The final cookie countdown, Google’s new ‘Checkout Journey’ tool + making your brand more memorable

Hey everyone👋

It’s been quite the week! From a mystery pink pigeon baffling residents in Bury to everyone asking, “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?” – the news headlines have been well, amusing to say the least.

The marketing headlines however have been less strange, but interesting nonetheless.

Let’s start with the latest from Google👇

🛒 Google launches new tool that flags checkout issues on ecommerce websites
The ‘Checkout Journey’ report is a valuable new tool helping brands quickly identify and resolve issues to enhance the user-experience.

🤑 Google (quietly) increases ad prices
Google has admitted to raising the costs of ads by up to 10% to hit revenue targets, without informing advertisers. The news came to light during the second week of the US v. Google antitrust trial.

🍪The final cookie countdown is on
Next year, Google is going to start phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome. The move supports the ad industry’s shift toward more privacy-conscious targeting. Here’s a handy blog by the IAB with tips on how to prepare, a checklist of questions and a directory of cookieless tech products.

Social media

Sprout Social released its 2023 Breakthrough report, revealing what consumers care about and how to make your brand more memorable: 

🦜51% say simply providing a response is the most memorable action.

🚀76% expect brands to prioritise customer support, with 69% expecting a reply the same day. 

✍️70% want their interactions to be personalised and tailored to make them feel valued.

🌎1 in 4 consumers value brands speaking about social issues and causes. 

⚡68% follow brands to stay updated about products and services. 


🛍️ Amazon backs away from seller fees
Amazon has officially halted plans to extract a 2% fee from Prime sellers who don’t use its in-house fulfilment services. 

📦7 ways to reduce shipping costs
With Black Friday and Christmas around the corner, our Brand and Ecommerce Manager, Scott Taylor, shares a few ways to cut your shipping costs.

💫Reckless and Dcypher shortlisted at UK Ecommerce Awards

The AI-powered website we built for the cosmetics brand Dcypher has been shortlisted for Best Beauty, Health and Wellbeing Website at the UK Ecommerce Awards!

Dcypher is the world’s first fully customisable foundation brand. It uses a revolutionary AI-powered ‘Skin Tone Analyser’, to create custom-blended foundations, concealers and coverage drops that perfectly match the customer’s skin shade. Read the full case study

That’s it for now! Remember though, this round-up is for you so if there are any particular marketing topics you want us to include, let us know. 👇

A bit about Reckless
We’re an eCommerce digital marketing agency with offices in Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. We help brands grow through custom websites, bespoke software development, paid media, SEO and online marketplaces. If you need a hand taking your eCommerce brand to the next level, get in touch.

Let’s talk

    We’re delighted to share that the AI-powered website we built cosmetics brand Dcypher has been shortlisted for Best Beauty, Health and Wellbeing Website at the UK Ecommerce Awards! lets customers use its AI-powered skin tone analyser to easily create and buy personalised, custom-blended foundations, concealers and coverage drops that perfectly match their skin tone and complexion.


    Read our case study to find out how the new and improved works, as well as how the brand is harnessing AI technology to revolutionise the beauty industry.

    Roll on the UK Ecommerce Awards ceremony in November, we can’t wait!

    By Leanne Bates, Marketing Manager at Reckless

    Preparing for peak, SEO tips + Google, TikTok and Amazon updates

    Hey everyone👋

    Well, Autumn’s landed which means Black Friday and Christmas will be here before we know it. How is this possible and where has 2023 gone?

    Anyway, let’s dive in with our Reckless round-up 👇

    💻 4 ways to prepare your website and mitigate issues during busy periods – Mike Griffiths, Managing Director, Reckless
    Mike provides valuable tech tips, including topics like Cloudflare, ERPs, Query Profile Usage and Error Trackers, to ensure your website is well-prepared to handle increased traffic and customer demand.

