Why you should try ecommerce advertising on Microsoft

5 reasons why you need e-commerce advertising on Microsoft

If you’re looking to increase your e-commerce advertising efforts in 2024, you may be wondering if advertising on Microsoft is worth it. Google is undoubtedly owning the search engine space, but Microsoft Advertising manages to edge past in some aspects. 

Microsoft Advertising has emerged as a powerful contender, offering unique advantages particularly tailored to the B2B e-commerce spaces.

If you’re already using an online e-commerce software such as Shopify, Microsoft Advertising can seamlessly integrate with your store making it a desirable option for Shopify e-commerce merchants to utilise.

What should you know about Microsoft Ads.

Before exploring Microsoft Ads, it requires a nuanced understanding of its features, functionality and potential benefits for your e-commerce strategies. 

Microsoft Advertising is a comprehensive advertising platform that extends beyond traditional search engine marketing, including a vast network of Microsoft-owned properties like Bing, Outlook, LinkedIn, Xbox and thousands of partner websites such as DuckDuckGo, Ecosia and many more. 

Understanding the ecosystem is essential for effective targeting and engaging with audiences on multiple touchpoints. 

Advertisers should be aware of Microsoft Ads’ advanced targeting capabilities, allowing for precise audience segmentation based on demographics, interests, behaviours and device preferences. Leveraging these enables advertisers to deliver highly relevant results and a personalised ad experience for their target audience, ultimately maximising your campaign effectiveness. 

Lastly, it’s important to have a familiarity with Microsoft Ads’ reporting and analytics tool, which is crucial for measuring your campaign’s performance and identifying those areas for improvement to drive better results.

Top 5 reasons why you should add Microsoft ads to your marketing mix

Here are Diginius’s five reasons why e-commerce advertising on Microsoft, especially for Shopify merchants, is essential for sustainable growth and success.

Reach a wider audience 

Microsoft Ads, formerly Bing ads, extends far beyond its search engine, Bing. There are strategic partnerships and integrations across various platforms and websites such as DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, Microsoft Edge, etc, advertisers gain access to an extensive audience base comprising billions of users worldwide. 

You can create campaigns and allow Microsoft’s native placement, Microsoft’s Audience Network, to produce industry-specific targeting. Your image or feed promotions will then appear on MSN, Edge, Outlook, Yahoo and AOL. 

You can push in-market, product audience, and custom advertising campaigns across these channels.

Lower competition

Comparing Microsoft Advertising to Google Ads and Facebook Ads, Microsoft Advertising offers a less saturated marketplace for e-commerce advertisers. 

This underutilisation of Microsoft Advertising presents a unique opportunity to stand out amongst your competition. 

An e-commerce brand can leverage this to increase its visibility, maximise ad impressions and potentially lower its cost-per-click (CPC) while still achieving higher conversion rates. 

Lower cost per click

With fewer businesses struggling for keywords in their campaigns particularly in niche markets or a specific demographic, bidding costs tend to be more manageable. This means advertisers can achieve greater visibility and clicks at a lower cost, optimising their budget for maximum impact. 

A lower CPC doesn’t just offer cost efficiency; it allows users to enhance their advertising budget further, enabling them to explore more strategic opportunities, experiment with different ad formats, and drive a higher return on investment (ROI). 

This makes Microsoft Advertising ideal real estate for a smaller e-commerce business with lower advertising budgets. 

Less competition doesn’t necessarily equal more conversions, however, but it does make your e-commerce business more advantageous to convert.

Integration with Shopify 

Microsoft Advertising offers seamless integration with Shopify, making it easier for merchants to manage and optimise their ad campaigns directly from their Shopify Feed. 

This integration streamlines the processes of creating and launching ads, tracking performance and metrics, and optimising campaigns for better results. Shopify e-commerce merchants can leverage Microsoft Advertising’s advanced features and targeting options to reach their desired audience segments and drive relevant traffic to their online stores.

Quality traffic with Bing 

Bing, as part of Microsoft Advertising, offers a distinct advantage for advertisers to engage with niche and specific audience demographics.

Bing’s user base holds a demographic that tends to be slightly older and more affluent, with a higher disposable income and, therefore, a higher purchasing power. 

