NUOPTIMA > Insights > PPC for Ecommerce: How to Win New Customers Profitably (Free PPC Calculator)

PPC for Ecommerce: How to Win New Customers Profitably (Free PPC Calculator)

May 19, 2023 18 minutes
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During a conversation with the main partner of a 50-employee eCommerce brand, we discussed three main problems stopping their business from growing:

  1. The eCommerce space is so competitive it’s difficult to stand out from the competition.
  2. Constantly trying to keep up with customers’ preferences and needs as consumer behaviour keeps evolving.
  3. Many customers are hesitant to trust new eCommerce businesses, making it difficult to acquire new customers. 

To solve these problems, the eCommerce business needed to invest in marketing to attract valuable customers. Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the best ways to do this because it helps:

  1. Target new customers who are in-market for your product today.
  2. Generates a predictable flow of new and qualified customers.
  3. Ensures affordability if you use the right strategies (read below). 

Using our PPC strategies with 200+ businesses, we’ve generated 1000s of new customers for our clients. Read this article to learn how to find new and valuable customers through PPC, and book a call if you’d like an honest digital marketing agency to run your PPC campaign for you.

How much profit can PPC make your eCommerce brand?

It’s very likely one of your competitors is growing rapidly as a result of a well-executed PPC strategy. 

But every eCommerce brand is different. Your online store will have different positioning, brand awareness, service offering, and costs compared to a local competitor. That is why you need to have a strategy that is suitable for your brand. 

Therefore, before you read our winning strategy, it is essential that, with our interactive calculator, you should first work out if PPC will be a profitable method to acquire new customers. 

But first, read these three definitions to understand how the calculator works!

How PPC Works

When you run a PPC campaign, you will pay to appear on a search engine every time a potential customer searches for a specific keyword (which we will define later). Every time a potential customer clicks on your ad, you will pay money to the ad platform. This is called the Cost Per Click (CPC). For the eCommerce industry, CPCs typically range from $0.10 to $10.

Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost per click is the amount of money you pay to an advertising platform, like Google, to have a user click on your ad.

Of the people who click on your ad, some will convert into becoming a customer. This is your Conversion Rate (CVR). For the eCommerce industry, CVR typically ranges from 1% to 5%.

Conversion Rate (CVR)
Conversion rate is the percentage of users that convert into becoming a customer after clicking your ad.

We can use this to determine the cost of acquiring a single customer. Typically, this is called the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). For the eCommerce industry, CACs typically range from $0.02 to $10.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This is the cost of acquiring a single customer or client. 
Customer Acquisition Cost = Cost Per Click / Conversion Rate

Interactive PPC Profit Calculator 

Use this interactive calculator to work out how much profit you will receive from each customer acquired through PPC.

We’ve built this calculator using typical CPC and CVR across the eCommerce industry. All you need to do is enter the amount of revenue a single customer generates for you. The calculator then subtracts the marketing costs from the revenue to give you a profit per customer. Hence, by using this calculator, you can develop an understanding of the potential profits PPC could generate for your business. 

It is important to note that PPC is not 100% predictable, so we have created three unique cases which represent how well your PPC campaign could perform. 

Step 1

Enter how much a single client
generates you in revenue

best average worst
Step 2

Visualise how much profit you could make with PPC

Overview of our winning PPC Strategy

There are three steps to running a profitable PPC strategy. 

  1. Set up PPC campaigns correctly to target the right audience and keywords.
  2. Design high-converting landing pages. These are the pages that your potential customers will visit. 
  3. Optimise your ads and landing pages to get the maximum profit. 

Paid Search + Paid Social

We create and manage ad campaigns on all search and social platforms.

Landing Page Design

We design and implement landing pages that are made to convert.

Conversion Optimization

We perform ongoing analysis and experimentation to optimize performance.

Without experience, a lot can go wrong. Doing even one of the steps incorrectly can result in losing money for every single customer you acquire. 

That’s because choosing the wrong keywords can result in you paying a massive $200 per click, not a mere $20. It can result in your page converting at a lowly 2%, not an optimised 20%. It’s the difference between you paying $100 for every new customer or an unprofitable  $10,000. 

To not lose money and grow your business profitably, it is important to get each step right. The rest of the article will shed light on how to achieve a profitable PPC campaign.

Should you run ads on paid search or paid social?

There are two ways to advertise your brand online:

  1. Paid Search (Google Ads, Bing Ads)
  2. Paid Social (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat)

What’s the difference? Paid Search is when your ad appears on a search engine, like Google, after you’ve searched a term. This is a very powerful advertising method because you can choose what keywords your online store appears for. 

We know which keywords potential customers use when they’re looking for a product, so we can specifically choose to show your business at the top of Google for those keywords. But because of this amazing feature, your competitors will try a similar strategy and make it expensive. You’ll need to optimise all parts of your PPC strategy to ensure costs don’t spiral upwards!