    🔎3 long-term benefits of great ecommerce SEO – Abi Crosbie, SEO Manager, Reckless
    Abi explains when and why SEO is worth investing in. The key benefits? Save money 💰 Increase relevant traffic 📈 Improve website visibility 🌎

    💻Digital marketing updates from Google and Meta

    🔍Google’s testing a new ‘mentioned in’ feature to enhance search results
    The feature (👇) enables users to see other websites that mention the website by expanding the main search result. The aim is to add credibility and make search easier, but hasn’t been rolled out yet so watch this space. 👁️

    🌏Google provides more ads transparency to comply with EU rules
    Google is taking proactive measures to stop it being hit with a hefty fine from the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA). And we mean hefty – up 6% of annual turnover🤑. Changes include expanding its Ads Transparency Centre so you can access much more detailed data and insights into ad campaigns to drive better performance.

    Google isn’t alone thoughThe DSA is clamping down on all platforms with over 45-million regional users. Hence similar announcements from Meta and TikTok which both recently announced the ability for users to ‘switch off’ AI-driven personalisation.

    📱MetaReckless round-up #2 introduces a new ‘branded content’ feature
    Meta has added a new feature to its Ads Library so you can track branded content ad campaigns. The tool enables you to search for brands and gain insights into their collab strategies, which you can then use to inform your own 🕵️

    🛍️Ecommerce and online marketplaces

    🛍️Shopify expands integration with TikTok 
    Shopify has expanded its integration with TikTok to bring ecommerce merchants benefits including access to its Events API, better ad delivery and measurement. 

    📲Amazon brings Sponsored Product ads to third-party apps and sites
    Pinterest, Buzzfeed and Mashable are among the websites that will start to show paid Amazon ads. Ad managers don’t need to do anything.  Amazon’s going to automatically show ads to interested customers based on their activity.

    🛍️Shopify and Amazon team up for ‘buy with prime’ app
    Shopify merchants have the option to integrate a new ‘Buy with Prime’ app into their website, providing customers with faster, free delivery. Amazon handles the payments, Shopify handles the processing!

    🥳A bit of news from Reckless HQ

    🚀Reckless expands into Liverpool to drive ambitious growth plans
    And finally, we’re now taking up co-working space in Avenue HQ on Liverpool’s Mann Island after welcoming four new team members! Big things are happening here at Reckless HQ and this is just the start. Read all about our expansion in this week’s Insider. ⚡

    l-r: Managing director Mike Griffiths and Callum Reckless outside Avenue HQ

    That’s it for now folks! Remember though, this round-up is for you. So, if there are any particular areas you want us to include, or if you have any burning digital questions you’d like to ask us, get in touch: [email protected]. 🚀

    A bit about Reckless
    We’re an eCommerce digital marketing agency with offices in Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. We help brands grow through custom websites, bespoke software development, paid media, SEO and online marketplaces. If you need a hand taking your eCommerce brand to the next level, get in touch 👇

    Let’s talk

      Reckless expands into Liverpool office to drive ambitious growth plans

      We’ve taken up co-working space in Avenue HQ on Mann Island after welcoming Sarah Trowler-Wren as Client Account and Project Manager, Nicole Milligan as Senior Digital Account Manager, Engjell Pireva as Software Developer and Leanne Bates as Marketing Manager. 

      Founded in 2007, Reckless has a broad and long-standing client base including property developer Castle Green Homes, independent craft beer brewery Polly’s Brew Co and global toy retailer Keycraft

      Mike Griffiths, Managing Director at Reckless said: “Choosing Liverpool was a no-brainer because there’s so much potential, talent and innovation here. Avenue HQ is a brilliant location right on the waterfront, and we can’t wait to build new partnerships across Liverpool’s creative and digital scene. Plus, I studied at Liverpool John Moores University in 2007 so coming back means the world to me.”

      Reckless now employs a team of over 30, specialising in digital marketing, bespoke websites and software development for B2B and B2C eCommerce brands.

