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The Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Acquisition Traffic Source For Your E-commerce Brand.


Last updated on 07/13/2022

Stop wasting time on traffic acquisition sources that are not profitable for your ecommerce brand and will never be. You need to ask yourself which are the best traffic sources that are the most profitable for your business.

Which acquisition traffic source is the most profitable for an E-commerce brand?

Before digging into this (the last point is the most important), I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

The 6 most important questions you need to ask yourself before establishing your Digital Marketing Strategy.

What is my market ?

Some acquisition channels are more obvious on one platform than another.
If you sell products in the beauty, fitness, nutrition, cosmetic niches for millenials,
Instagram and Pinterest, with video formats and influencer marketing or reposting, can leverage great acquisition traffic because a massive online audience is already present. But competitors as well.
If you sell video games, then Twitch can be a good acquisition channel for you.

What does my product do?

If your product is a real solution to a problem, Facebook Ads can be very interesting. If it is a new invention, then PR/media will surely be interested in writing articles. Or, influencer marketing on Youtube may be effective because your product needs more than one picture and some education around it.

Who is my product for? Who is my customer?

For the demographics of the main social media with e-commerce:
Tiktok: 16-24 years old
Instagram: 20-35 years old
Snapchat: 18-25 years old
Facebook: 35-65+ years old
Pinterest: 25-35 years old

Youtube and Twitter are more mainstream: 18-65+ years old.

The definition of your persona (customer avatar) should tell you their behavior.

Is your product a smart object that has been recognized by institutions as a major innovation for productivity? Your customers are tech early adopters and may spend time reading specialized blogs and entrepreneurial magazines rather than scrolling through their social media feed. So maybe Google Network and Affiliate is more interesting for you.

Is your product for moms-to-be or babies? A pregnant mom has time to be on instagram and google or read long blog posts; a new mom, less so.

Where does my client spend the most time (on the internet)?

To get an idea of where to start, you need to know where your customer avatar spends time. If you notice that your target audience segment spends a lot of time on Instagram and Facebook, then you’ll want to focus on that.

Example: You want to target people who spend a lot of time on social if your competitors are not very active on them, so you have noticed an opportunity. Your acquisition strategy will then be based on:

Organic posts on social media

Paid advertising on social media

Influencer marketing on social media

What are my goals?

Defining your goals is key to establishing a consistent acquisition strategy and implementing an action plan.

For example:
A community of 10,000 fans on Instagram in 6 months
An email list of 2000 new leads after our next marketing campaign
50,000 visitors per month on our website the next month
$100,000 in revenue per month by the end of the year
100 new customers every week

This helps to create KPIs for achieving these goals and identifies which acquisition channels can contribute most effectively.

What is my budget?

Don’t be unrealistic and think that overnight you will have achieved your goals without investment. You must budget for all the sources of acquisition you would consider. If it’s not money, it will be time. A lot of time.

For Facebook Ads, it is good to start with a minimum budget per month. The same goes for Google Ads. I will tell you how much at the end of the article.

For blog marketing content, 2 to 3 articles per week.

For social media posts, 1 to 2 posts per day for the first 90 days.

Analyze your existing data

Go to Google Analytics (I hope you did the set-up of your tags as soon as you created your e-commerce website)

This is the easiest way to find out if a traffic source is worth your time or not, so you can focus only on the best performing channels.

Go to the Google Analytics acquisition analysis reports in overview.
If you don’t have experience, here’s a guide:

Track your main traffic sources by looking at:

  • Number of visitors
  • Sessions
  • Average Session Time
  • Bounce rate
  • Revenue generated
  • Conversion rate

Find out what drives traffic to your website and which ones convert the most.
Analyze the main traffic sources and see which one offers the best return on investment in terms of cost or highest conversion rate.

What I’m going to present below may be counter indicative with what you may have analyzed on your own in your own dashboard. That’s why I’ve indicated this before in the article. You must first analyze your own business data and make decisions based on the data you have.

Nevertheless, if you don’t have data yet or you want to compare it with the benchmark, have a look!

Top eCommerce Acquisition traffic source

Here are the top channels for eCommerce customer acquisition:

Paid advertising

  • Google Ads Search
  • Google Ads Shopping
  • Facebook & Instagram Ads
  • Referral
  • Influencer sponsorship with Brand content (Sponsored content)
  • PR/Media Referral
  • Referral Program
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Organic
  • Social Media Organic Post
  • Blog Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Organic SEO
Conversion Rate by Traffic Source

If you put everything on Facebook Ads, when advertising costs increase like during Black Friday and Christmas time, you may find yourself not being profitable anymore, because of competition and rising ad cost. 

