5 e-commerce marketing plays to turn curveballs into home runs

E-commerce marketers get a lot of curveballs thrown at them. Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and other updates have made third party cookies obsolete, and have attached a tight seven day expiration date on other cookie types. The impacts of these changes are far-reaching, companies will need to turn to identity resolution software to own and leverage their own data as third-party cookies are phased out.

Overcoming these challenges requires a savvy, proactive marketing strategy in order to maximize your brand’s ability to convert interested prospects without being swept away by disappearing seven day cookies. This tactic of setting your brand up to win, or to have the best possible “at bat” in baseball terms, was pulled from a recent panel we hosted with four marketing experts:

  • Nik Sharma, CEO of Sharma Brands
  • Brodie Mazurek, VP of Growth at Bushbalm Skincare
  • Richard Harris, CEO of Black Crow AI
  • Dexter Da Silva, Director of Product at Compound

Throughout the conversation, these seasoned marketers shared several ways that e-commerce brands can make the most of their respective at bats. In this article, we’ll highlight five tactics that will help you hit a home run.

1. Design creative for all stages of the funnel

In the pre-Safari ITP days, Facebook and other ad platforms were able to easily identify returning customers, keep track of where they were in the marketing funnel, and serve ads that were custom tailored to their stage of the buyer journey. All of that functionality is no longer the case with client side cookies, so it’s no longer wise to custom tailor creative for specific stages of the marketing funnel. Instead, creative should work for someone who doesn’t even know your product yet, as well as someone who does.    

Nik Sharma puts it best in this clip: 

This strategy is a double-edged sword. It requires less segmenting of your creative, which means less lift is required in that arena. But because your creative must adequately connect with prospects throughout the funnel, it requires extra work to make sure it’s really dialed in. And that requires constant testing and optimization.

2. Optimize your content for a fifth grader

The next time you’re sitting next to someone who’s on their phone, pay attention to how quickly they navigate between apps and tap their way through different web pages. Most of us are extremely proficient in our ability to jump from site to site, whether shopping or consuming information. But that also illustrates why it’s so essential that your content is so easy to understand that a fifth grader can understand it. Not just the creative itself, but the landing page the ad drives to. Every touch point needs to be intuitive and digestible at a glance.

There’s a fun technique you can use to test out this principle. Pick a friend or family member who’s over 21 and only vaguely familiar with your e-commerce brand and its marketing efforts. Make a few cocktails (or pour some straight whiskey, if that’s their preference), and then ask them to review your landing pages, product descriptions, and ad creative. If they have a hard time understanding your content a couple drinks in, that could be a good indication that it requires further simplification.

3. Understand inputs and do your best to centralize them

All algorithms are a sum of their inputs, whether it’s a TikTok feed, Netflix recommendation, or the ad platforms that you use for e-commerce marketing. The more you’re able to understand all the different inputs that influence where your ads are served and to whom, the better you can optimize for those inputs. 

A high impact way to utilize these inputs is to consolidate the data from different sources into one centralized location. Maximizing the data points results in more accurate targeting and higher ROI, but unfortunately this strategy is heavily impacted by Safari’s ITP updates. Luckily, solutions exist that can this obstacle, which Nik explains:


Server side tracking has quickly become the go-to solution for consolidating all your advertising inputs across different locations, since it’s able to overcome the restrictions like Safari ITP. Server side tracking also aligns well with tactic number one above, since it’s a low lift solution that can have a major impact on ROI.

4. Utilize low lift tools that provide a no-brainer ROI impact

There are countless tools and platforms available to marketers, and each require varying degrees of maintenance and oversight. But when deciding which tools to prioritize, especially for smaller marketing teams, pay special attention to balancing ease-of-use and positive ROI. 

You might discover more complicated tools that drive even higher ROI, but with what long-term impact? Are they sustainable to maintain, or do they carry the hidden opportunity cost of keeping you so busy with oversight that you have less time to experiment or optimize other components of your marketing efforts? And just because a tool was a no-brainer a few years ago, doesn’t mean it’s still the case today. With the world of marketing evolving rapidly, the ROI delivered by each platform should be constantly reevaluated.    

5. Build a muscle around frequent testing and optimization

With the world of digital advertising constantly in flux, it’s never good to rest on your laurels. That’s why it’s important to build testing and optimization right into your process, and not to place your reliance on a single strategy or platform. Diversification can help you be better prepared for tomorrow’s unexpected marketing twists and turns, and remove a single point of failure.

Returning to the “at bat” baseball analogy, frequent testing and optimization is akin to batting practice. Daily dedication produces small refinements, which add up to substantial outcomes over time. At times it might seem like there’s no progress at all, but over weeks or months the hard work will win out and result in meaningful improvements. 

Create an all-star marketing strategy in a cookieless world

We hope that the five tactics covered in this article will help your e-commerce brand be better prepared to convert prospective customers and maximize ROI. If you’d like to watch the complete conversation that inspired this article, you can do so for free at this link.

Own your intelligence.
Win your category.
Black Crow AI is a leader in Predictive Analytics on G2 Black Crow AI is a leader in Predictive Analytics on G2 Black Crow AI is a leader in Machine Learning on G2 Black Crow AI is a leader in Americas Predictive Analytics on G2 Black Crow AI is a leader in Predictive Analytics on G2 Black Crow AI is a leader in Machine Learning on G2