      Founder, Callum Reckless added: “Reckless is home to an incredibly talented team who are the reason we’ve been able to scale over the years. We can’t wait to see what Liverpool brings and this is just the start, we have some very exciting plans in the pipeline to push on our offering and the support we can offer to our clients.”

      A bit about Reckless
      We’re an eCommerce digital marketing agency with offices in Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. We help brands grow through custom websites, bespoke software development, paid media, SEO and online marketplaces. If you need a hand taking your eCommerce brand to the next level, get in touch 👇

      Let’s talk

        By Scott Taylor, Brand and eCommerce Manager at Reckless

        7 ways to reduce eCommerce shipping costs

        In the dynamic landscape of online commerce, minimising shipping costs has become a key concern for eCommerce businesses. Finding the balance between providing exceptional customer service and optimising operational expenses has never been more critical.

        In this blog, we delve into how brands can cut down eCommerce shipping costs without compromising on the quality of service. From negotiating commercial rates and taking a profit-driven approach, to enhancing your customer experience and streamlining your online store’s returns process, here’s seven practical approaches to help reduce your eCommerce shipping costs. 

        💸Commercial shipping rates

        A common mistake many ecommerce businesses make is continuing to ship with public rates when commercial rates are available via shipping wholesalers. Commercial rates are generally 10% cheaper, but can be up to 140% cheaper when compared to buying directly from a courier. For example:

        Despatch Bay


        🚛 Talk to couriers

        If sales start to build, you may be able to negotiate with couriers directly and receive not only better prices, but also increased shipping times and collections. For example, if you’re selling with Amazon, you can receive excellent rates by joining Amazon logistics.

        You’ll need to be shipping at least 200 units a day to be considered for Amazon, DPD or Evri logistic services, but it may be worth building these prices into your product margins and seeing if you can push sales further to qualify for these services. 

        Whichever you choose, make sure they’re a logistics partner you can trust and that compliments your entire buying journey. When visitors are considering a purchase on your website, they’ll want to know which delivery dates, shipping methods and costs you offer so make these crystal clear. 

        Post purchase, they’ll want tracking numbers, delivery dates and times. Most prominent courier and logistics companies automate these via email and/or SMS but make sure they’re available because delivery can make or break your customer experience and chances of repeat purchase. Let’s face it, nobody wants to wait weeks for something they’ve bought and have no idea when it’ll turn up. 

        🆓Free shipping threshold

        Offer free shipping for orders above a certain threshold. This encourages customers to buy more to qualify for free shipping, increasing your average order value and potentially covering the shipping costs.

        However, setting a free shipping threshold isn’t something that should be done without a little research and care. Quite often many retailers succeed in increasing their average order value but cut deep into their margin. As the saying goes, revenue is vanity, profit is sanity.

        Here’s how you ensure your Free Shipping Threshold is sane: 

        1. Calculate your Average Order Value (ensuring you exclude shipping costs). For example £20
        2. Determine your Average Shipping Costs. For example, £5.00
        3. Calculate your Gross Profit Margin. For example, 25% 
        4. Propose a Free Shipping Threshold. For example, £25.00 

        Now that you have a proposed free shipping threshold, you need to put it to the test: 

        1. Determine the difference between the proposed Free Shipping Threshold and the Average
          Order Value (£25 – £20 = £5)
        2. Multiply the difference by the Gross Profit Margin (£5.00 * .25 = £1.25)
        3. Subtract the result from the Average Shipping Cost (£5 – £1.25 = £3.75)

        In this case, you’ll end up paying £3.75 per order to cover the free shipping which is over 60% of your increased gross profit margin. A bit too big of a hit to your bottom line.

        Let’s try again with a £30 proposed Free Shipping Threshold. 

        1. Determine the difference between the proposed Free Shipping Threshold and the Average
          Order Value (£30 – £20 = £10)
        2. Multiply the difference by the Gross Profit Margin (£10.00 * .25 = £2.50
        3. Subtract the result from the Average Shipping Cost (£5.00 – £2.50 = £2.50) 

        In this case, you’re going to end up paying £2.50 per order to cover the free shipping which is 33% of your increased gross profit margin. A much healthier balance of profit to increase average order value, while also offering the customer increased value and incentive to buy.

