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Google Ads vs Facebook Ads – Which suits your business best?

Ask most online retailers what their preferred eCommerce platform is and more often than not, they’ll mention Amazon.

And, for good reason too because when it comes to selling online, Amazon reigns supreme…by a long margin.

But you knew that already.

What you may not know is that you’re leaving an awful lot on the virtual table if you’re only selling on Amazon.

Enter Google Ads and Facebook.

Google Ads popularity for selling products has been on the rise and as of this writing, it is still the number 1 threat to Google.

Facebook’s platform for selling products has been proving popular and effective too over the last couple of years and that’s a good thing: more choices = more competition = higher value.

If you’re an online retailer that want to increase your sales and expand your brand presence it is a must that you start exploring platform beyond Amazon and the 2 that we’ll discuss here are Google Ads and Facebook.

Comparing Google Ads with Facebook Ads

Google Ads vs Facebook Ads Cartoon

To get started, you should first understand the fundamental differences between the 2 platforms in terms of sale, buyer and cost attributes.

Buy intent

Buy or commercial intent refers to the level of ‘intent’ the click or keyword has. In other words, what is the likelihood of that click converting into a sale and more often than not, Google Ads will outperform Facebook here.

That shouldn’t seem surprising either when you consider that the buyer’s search was initiated on Google with an objective in mind: finding that product or service to purchase.

A click from Facebook on the other hand has less buy intent. No matter how targeted your Facebook campaign, your prospective buyer wouldn’t have started browsing through their Facebook feed with the goal to make a purchase which is why you will find that Facebook’s cost per sale is higher.

Digital Marketing - what platform is better poster

Cost per sale

The higher buy intent on Google means that the total number of clicks it will take to generate a sale is lower than from Facebook. This means that the cost of generating each sale on Google will be lower than Facebook.

This is something you want to bear in mind if you’re deciding between the 2 platforms. If your profit margins aren’t enough and you could only sell on the 1 platform, start with Google.

Return on Investment

If you’re looking to maximise your ROI above all else then Facebook might be a better choice for you.

Wait, what?! I thought we said the cost per sale from Google is lower so how can Facebook deliver a higher ROI?

The reason for this is compared to Google, Facebook is still a much more untapped marketplace with lesser competition so if you’re selling something that is even a little bit unique but you’ve setup targeted selling campaigns, while your cost per sale might be higher you may end up selling more.

And, that is because of the targeting tools available only on Facebook (we’re talking about custom and lookalike audiences here) and Facebook’s ability to allow you to scale your campaigns.

Scalability

If you’re looking to scale your Ecommerce business and cost isn’t a barrier then Facebook can give you a higher chance of making that happen than Google.

With Google, you’re limited by the no. of searches across all your target keywords across your target location.

With Facebook however, you can target customers based on several parameters which means that you can scale your campaigns more and quickly, too.

So, which platform is right for you? Google or Facebook?

The simple answer is both.

If you’d budget allows for it, you want to sell on both platforms so you can compare the results from the 2 and then gradually allocating more resources to the platform that is working better for you.

If you don’t have the necessary resources to sell on both however, then our recommendation would be to start with Google and if possible have a small retargeting campaign on Facebook to try and capture those visitors who didn’t convert during their initial visit via your Google Ads click.

If you need help deciding on which Ecommerce platform is right for you, check out this ecommerce guide which will help show you the way. Hint: It’s Shopify.