How to Advertise to E‑Commerce Shoppers

e-commerce shoppers

E‑commerce spending is at an all-​time high, according to a study by Comscore! In the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, consumers spent $281.3 billion on online purchases. That’s a $66.6 billion increase over Q4 2020's digital commerce spending. With so many consumers spending so much on online purchases, it’s critical for your clients to target e‑commerce shoppers with digital ads. But which digital ads should they utilize?

Targeting E‑Commerce Shoppers

How They’re Shopping

First, let’s take a look at how e‑commerce shoppers are accessing retail websites. Here’s how the $281.3 billion that consumers spent online shopping in Q4 2021 was divvied up:

  • Computer: $180.3 billion (64%)
  • Mobile: $101 billion (36%)

Mobile’s spend may seem significantly lower than computer’s, however, mobile dominates in year-​over-​year digital spending growth. Between Q4 2020 and Q4 2021, mobile digital commerce spending grew 19.2% compared to computer’s 14.1% growth.

So, while many of your client’s ads should be designed to view on computers, don’t forget to make them compatible for mobile devices, as well.

What They’re Buying

The top retail spending categories among e‑commerce shoppers in Q4 2021 differed between computer and mobile shoppers.


  1. Grocery, Baby & Pet
  2. Furniture, Appliances & Equipment
  3. Apparel & Accessories
  4. Computers & Peripherals
  5. Consumer Electronics


  1. Grocery, Baby & Pet
  2. Apparel & Accessories
  3. Computers & Peripherals
  4. Toys & Hobbies
  5. Digital Content & Subscriptions

Shopping for groceries online may have started increasing in popularity at the beginning of the COVID-​19 pandemic, but it’s showing no signs of slowing. Q4 2021 saw the highest grocery e‑commerce spending of all time: $58.4 billion. Comscore reports that the number of e‑commerce shoppers buying groceries online has decreased since May 2020, but it’s still a higher number than before the pandemic. And, according to the data, consumers are spending more.

How to Advertise to Them

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Which digital ads your clients should be using. According to comscore, programmatic ads are expected to make up 77% of digital ad spending by 2023. Programmatic display is the top dog, followed closely by programmatic video. Specifically, Comscore recommends reaching e‑commerce shoppers using these programmatic ads:

Which digital ads should your clients use to reach their target audiences? AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel can help you find the answer. Simply look up your client’s target audience’s profile and you’ll see which types of ads influenced the highest percentage of that audience to take action within the last year.

Make Sure At Least Some of Your Client’s Ads Include This

No matter how your clients choses to advertise to e‑commerce shoppers, they should make savings top of mind. Particularly, they should focus on shipping costs. According to Comscore, within the last month, 65% of consumers have abandoned at least one of their online shopping carts. Why? 36% said that it was because of unexpected shipping costs. So, if your clients want to attract more e‑commerce shoppers they should promote their free or low-​cost shipping, or at the very least, be transparent about the cost.

Additionally, coupons can be a HUGE motivator for e‑commerce shoppers. According to AudienceSCAN, 25.5% of Online First Shoppers used the internet to find coupons or discount codes within the last month. Additionally, their favorite types of emails to receive from businesses include coupons and discount codes. But make sure that the coupon’s code works and has clearly-​stated restrictions! Comscore says that 26% of e‑commerce shoppers have recently abandoned their shopping carts because their coupon or promo code didn’t apply to their purchase.

Photo by Bruno Emmanuelle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel writes about marketing and media sales for SalesFuel. She holds a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University.