        Of course, all this is theoretical and a lot depends on the weight and size of your items and the shipping rates available to your business. However, the key message is to always think carefully and do the calculations before setting a single, free shipping threshold.

        ⏲️Estimated delivery times

        Integrate real-time shipping calculators into your online shop that provide accurate shipping quotes based on the customer’s location and order details. This not only prevents undercharging for shipping (hello, Scottish Highland and Northern Irish orders!) but it also encourages customers to buy when they can plan their purchase around their day to day life.

        This can be a particularly effective method at increasing your margin too when offering a Standard and Express/Next Day/Name Day shipping. Customers will be willing to pay a little extra to receive the certainty of the item arriving on a particular day, cutting down your eCommerce shipping costs.  

        🗃️Package inserts

        Make your shipped items work for you and upsell your customers by including marketing materials or promotional offers in your packages to encourage repeat business and offset shipping costs. This can be particularly effective when trying to acquire customers from one platform to another (warning, do not try this with Amazon orders, as this could lead to an account wide penalty).

        📨Returns management

        Implementing a streamlined return management process to reduce the costs associated with processing returns and exchanges is an effective way to keep eCommerce shipping costs down.

        It could be as simple as having a clearly structured returns policy, or as advanced as a returns portal that deals with all returns and exchanges for you. Either way, having a dedicated system to deal with customer returns is vital when trying to reduce costs.

        Here’s a great example by Mountain Dog:

        Instead of a customer having to contact a customer service agent, they just simply pop in their order number, email and the reason they’re making a return. If it matches a certain criteria for a paid return, the portal will produce a return label. If not, the customer will be instructed to process the return at their cost.

        As you can imagine, every eventuality has been thought out and this tool likely saves Mountain Dog precious operational costs while also making the returns process more convenient for the customer.

        🏭Fulfilment Centres

        Utilise third-party fulfilment centres strategically located to reduce shipping distances. They can handle order processing, picking, packing, and shipping on your behalf, often more efficiently and cost-effectively.

        This can be particularly effective if you want to continue selling to areas like Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands and the various island locations dotted around Britain’s coasts. These locations can be quite expensive to ship to, often costing 2x the cost of shipping.

        To reduce the costs of shipping to these areas, consider fulfilment centres like Huboo, Whistl, Fulfilment Lab or Shft Fwd. 


        Shipping is an unavoidable eCommerce logistics cost, so spend time doing your research to find the best, most cost-effective solution for your business model and customer base. You’ll save money and provide a much better shopping experience for customers, so they’re much more likely to return when they need you. 

        A bit about Reckless
        We’re an eCommerce digital marketing agency with offices in Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. We help brands grow through custom websites, bespoke software development, paid media, SEO and online marketplaces. If you need a hand taking your eCommerce brand to the next level, get in touch 👇

        Let’s talk

          By Abi Crosbie, SEO Manager at Reckless

          Is SEO worth it for ecommerce?

          Yes. Now we’ve got the obvious out of the way, let’s get to the much more interesting why of it all. The easy answer is that good implementation of SEO can save you money – in the long-term

          Search Engine Optimisation for ecommerce websites has specific challenges for content, off-page and technical. We’re gonna deep-dive into these and give you some reassurance that you’re not unhinged for wanting to improve your SEO.

          Why SEO might not be right for you

          We genuinely believe that the majority of ecommerce businesses would benefit from SEO, but here’s a few reasons why it might not be the right time:

          So what exactly are the benefits of good ecom SEO?

          Here’s your TL;DR bit. But keep reading, it’s dead good.