On the other hand, if you use Paid Social, you appear ‘in-feed’. When someone is scrolling on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, ads appear. These ads interrupt the scrolling process. The person scrolling has not said they’re interested in your products, but you’re hoping your ad will attract a customer. The disadvantage of this technique is your ad is also shown to people who don’t need your products. On the other hand, this advertising method is cheaper. 

We’ve mostly seen eCommerce stores generate more profit on Paid Social, but there is definitely the ability to make a profit through Paid Search too.

Hence, it’s not completely black and white which way of advertising will work best for your business. It depends on the following:

  1. What exact eCommerce product are you selling?
  2. Who are your target customers?
  3. Where do your customers spend their time online?
  4. How much money do you make per customer?

We’re going to discuss Paid Search in this article as it is the most profitable PPC strategy when starting off. Also, sometimes a hybrid strategy using Paid Social can improve effectiveness — if this is something you’d like to discuss, you can book a call.

Running PPC paid search ads  

The most common Paid Search ads are keyword based. When a keyword is searched, ads appear at the top of Google. 

For example, here’s a generic keyword ‘running shoes’. Notice how the PPC ads appear first, and then the organic results (from SEO) appear second.

By paying for this ad, you can appear above SEO results (which takes longer to achieve). But, there are some pros and cons to this.

Pros of PPC:

  1. You can get in front of your potential customers quickly.
  2. You can win valuable shoppers.
  3. You can test which keywords bring in qualified buyers.

Cons of PPC: 

  1. It can be expensive if you don’t set it up right.
  2. Most people scroll straight past your ads. They prefer to look at SEO/organic results (however, we can help you counter this by running a hybrid strategy so you appear for both).

Up till now, you’ve learnt and understood: 

  • How PPC works
  • If PPC will generate profitable customers
  • What paid search is
  • The pros and cons of a PPC strategy

But we mentioned that PPC could sometimes be expensive if you go for the wrong keyword. How do you know which keywords will make you money? Let’s explore this further. 

Which PPC keywords should you target to get new customers?

Most inexperienced PPC managers will make the mistake of choosing the wrong keywords. That mistake alone can be the difference between swimming in 100 new buyers or drowning in $1000s of debt. 

Here’s what wrong keywords look like:

Firstly, the wrong keywords are based exactly on the service you offer. Initially, it may seem perfect, but it can have an adverse impact.

Let’s take the example of the keyword, ‘Running Shoes’. There are many competitors bidding for the exact keyword. This means the CPC is higher than is profitable for you to pay for, and results in you losing money. Remember, PPC operates on an auction-based bidding model. That means the more competitors that want to appear for the keyword, the more you pay.

Secondly, the wrong keywords have low intent. 

For example, ‘What shoes are best for runners?’. The person Googling that keyword is not ready to purchase. They’re in education mode. Typically, these keywords have a very low CPC because no one wants that traffic. 

But what do the right keywords look like? 

Firstly, the right keywords that have a high intent to purchase products and receive a quote. For example, these could be branded, product, or pain point keywords.

Secondly, the right keywords have reasonable CPCs, which make sense for the products you sell. You can look back at our interactive calculator to figure that out.

We’re going to show you all the types of keywords that can result in a lot of profit for your eCommerce site.

Type of keywordExamples of keywordProsCons
BrandedSony headphones
Apple iPhone
Nike running shoes
Cost-effective strategy to win new customers when your competitors may not be the best option.The competition usually bids on their own branded keyword to protect against it.
ProductRunning shoes for men
Scented candles
Food for an indoor cat
High intent keywords for purchase or solving pain point and can be very profitable.Service-level keywords are usually competitive, and may need bespoke landing pages.
LocationSports nutrition near me 
Pet supplies in London
Craft beer near Birmingham
High intent and very cost-effective. 
The big competitors usually avoid these keywords.
You’ll be competing with local providers. 
You’ll need to be locally present or have easy ‘contact us’ information.
Pain pointHeel pain when running
How to make a room look bigger?
Tips for first-time pet owners
It is possible to capture this lead before they go to competitors. 
You’ll be able to catch this buyer without competition.
Slightly lower buying intent as the user is in education mode. 
Will need a well-designed landing page.

Excellent PPC ad creative and copywriting examples 

Your ads appear next to your competitors, so you have to find a way to stand out. That is why we first analyse the competitive landscape before bidding on a keyword for a customer.

Here are some examples of eCommerce-related ads and what we think of them.

Ad 1: On Running appearing for ‘Running Shoes for Men’

Keyword: ‘Running Shoes for Men’

Verdict: 5/5 

Good areas: Great headline. It contains the keywords from the search term and offers a compelling ‘Free Shipping & Returns’ offer. It creates demand with ‘Millions of runners already have theirs’ and highlights their unique ‘Swiss-engineered’ materials. 

Bad areas: It would be better to see social proof such as 5-star reviews or press mentions.  

Ad 2: James Wellbeloved appearing for ‘Indoor Cat Food’

Keyword: ‘Indoor Cat Food’

Verdict: ⅗

Good areas: The use of reviews is great social proof, and it highlights key features such as ‘Natural Ingredients.’

