Digital Marketing Tactics

Growing your Shopify ROAS as Digital Ad Prices Continue to Rise

As the big platforms continue to raise prices across the online advertising landscape, how can small Shopify businesses grow their ROAS?

The past two years have seen quite the rollercoaster when it comes to online ad prices. Prices went up during the early days of the pandemic as everything went online. They then fell as budgets tightened across industries. Now many Shopify businesses are seeing their ROAS impacted by a new wave of soaring ad costs.

The big platforms have just recently announced their Q3 results for this year and it’s not spelling good news for advertisers. YouTube’s ad revenue has fallen for the first time since they started reporting. Meta’s costs have risen while operating income fell compared to last year. 

As the two major players in online advertising begin to tighten their belts, advertisers can expect to see ad prices rise. This, coupled with rising inflation across the board means a challenging time is ahead for Shopify brands.

Of course, we’re going to help you with some actionable tips that will help you weather the incoming storm. Feel free to skip to the good part now or read more about the extent of the rising costs and causes first.

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How much have costs for online ads gone up?

It’s been a pretty big jump in the past year across all the major online ad platforms. The CPM (cost per thousand impressions) on Meta has gone up 61%. Google’s search CPC (cost per click) has increased 14% and programmatic display is up 75% year over year. The newcomer to the field, TikTok, is no exception. CPMs on the video platform have gone up a whopping 185%!

These significant price increases across the board have made it pretty difficult for smaller businesses to effectively invest and maintain their expected ROAS.

Why are the CPCs and CPMs increasing?

Inflation has been affecting the price of everything this year, but when it comes to digital marketing there are other factors at play. For one, newer platforms, mainly TikTok, have been going through some major price volatility. As the number of users has continued to skyrocket, brands have been jumping on board to advertise. As a result of the sudden influx of demand, the price has shot up to follow. 

Traditional advertising is also much less effective than before. Of course, print media has long since seen its end looming, but with the rise of subscription-based TV ad prices for platforms like YouTube and soon Netflix will continue to rise.

And last, but certainly not least, it’s iOS 14.5. Apple’s privacy policies from last spring have significantly impacted targeting for all iPhone users. With less precision for a large portion of many companies’ audiences, they’re struggling to efficiently spend on ads. With less data for targeting, there ends up being more wasted ad spend on less relevant audiences.

After the recent reports of falling revenue, we can only expect that ad prices will continue to rise in the coming months. Since the levers of the ad auctions are easy enough to pull, as profits dip Meta, Google and TikTok can simply up the CPCs as needed.

What can Shopify businesses do to help grow their ROAS?

Now that we know how much prices have increased, why, and that they’re likely to continue going up, let’s explore some tactics that will help you keep your ROAS strong. While some companies will choose to explore organic options like social media, email marketing, and SEO, we’re looking into paid opportunities here.

Leverage influencer marketing

Growing a tight-knit network of influencers who truly care about your brand can be incredibly powerful and mutually beneficial. As a brand, you get their reach, access to their audience, and a recognizable spokesperson you can use in ads.


If you’re looking for way to launch an influencer marketing program, we’ve talked to Rishabh Jain, David Perry, and Cody Wittick on Optily Radio about their tactics for success.

Implement a full-funnel strategy

We’re big on the marketing funnel here at Optily and help our clients develop theirs continuously as they work with us. By using top-of-funnel campaigns, which are cheaper for video views and impressions, you can build a more targeted audience. Then you use those audiences of people who have shown interest in your brand for remarketing. The lower funnel campaigns cost more, but by using the targeted audience you’ll be going after relevant traffic.

To learn more about funnels for your eCommerce business, check out our CEO’s free ebook, Accelerate eCommerce Growth: A Proven Framework to Scaling Your eCommerce Business with Digital Advertising.

Use Optily, the Shopify ROAS Supercharger

Optily’s upcoming Shopify app optimizes ad spend across all your campaigns on Meta and Google. You don’t have to spend hours analyzing your ad channels data and comparing it against your sales metrics from Shopify. The app crunches the numbers for you and recommends how best to split your existing budget for the best results.

The best part is you can see all your data in the platform and action the recommendations with just a click straight through your Shopify dashboard. Get in touch today to see how we can help boost your Shopify ROAS today!

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