          It can save you money in the long-term
          💰Reduce paid spend
          🪴Optimised content can be evergreen, with minimal updates it can rank for months or years
          🛍️Reduce reliance on marketplaces that charge fees

          It can increase your organic traffic
          ⚡Expand your marketing funnel in the right places
          🔍Target the right audience

          It can improve your website visibility
          🌏International selling challenges

          ecommerce SEO can save you money in the long-term

          It always comes down to money, which is why it’s our first point. We’re also eager to point out the “long-term” aspect of SEO here too. Initial spend on SEO can match or sometimes exceed paid media, which is often why it gets pushed aside for the instant results paid offers (so any agency that promises instant results from SEO is sus, in our opinion). What you really want is a combined approach where paid and SEO cover the weakness of the other.

          SEO takes time to work, sometimes it can take months to see results, so paid is excellent at bringing in those sales in the meantime. But paid will always cost you money, whereas well implemented SEO techniques require minimal attention once in place and can last months or even years, bringing in free traffic the whole time. 

          I’ve convinced you? Already?! Brilliant. I can’t and won’t stop there though – here’s some specific moneysaving knowledge coming your way.

          SEO content can perform well for years

          We tend to call content created specifically for the long haul “evergreen content”. It’s clever, see? Like an evergreen tree, it’s there all year, looking great and making that sweet sweet chlorophyll. Or in your case, bringing in traffic and getting people to buy your products.

          The creation of this content can be where the initial cost of SEO happens. Great optimised content needs keyword research, supporting/secondary content, backlinks and good internal linking. BUT, after that, all you may need to do is tweak it once or twice a year, update images and add or remove an internal link. That’s extremely low maintenance and thus very beneficial for your purse.

          Now imagine that across multiple pages, for multiple products – that’s what a good SEO content strategy looks like.

          How SEO can reduce your paid ad spend

          We already covered the whole “done well, around for ages, free traffic” benefit of SEO, but there’s also a huge benefit in owning the organic SERPs and then being able to reduce or stop bids. 

          For example, if you can create content that ranks you highly for your top transactional term [diamante dog collar], then you might want to ease off bidding so you appear in the ads at the bottom of the page instead. Or experiment with removing the bid entirely. 

          You could reduce reliance on online marketplaces and third-party platforms

          While there are big advantages to selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy and all the other online marketplaces out there, the fees can take a big chunk out of your profits. It seems obvious that ranking well with your own website (where you don’t have to fund Jeff Bezos’ attempts to go to space) will be a moneysaver, but the ease of selling and showing in the SERPs using those big platforms can be hard to move away from.

          The best approach initially is to launch your SEO strategy and then see which products are performing well via organic search so you can ease off selling them via marketplaces. Over time you can grow your organic channel without taking a big hit by leaving a platform entirely.

          Ecommerce SEO can increase your website traffic

          We know, it’s obvious. But hear us out, there are specific ways to do this, because targeting anything and everything isn’t the best approach. You need to be targeting the right people at the right point in their buying journey to make an increase in traffic work properly for you.

          If you’re familiar with the marketing consideration funnel this should make you feel all tingly. SEO is best used for TOFU expansion but also works really well for MOFU and BOFU.

          Increase top of funnel traffic

          TOFU search queries tend to be broad and informational, with potential customers searching for ways to solve a problem. These are usually [how to] searches and at this point, you’re not creating content to push your brand or product, you’re showing your knowledge and expertise. 

          For example, for one client we worked with them to create content for the query [how much coffee in a cafetiere?], because they sell coffee and it meant they could show off their extensive knowledge of their products and industry. Then boom, top of the SERPs and an excellent increase in traffic. Here’s some more of our work if you’d like a sneak peek.

          Increase middle of funnel traffic

          Then comes the next stage – MOFU. Middle of funnel queries focus on a different type of informational content. Here we see comparisons and help making the right choice, so queries like [arabica vs robusta] would be seen at this stage. Again, you’re able to show knowledge and expertise on the topic while being closely involved in the potential customer’s process.

