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If you’re a digital marketing professional hoping to grow an ecommerce brand, selecting which marketing platform to use can be challenging. As the world of digital advertising has become more complex, so have the platforms that give brands the tools they need to refine strategies and attain strong returns on their marketing spend. The choice often comes down to two major competitors: Google Ads and AdRoll’s Ecommerce Marketing Platform. So, what’s the best choice for ecommerce sites: AdRoll vs Google Ads?

Let’s run through both marketing platforms and explore how each might help you reach new audiences, boost engagement, and grow your brand.

For more information on setting up an advertising campaign for your ecommerce store:

How to Set-Up an Ecommerce Advertising Campaign For Your New Store

What Is AdRoll?

In short, AdRoll is an ecommerce marketing platform that allows brands and their marketing professionals to create display ad campaigns that place ads on websites across the Internet. It provides a range of services, including data analytics to track key metrics, improve brand awareness, monitor campaigns across channels, email campaigns, capture emails, and more. With a convenient dashboard for monitoring your campaigns and robust remarketing functionality, AdRoll helps thousands of ecommerce businesses evolve their marketing strategies and increase revenue. 

What Is Google Ads?

The most dominant advertising platform on the web is Google’s AdWords, whose vast display network makes it possible for marketers to engage with potential consumers in almost every corner of the Internet. AdWords helps your brand rise to the surface on search results pages and provides a range of tools for collecting and analyzing data to improve campaigns.

Comparing AdRoll and Google Ads

AdRoll vs Google Ads: Pricing

Pricing is a critical element of any decision for a growing brand, especially ecommerce sellers just trying to break into the marketplace with a new service or product. Here’s how the price differences between AdRoll and AdWords shake out.

AdRoll: 

  • AdRoll prices ads dynamically based on CPM, so costs reflect the true value of the inventory at the moment. Budget can be allocated to individual campaigns and can be changed at any time. AdRoll provides a handy ROAS calculator to help marketers determine the appropriate budget amount and estimate return based on the business’s nature.  
  • As an ecommerce marketing platform, AdRoll also offers monthly subscription plans that include other marketing tools for email marketing, personalization, audience management, and cross-channel performance tracking. Its Starter Plan offers some advanced features at no cost, and paid plans start from $9/month.

AdWords: 

  • A pay-per-click (PPC) system, Google’s AdWords uses your budget to determine pricing rather than setting monthly rates. For example, you can define your AdWords budget at $100 per month, which will prompt your campaigns to display until they have attracted enough clicks or conversions to exhaust your budget. This provides some flexibility for brands, making it easy to pause campaigns or increase ad spend on the fly. 
  • However, it’s also possible for your ads to outstrip your budget — if consumers are enthusiastically clicking your ads, you might find your spending skyrocketing in a short period of time. Though Google won’t allow you to exceed your chosen budget, this can lead to brands spending more time adjusting their spending on the AdWords platform rather than setting-and-forgetting.

AdRoll vs Google Ads: Key Features

AdRoll:

  • Display ads across the web, even in networks that Google can’t access
  • A range of creative templates to make your ads engaging and hook consumers
  • Social media ads, including Facebook
  • Static and video-based or gif ads
  • Email campaigns, templates, and automated email flows
  • Email capture pop-up builder 
  • AI-driven product recommendation carousel
  • Basic and advanced custom audiences
  • Integration with Shopify and other ecommerce platforms
  • Cross-channel attribution marketing
  • Chat and email-based customer support
  • Robust remarketing and retargeting

Google AdWords:

  • Display ads on all Google-integrated networks
  • Advertise on YouTube
  • Basic templates
  • Geotargeting
  • AI-based campaign improvements
  • Advanced campaigns (additional cost)

While AdRoll and Google AdWords share some functionality and features that are useful to ecommerce sellers, there are a few key differences. AdRoll’s platform makes it easy to manage all of your marketing efforts in one platform. Their tools offer a wider variety of visual styles and templates for display ads, banners, text ads, and emails than Google provides. The included Shopify integration is also extremely beneficial for ecommerce brands, and the ability to advertise on Facebook makes it easy to manage display ads and social ads together under the same platform. Additionally, AdRoll’s retargeting and remarketing features are second-to-none, allowing brands to present consumers with messaging and creatives tailored to their shopping and browsing behavior, interests, demographics, and more. 

For more information on retargeting best practices:

7 Retargeting Best Practices for D2C Brands

AdWords, meanwhile, boasts a vast display network thanks to Google’s web dominance. It’s also useful for putting ads on popular websites such as YouTube. Its data analysis tools are famously robust and easy to explore, manage, and report on, especially for brands with a significant amount of data.

AdRoll vs Google AdWords: The Final Decision

For new brands or established ecommerce retailers looking to develop a larger audience and streamline their funnels, AdRoll offers unmatched functionality and customer support. Its subscription plans can provide ecommerce brands a comprehensive yet cost-effective marketing solution. It’s also easy to scale with more emails and more advanced features so that AdRoll can grow alongside your brand at a healthy and manageable pace. Its comprehensive retargeting tools are also powerful for ecommerce brands looking to develop brand loyalty and authority by serving customers with personalized content. AdRoll is ideal for growing your brand recognition because it allows you to advertise on networks that aren’t a part of Google’s display network.

For a complete guide on brand marketing:

Brand Marketing: The Guide You Need

Google’s AdWords is an undeniably useful option for digital marketing, but its tools are better suited to much larger brands that advertise to massive established audiences with high brand loyalty. Because of Google’s size, it may also be more difficult for marketers to access on-demand customer service, an essential for new brands hoping to grow or marketers just entering the world of ecommerce advertising. Because of its pay-per-click pricing, Google AdWords can also quickly become expensive for brands with limited resources.

Explore the AdRoll Ecommerce Marketing Platform and learn how to take your ecommerce marketing to the next level.

Author

Wilson is the Sr. SEO Marketing Manager at AdRoll.