With Bing’s integration into various Microsoft platforms such as Windows, Edge and Xbox, advertisers can tap into a diverse audience across multiple touchpoints. Bing has a robust search algorithm and strict ad policies ensuring that users receive highly relevant and accurate search results leading to a higher CTR and conversions for advertisers. 

With an emphasis on quality over quantity, advertisers can expect traffic which is not only substantial but more likely to convert into converting customers.  

Customisable ads 

A standout feature for advertisers that distinguishes Microsoft Ads for e-commerce advertising is its suite of customisable ad options. E-commerce businesses have access to crafting tailored ad experiences that resonate with their target audience. 

From ad extensions and dynamic search ads to responsive ads and product ads, the platform has a mixture of customisable formats to suit various campaign objectives and audience preferences. 

Ad extensions these are additional pieces of information about your business, like a phone number or a URL to a landing page which can be used to add to your ads. Including these can improve the visibility of your ads, leading to more clicks and increased ROI. 

Dynamic search ads these provide a streamlined, low-touch way to make sure customers searching on the Microsoft Search Network find your service – they automatically target relevant search queries based on the content of your website, and are dynamically created to respond to these search queries. 

Responsive Ads these make creating ads easier by removing the need to figure out which headlines and descriptions work well together. You provide up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, using these, Microsoft Advertising will optimise the ad copy to create the most effective ads for potential customers. 

Shopping Ads – a Microsoft shopping campaign enables you to advertise the products from your Microsoft Merchant Centre store product catalogue. Product ads from Microsoft Shopping campaigns include details about the product, an image, and optional promotional text.

Shopify merchants who are looking to showcase their products to a broader audience can utilise shopping ads, allowing merchants to showcase their product catalogues directly in Microsoft’s search results, enhancing product visibility and driving qualified traffic to their stores. With features like product ads and dynamic product targeting, merchants can attract shoppers actively searching for products and capitalise on high-intent purchase behaviour. 

These levels of customisations support why integrating MSA into e-commerce marketing strategies is essential for businesses aiming to optimise their advertising efforts this year.

Microsoft Audience Ads

Do Microsoft Ads have better audience targeting? 

If we’re comparing Microsoft Ads to Google Ads, most people think they are similar, however, there are niche options they both offer when it comes to audience targeting. 

Microsoft Ads could benefit your specific campaigns, and it will depend on factors such as the nature of the target audience, campaign objectives, and industry specifics. Microsoft Ads, although has a smaller market share, provides access to unique audiences through Bing, Yahoo, and Microsoft-owned platforms. 

It may offer better targeting for certain demographics or industries where Bing holds a stronger presence. Ultimately, the effectiveness of audience targeting depends on the advertiser’s understanding of their audiences and platform capabilities to reach and engage them effectively. 

Do Microsoft Ads have better desktop reach?

Due to Microsoft Advertising’s association with Bing which is the default search engine for Microsoft Edge’s browser and integrated with other Microsoft products, Microsoft Ads can potentially offer better desktop reach compared to other ad platforms. Bing can capture a significant portion of desktop searches, particularly in certain regions and demographics. 

This can be an advantage for advertisers looking to target users who primarily use desktop devices for their search and browsing. Microsoft’s ecosystem includes a multitude of desktop applications such as Microsoft Office, which can provide additional opportunities for desktop reach. 

The effectiveness, however, depends on factors such as user behaviours, geographic location, and industry specifics. So make sure you’re analysing your target audience and campaign goals to determine the most suitable platform for your e-commerce business to reach users effectively.

Optimise your Microsoft Advertising campaign to get the most out of it 

E-commerce advertising presents an opportunity for businesses to expand their online presence, reach new audiences and diversify their paid strategy to drive measurable results. 

With an extensive network reach, advanced targeting capabilities, and integration with Microsoft Shopping Campaigns, Microsoft Advertising supports e-commerce advertisers to optimise their campaigns for maximum impact and ROI.

If you’re looking to increase your e-commerce efforts, Diginius launched a Shopify app last year, Diginius Shopping, focusing on optimising your Microsoft advertising efforts. Diginius Shopping automates, centralises and streamlines your Shopify product feed management. This allows you to centralise everything within one app, ultimately maximising your shopping ads. 

Feel free to contact the Diginius team today to find out more regarding our app, or our Microsoft Partner Program.

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.