          Increase bottom of funnel traffic

          Leading us to BOFU (bottom of funnel), where the transactional queries come in and potential customers make their decision. Here we’re looking at queries like [buy coffee beans] and similar terms that are high competition.

          We’re calling out where and how SEO works at each level of the marketing consideration funnel because your business goals will influence where effort is best focused. If your website just launched, you need to start at the top, but if you’re an established business looking to reduce reliance on paid ads, then BOFU is where you’d aim.

          Ecommerce SEO can improve your website visibility

          Now we get into the juicy technical bits. Ecommerce has some unique complications when it comes to technical SEO. We’re not going to blow your mind with a ton of technical jargon, but we will explain the benefits of making sure you include technical SEO in your plans

          Ecommerce SEO can improve website crawlability

          Ecommerce websites often have the unique problem of too many pages. That seems counterintuitive – don’t you want loads of pages so search engines can rank you for loads of keywords? Yes, but in most cases the pages are duplicates (products in multiple categories) or have thin content (category pages created by someone using the filters), which means they aren’t a benefit to you. Search engines flipping love useful and unique content, so you can see how a website that duplicates content or makes poor content isn’t very pleasing to them.

          So how does this link into crawlability? Search engines will get tired of seeing the same things or will simply crawl your website for a certain amount of time before going “there’s so much of this, I’m bored” and stopping. We use our little technical SEO toolkit to make sure search engines only see the content that matters, meaning they crawl where we want and ignore what we want – and that, my friend, improves crawlability (in part but it’s a big topic and we promised we’d keep it simple).

          SEO can help international performance

          Selling across multiple countries or languages has a lot of business challenges, but it also has technical SEO complications. Yes, more technical complications – we’re buzzkills but we’re also good at offering solutions.

          Technical SEO solutions here include advising on subdomains, subfolders and general website structure, hreflang and keyword targeting. These are essential so you show up in the search results for the right countries and languages – you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget or get it wrong without someone looking at the overall picture. And to completely brag about it, we’re good at that.

          International SEO is best looked at before you even start building your international websites, but if you’ve already done it and want to know how to optimise your website(s), we can advise on how to move forward.


          If yore not convinced SEO is worth it for ecommerce by this point, maybe it’s not, but we reckon those are some compelling points. If you’d like to chat about what we can do for your SEO and growing your organic search, get in touch.

          Let’s talk

            By Leanne Bates, Marketing Manager at Reckless

            GA4, Google Ads, Shopify + everything in between

            Hey there👋

            Team Reckless here. We’re kicking off these quick round-ups to give you the latest news and advice from the worlds of marketing and web development.

            So let’s get started with a few handy resources 👇

            📈 Webinar catch up: How to get the most out of GA4 
            Our Head of Marketing and Performance, Matt Tilling, shares the different ways to get the most out of analytics including quick fixes that have a big impact. We’ve also put together a handy guide with a GA4 measurement plan template and configuration tips. Grab yours here.

            No alt text provided for this image

            💰3 ways to increase your eCommerce sales 
            Spoiler – Get to know your customers and give them the personalised journey they’re here for!

            💻3 ways to enhance your website performance 
            Spoiler – Measure how your site’s doing and give it some real TLC. 

            🔎What does paid media really mean? 
            Our paid media superstar Martyna Karpinska explains the different types of paid media, along with examples and campaign management guidance to help you boost performance.

            The latest digital marketing updates

            (and surprise surprise, Google and Meta made some changes!)

            📊 Google Ads got rid of its ‘similar audiences’ (segments) feature 
            If you’ve been using this feature within your Google Ads campaign, it’ll automatically start using ‘optimised targeting’ or ‘audience expansion’ instead. You’ve still got access to historical reporting data though and Google’s new automation features will help you to leverage first-party data and optimise much better.

            📸Zefr’s AI-powered brand suitability verification is officially available for Instagram 
            This gives you more transparency over your ad campaigns by assessing the safety and suitability of posts in Instagram and Facebook feeds. It’ll also be available in four new languages – Arabic, Chinese, French and Portuguese to expand and reach diverse audiences globally. 