Bad areas: The headline can use some work. It doesn’t specify that it’s food for ‘indoor cats,’ which may confuse the potential buyer and make them look at the next ad. Also, the CTA targets puppy owners and doesn’t encourage viewers to buy the product. 

Ad 3: IRUSU Candles appearing for ‘Luxury Scented Candles’

Keyword: ‘Luxury Scented Candles’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Excellent social proof with press from The Sunday Times and Elle. It highlights key features such as ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free.’ The discounts also provide an incentive to click. The addition of the price will deter customers who don’t want to pay a premium and thus save money on ad clicks that don’t lead to sales.

Bad areas: They haven’t used the keyword ‘luxury.’ The social proof could be put in the description to make room for a more compelling headline.

Ad 4: Headspace appearing for ‘Sleep App’

Keyword: ‘Sleep App’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Headline captures attention straight away with a CTA and enticing ‘Free Trial.’ They are offering a clear solution with ‘Restful Sleep’, which targets the keyword and search intent.

Bad areas: They could improve it with social proof, such as press mentions and reviews.

How to create a high-converting landing page for eCommerce PPC?

A high-converting landing page is one of the biggest factors in PPC success. Without it, you’ll be paying for traffic that doesn’t convert into customers. That’s a huge waste of cash! 

We recommend you have a conversion rate expert build out your landing page. Our winning landing page framework is reserved for our clients, but we’ll reveal the most important sections you need.  

Hero Block

The first section of the landing page is called the ‘Hero Block’. You can see the whole section as soon as you open the web page. You need to have three things in this section:

  1. Great headline. For example, ‘UK’s Number 1 Running Retailer’
  2. Social proof. For example, 5.8/5 stars, 4,000+ reviews
  3. Call to action. For example, ‘Get a Free Trial’

Your hero block needs to simply call out exactly what you offer, who it is for, and why you are a low-risk solution. 

Product Block

High up the page, probably in the 2nd or 3rd block, you will need to explain your services and/or products. You should explain its features and benefits. For example, if you sell a physical product, you would have features and benefits as follows:


  • Fast and reliable delivery 
  • 30-day money-back guarantee 
  • Use of high-performance materials  


  • We give you peace of mind if they aren’t right for you
  • Easy to use and guarantees top performance 

Call to Action Block

Every PPC landing page needs a highly compelling call to action block. It is solely designed to get the user to purchase your product. 

We highly suggest including several call-to-action blocks throughout your landing page, such as at the top of your page, one in the middle of your page, and one at the end. You’ll be surprised how much it can increase your conversion rates and reduce your customer acquisition costs!

We include 6+ other high-converting blocks in our landing pages. Reach out to learn what they are and how to implement them. 

Engage an agency to run your PPC ads

There are lots of aspects to running a profitable PPC campaign for your eCommerce site. You can attempt it yourself, or you can engage us, NUOPTIMA. We’ve worked with 200+ businesses and run thousands of PPC campaigns profitably. 

A bit about us

We’re an honest growth agency, and our goal is to drive profit for your business. 

We don’t work with everyone. In fact, we actively refuse 50% of all businesses that try to work with us. That’s purely based on if we think we can make your campaign a success. We only grow as an agency if we can get you results and you refer us to your friends and family. 

Before you choose a PPC agency, reach out to our team. We’ll objectively tell you what we think, and if it’s good, we’ll propose a fair price alongside a set of growth expectations and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Once you start to work with us, you’ll be in regular contact with our team. You’ll be provided with extensive data tracking and will communicate with us on regular calls.

Our PPC capabilities:

  • We can service budgets from $100+ ad spend per day.
  • Management costs start from $1,000 per month, depending on ad spend, platform, and requirements.
  • Work on all ad platforms: Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Reddit.
  • We’ve worked with local service providers to public companies.
  • We’ve worked across B2C and B2B, having driven brands to 7 figures in sales, and exceeded B2B SQL quotas.

Next steps:

  • Firstly, you should visit our PPC services page here.
  • Then, you should read through some case studies here.
  • And when you’re ready, send us a message or book a call here.


How much is eCommerce PPC?

The cost of PPC for eCommerce depends on the keywords you target and how often potential customers click on them. The Cost Per Click (CPC) typically ranges from $0.10 to $10 for the eCommerce industry. While the Conversion Rate (CVR) typically ranges from 1% to 5%. Use our eCommerce PPC calculator to work out if PPC is profitable. 

Is PPC good for eCommerce?

Using PPC for eCommerce quickly attracts new and valuable customers who are ready to buy your product. You can ensure affordability if you use the right strategies.

How to use PPC for eCommerce?

Our PPC profit calculator can help determine if Paid Search will benefit your business. Though, it’s vital you use the correct techniques, such as finding appropriate keywords, using excellent copywriting, and setting up relevant landing pages for your campaign. 

Author's image

By: Viktor Bartak

Head of SEO


Viktor has 15 years of experience in SEO, having worked on over 300 businesses across B2B and B2C, including cybersecurity, social media, eCommerce, tourism, SaaS, fintech, private clinics, agriculture, clothing manufactures, real estate and more.

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