E-Commerce Ad Ideas: Strategy and Creative Inspiration

Launching into the world of e-commerce advertising is exciting! You’re ready to show the world what you have to offer and you’d very much like them to purchase it. Sometimes, however, you’re not sure how to start. Thankfully, that’s where we can help you. We’ll start from the beginning, and then show you some strategy ideas, as well as where you can find inspiration.

What Is An E-Commerce Ad?

There are two parts to this definition. First, let’s start off with e-commerce. That’s a business that relies on the internet to sell its products. They may have brick-and-mortar style businesses but more often than not, they sell exclusively online. Now we know what an e-commerce business is, how about an e-commerce ad? 

These ads are specifically designed to sell e-commerce products, lure potential new customers to the business’s website, and build brand awareness. Businesses that run purely online rely on this more and more simply because they don’t have the opportunity for someone to walk past their shop window. Ads are also a great resource for businesses keen to scale. They can have budgets increased to allow for more impressions, and operations expanded as required.

The best ad campaigns will be tailored to the company’s audience and displayed on the correct platform. It’s easy to spend money in the e-commerce ad world, and thousands of businesses have spent thousands of dollars to no end. Before we get too deep into that, we’re starting at the beginning. We need to come up with some ideas. We’re going to tackle that two-fold, strategy and creative.

E-Commerce Advertising Strategy

Starting with strategy, you need to create a solid plan when dealing with e-commerce ads. As alluded to above, it’s easy to spend money here. Without a carefully managed strategy you’ll be losing money with little opportunity to recover it. Instead, take time to plan, strategize, and budget. That way you’ll know what’s working, what’s not, and what requires improvement.

The following tips will help you to move forward with your strategy and should be referred to regularly throughout your journey.

Make It Original

We’re going to provide some resources where you can find lots of different ad creatives. That’s great for inspiration but that’s where it should stop. Don’t be tempted to carbon copy what has already been done. People are looking for originality, something they haven’t seen before, in e-commerce brands. Certainly use resources and competitors as inspiration but remember that you’re looking to stand out against a crowd of potentially hundreds of other brands.

That means using your own images (never stock), creating your own videos, and certainly writing your own copy. Spend time testing various styles until you find one that works for you. Make sure that it aligns with your branding, and soon you’ll have your own bank of creatives.

Optimize Your Website For E-Commerce

Ads are exciting. They could mean people purchasing from the moment you turn them on. Therefore you need to make sure that you’re ready. If you’re an e-commerce business that starts with your website. You’d hope that your website is up to speed and ready to receive customers, but it’s always worth running a quick audit of your site and guaranteeing that it’s primed to drive customers toward the checkout.

Build Content Into Your Strategy

One of the first mistakes many e-commerce store owners make is to send ads to their product pages and expect sales. Very few people will make a purchase immediately after clicking an ad. More people will make a purchase after receiving something of value from you. Even more people will make a purchase after having multiple interactions with your business. 

Rather than going for the sale immediately, use ads as part of your content strategy. Direct people to your blogs, your guides, your videos, and anything that you can share with them that helps them. These touch points act as a warmer before you can eventually send them to your sales pages.

Optimize For Mobile

Mobile traffic makes up the majority of internet use. That means your website, and your ads, have to be optimized for mobile. Consider the platform too. Don’t create long-winded ads for TikTok. Don’t design GenZ-focused ads for Facebook. At the very least, make sure that your ads look good on mobile. After all, that’s where they’ll mainly be seen.

Get Personal

Personalization is crucial in good advertising. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to personalize ads to specific people, but you will be able to personalize to certain demographics and interests. The more personalized you can make your advert the more relevant it will seem. The more relevant your advert is the more likely it will be to convert.

How Do I Find E-Commerce Ad Ideas?

When you’re stuck for creative inspiration there are a few places you can turn to for support. These should be used as tools rather than templates. Remember that originality trumps copy and paste.

Meta Ad Library

The Meta Ad Library is exactly as it sounds. It’s a library of ads past and present that have been shown on Facebook and Instagram. You search by country, ad category (usually just select all ads) and then by keyword or specific advertiser. 

Here’s an example where we searched for wearable tech:

Remember that just because ads show here it doesn’t mean that they’re great. It displays them in date order. So you’ll need to use your judgment.


There are hundreds of articles, blogs, and platforms such as the Digital Marketing Institute that will share information on advertising and offer ideas. Lots of these ideas will come with explanations of their use and reception.

Your Own Social Media

Follow your competitors or brands that you’d like to style yourself on, interact with their pages and watch as your social feeds are flooded with their advertising creative. If you’d like to take it a step further, interact with these ads, visit their websites, and you’ll likely be shown their next tier of adverts as they attempt to remarket to you.

Key Takeaways

These e-commerce ad ideas and strategies should be a good starting point for you in your advertising career. Remember that great ads come with great creative. That means nailing your product staging and getting your product descriptions before considering going into the advertising world.

  • Always use your own ideas rather than straight copying someone else.
  • Plan a strategy before you spend your budget.
  • Be sure your website is ready to receive advertising traffic.

As we’ve said before, creative is where it all starts. A great deal of your success will come down to your images, and how you edit them. Thankfully Pixelcut has a suite of tools you can get started with now for free.

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