            🔍 New GA4 report
            Google’s released a new analytics report (because apparently there’s not enough on our GA4 plates?!) This is a good one though because it lets you identify your most engaged and profitable audiences so you can make better decisions that’ll improve conversions.

            🛍️New Shopify features 
            Over at Shopify, they’ve launched 100+ new features including its first-ever AI-commerce assistant SideKick. They’ve also launched a new Marketplace Connect app that makes it easier for merchants to sell on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

            💻Something for the developers…

            No alt text provided for this image

            The flagship Laracon Conference returned to the US last month, jam-packed with the latest Laravel updates and product releases:

            That’s it for now folks! Remember though, this round-up is for you. So, if there are any particular areas you want us to include, or if you have any burning digital questions you’d like to ask us, get in touch: [email protected].

            A bit about Reckless
            We’re an eCommerce digital marketing agency with offices in Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. We help brands grow through custom websites, bespoke software development, paid media, SEO and online marketplaces. If you need a hand taking your eCommerce brand to the next level, get in touch 👇

            Let’s talk

              By Martyna Karpinska, Paid Media Specialist at Reckless

              What is paid media and how do I measure success?

              Simply put, paid media is where you pay (no surprise) to advertise products or services on channels like social media, search engines and e-commerce marketplaces. Done right, it can be a great digital marketing tactic to increase reach, drive website traffic and conversions.

              To track the success of a paid media campaign, establish clear goals and what a ‘conversion’ looks like beforehand. As a result, you’ll know which metrics to measure (sales, click-throughs, subscribers) so you can demonstrate your return on investment (ROI). You can then learn and harness this data further, using it to optimise future paid media campaigns and ad spend accordingly.

              What are some examples of paid media?

              Paid Search and Shopping
              Paid search is a form of online advertising where you bid on specific keywords or phrases, and your ads are displayed prominently in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for those keywords. The good news is you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so it’s a cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website.

              Shopping however, is a type of paid search advertising that focuses on promoting products for online retailers. These ads showcase product images and prices within search engine results, allowing users to easily compare what they’re looking for. Like paid search, you only pay when a user clicks on your listing, so again, it’s an effective way to attract potential customers and drive sales.

              Social Media Advertising
              Exactly what it says on the tin. Social media advertising is where you pay to promote a post or advert on channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. It enables you to reach a large audience, and the cost is determined by your ad quality and estimated action rates, as well as your campaign objectives and bids.  

              Online Marketplaces
              Selling through third-party marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy is really competitive. Sponsoring your marketplace listings however improves the visibility of your organic listings and helps provide a competitive edge. Sponsored ads also provide valuable data on keyword performance which can then feed into your organic search strategy.

              Mysa Flowers on Etsy

              Display Advertising
              You’ll see display ads online everyday, even if you don’t realise it. Their appearance depends on the website or app you’re paying to promote them on – they could be an eye-catching static banner image or an interactive video advert. Either way, their job is to reach a wide audience if you’re doing prospecting, or to keep your brand in people’s minds while they’re browsing the web if it’s retargeting.

              These four examples of paid media can all be set up using the PPC model. PPC stands for pay-per-click, so you only pay when a user clicks your ad. Your cost-per-click (CPC) is determined by your ad rank, which is calculated from your bid amount, quality scores and competition at the time of the auction. Let’s dive into PPC a little deeper.

              What is PPC management?

              Effective PPC management is time consuming, but super important. There’s no point spending money if you’re not using the right types of media, marketing channels or optimising campaigns suitably because you won’t see any return. 

              Here are some examples of what’s involved in PPC management, and how to action them so your ads are set up, tracked and scaled correctly. 

              Choosing the right channels
              Identify which channel to run your PPC advertising campaign on. Do you have a product to promote through Google Shopping? Or a service you’d like to advertise through Google Ads? Do you want to sell more through online marketplaces like Amazon Ads? Choose the paid media platform most relevant to your audience, run tests, and see where you get the best return.

