrod’s – Showcase Your Products
A great way to generate engagement and branding is to showcase your products in an attractive manner. The most alluring ways are to use your good quality photography and some compelling copy that drives people to click. It’s the best way to show how your product solves a specific problem as well. In this case, Harrod’s is promoting their “Holiday Boutique” so that their users can find the perfect gift for the upcoming holidays.
2. NIKE – Keeping it Simple
In this display ad, Nike stays on brand by combining the colors on the sneakers to the background of the display ad. They keep the copyrighting simple and to the point as well in order to generate engagement on the ad.
3. Perigold – Stunning Imagery
One of the best ways to capture your audience’s attention nowadays is by using powerful, conceptual and high-quality images on your ad. Take Perigold, for example, this luxury furniture brand keeps the copywriting quite simple, however, they use a stunning photo to capture their audiences glances. Even if you’re not using every flashy color on the palette, you are still making your customers look, but not blind them. That’s what every brand should aim for.
4. Cadillac – Clear Communication
When creating your next e-commerce ad, ask yourself, what do I want to show my potential customers? You can start by a single product, a benefit, or a brand narrative. Take Cadillac, a luxury car brand that just wants to tell you about their seating space in their cars. It’s simple and makes just about anyone want to learn more.
5. Sherwin Williams – Personalize your Messages
Sherwing Williams is a brand that knows how to capitalize on people’s want to personalize everything they own. In this ad, users can take a quiz and have their personalities read based on the colors they have on their walls. Brilliant.
6. Lumber Liquidators – How To’s
Lumber Liquidators’ display ad to show customers how they can use the app to test flooring options right at home is great. It’s a brilliant way to keep your customers on their toes and letting them know you are constantly working towards their satisfaction.
7. Adobe- Increase Awareness
In this advertisement, Adobe is tailoring the message directly to their users, allowing them to take a look at the design possibilities when using Adobe in a clear message. The design is on-brand and successfully creates brand awareness. It solves the problem and it looks fantastic.
Final Thoughts: Do Display Advertising Right
You may be surprised that standing out is much easier than you thought if you follow these tips, and most importantly keep things simple. Play with different formats, such as video, dynamic display ads, HTML5 ads, and ensuring the assets you use are the highest quality you can find.
Another good aspect to keep in mind is to avoid the temptation of creating outdated advertisements. Lucky for you, that shouldn’t be a problem. You can use our display ad creator and choose from thousands of templates you can easily customize to fit your brand.
Apart from this all, be concise, stand-out, and don’t try to be like anyone else. If your users are to fall in love with you, it will be due to your uniqueness as a brand. Good luck!