If you have an SEO Blog at the same time and a Google Ads campaigns, you can rely on other acquisition channels when one of them is not profitable during a period of time.

And if you have a strong online community , like most of the successful e-commerce brands [2] have, you should never have trouble.

User path example

This is the most important part of the article to understand.

Eric discovers your brand on a facebook ad.

He searches the brand name into google and clicks on an ad to land on your ecommerce store.

He browses the website, reads your blog and comes across a well-written article that reinforces your authority as an established brand.

He didn’t decide to buy today, but he did remember your brand and what you are doing.

A few days later, he is targeted by a Facebook ad from you, that shows a discount on a product he is interested in. This time he takes action and buys. He already knows your brand, he believes your brand provides value after reading your blog post, and he saw comments and reviews on your product page mentioning that the product was great.

He is satisfied with his experience with your brand and happy to buy from you. You both win.

The acquisition channels work in synergy. The customer journey goes through several contact points in the digital world.

Another example of a purchase path:

Lucie comes across an influencer who published a new post that sponsors a brand’s reusable glass water bottle.

Two days later, while scrolling through the news on her phone, she comes across an article about the same brand on the Marie Claire website. She clicks on the link to read it.

She then goes through the social media of this brand. She discovers all the water bottles with beautiful colors and models with the same lifestyle she has. One of them she particularly likes, she clicks on the link and goes directly to the e-commerce brand website.

Unfortunately, she does not have time to purchase because she has to get out of the subway.

The same evening, by opening Instagram, she sees this exact same product pop up from an ad on instagram. This time she didn’t miss the chance to get her water bottle!

As you can see, the paths sometimes overlap and customers need to see more about the brand before making a decision.

People need to see the product on average 7 times before they consider buying it.

How to test paid acquisition traffic?

You don’t want to launch everything at once and want to test before releasing the big budget, and you are right. This is how you should implement your acquisition strategy by testing, tweaking and finding the perfect combination before scale.

To make a choice between these acquisition channels, some are tested at a time when you want to promote your products, others are more long-term investments.

Be aware that the higher your AOV is (Average order value = total revenue / number of orders) and the higher the selling price of the products is, the higher the test budget should be.

It is recommended to test until the Ad set has reached 2 times the AOV.


For this case your AOV is $50, and your products all cost less than $60.

Google Ads Search:

Recommended test budget:
$30 minimum per day
$210 per campaign
(optimization 7 days)

Google Ads Shopping:

Recommended test budget:
$50 minimum per day
$300 per campaign
(optimization in 7-10 days)

Facebook & Instagram Ads:

Recommended test budget:
$100 minimum per day
$300 per campaign
(optimization after 2 times the AOV)

We recommend a $900 test budget if you can. $300 is really the minimum.
If you start with $3000 you will go faster. And with $5000, even faster.

The goal is to collect data to optimise. Time is not important on facebook ads.
Money spent is more important.

To spend your money wisely on Paid Ads we recommend you to learn before launching your online ad campaign.
If you have a large enough budget, ask for help from a digital marketing expert who specializes in paid ads. It’s worth it if he’s knowledgeable and can help you learn faster.

Brand content (sponsored content) Influencer Marketing Instagram
Recommended test budget:
$5000 at least 3 influencers minimum
With different audience size: nano, micro, macro

Some tips:
Don’t do 1 celebrity endorsement only with a budget less than 100k.
Negotiate with the manager or agency. You can get 50% off sometimes.
Try to ask for a free post for nanos influencers with less than 10k followers.
See who is the most profitable influencer for you in terms of niche, size, demo, etc.

Test results:
If ROAS x2 > ROAS breakeven => double the budget
If ROAS = ROAS breakeven => keep going
If ROAS < ROAS breakeven => make changes, test other things

Other chanel:
Social Media Organic Post
Blog Content Marketing
Organic Search
PR/Media Referral
Affiliate Marketing

These are acquisition traffic that need to be built over the long term. You will have to check your google analytics and see if these acquisition channels perform well, you will have to test different strategies, and there is no end.

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