              Market research
              Before setting up your PPC ad campaign, do your research. Start with your target audience and look at their shopping behaviours. Find out what they buy, what they like and dislike, and what platforms they use. This will make sure you’re refining and targeting effectively, using the right channels.

              Then look at your competition,  see what keywords they’re bidding on and how much they’re spending. There’s lots of free and paid software out there, like Google Keyword Planner, to help you out. By doing so you’ll be able to make an informed decision on how to allocate your PPC budget and ensure your ads perform.  

              Landing page optimisation
              When we talk about our paid strategy as well, we don’t just mean our keywords, ad copy or campaign structure. We mean the landing page on your website that your ad links to. 

              Focus on conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and user experience (UX), make sure your copy is clear, well-written and reflects exactly what your ad says. Look at other landing pages and compare them to yours – what does the design look like? What’s the tone of voice like? How are they capturing sales? The buying process has to be easy and fast to convert.

              Website built by by web development agency in Chester, Reckless

              Split testing
              Consistently A/B test different variations of your PPC adverts. Regular testing is vital for ad success as it enables data-driven decision making, optimisation, and cost-efficiency. By comparing different ad elements or strategies, advertisers can identify what resonates best with their audience, leading to improved ad performance. It helps continuously improve ad campaigns, understand audience preferences, and adapt to platform changes. By avoiding assumptions and relying on real performance data, split testing empowers advertisers to achieve better results and make informed decisions in their digital advertising efforts.

              Good planning, continuous tracking and optimisation are the drivers of every successful paid media campaign. Spend time setting your campaigns up properly, set realistic goals and truly understand how you’re going to track and report on them. Ultimately it’s about being able to say that by spending X amount of money you gained X amount of sales – so you need a robust paid media strategy in place.

              If you’re looking for a PPC agency, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can support with paid media strategy and managing PPC campaigns on social media, Google Ads, Google Shopping and online marketplaces.

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                By Matt Tilling, Head of Marketing and Performance at Reckless
                3-4 minute read

                3 signs it’s time to update your website content and how to fix them

                High bounce rates

                In 2023 eCommerce websites are expected to account for 22.3% of all retail sales, so your online shop must be performing well to keep up and succeed. If visitors are leaving after viewing just one page (high bounce rates), they’re not engaged enough to stick around. Content and design matters, so update your website to look visually pleasing, modern and relevant. Add interactive elements and ensure it’s responsive and intuitive on all devices. Remember high bounce rates negatively impact SEO, so do everything you can to keep users on site for longer.

                Slow page load times

                The highest eCommerce conversion rates happen on pages that load in 0-2 seconds. Compare your site speed using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and if it’s slow, identify the causes so you can make improvements. 

                Start with your hosting provider and decide whether they’ve actually got the capacity to manage your site and performance effectively. If they haven’t, it’s time to look elsewhere. If you manage your website yourself, optimise and compress images, reduce redirects and cache your pages. This will make your website faster so users enjoy the experience, rather than getting annoyed and leaving because it’s slow. Every second counts! 

                Low conversion rates

                Driving traffic is important, but converting users into loyal customers is what matters. Use analytics and heat mapping software to identify where users are dropping-off and why shopping baskets are being abandoned. Then, you can update website content accordingly, whether that’s streamlining your checkout process so it doesn’t take as long or improving the navigation and call to actions so customers don’t get lost. 

                Review your actual product or service offering as well – are price points too high? Do you offer discounts or new customer offers? Can users search, filter and customise what they’re buying? By personalising their experience, and giving them a reason to stay, there’s a higher chance they’ll buy from you.

                These are just a few initial warnings signs that it might be time to update your website. If you’d like to find out if your website’s performing and how to improve it please get in touch. We’re an eCommerce digital agency based in Liverpool and Chester, here to help and answer any questions you have. website performance metrics

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