If you’re an ecommerce brand owner, you’ve likely considered hiring an agency to help scale your business. But how do you know if you’re making the right choice? From inflated ROAS to unrealistic expectations, the pitfalls are numerous.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why agencies often fail, how to audit your current agency, and what to look for in a new one.
Some horror stories we’ve heard…
I’ve seen many businesses struggle with their agencies. I’ve heard some terrifying horror stories… From inflated ROAS to unrealistic expectations, there are numerous pitfalls to avoid.
One business got locked into a 12-month contract with a binding requirement to invest $50k/mo in ads – but their agency ROAS was less than 0.5x. This company barely survived.
Another business had a fantastic ROAS but store revenue wasn’t growing. After auditing their account, we realized that their agency used retargeting to inflate the account ROAS.
On the other hand, I’ve met plenty of business owners who expect an agency to come in and 100x their revenue in 30 days without providing any content.
Read along if you want to avoid these stories…
So today, I’m here to share with you why agencies fail, how to audit your current agency, and how to find one perfect for you!
Common Pitfalls of Ecommerce Marketing Agencies
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
Most ecommerce marketing agencies accept all clients and offer a wide range of services, leading to a lack of focus and expertise. It’s like a restaurant where the menu changes every day. Instead, look for specialized agencies for each area, such as a Klaviyo, Google, or Meta partner agency—like Harpia.
Businesses often expect agencies to revolutionize their entire operation for a small fee and achieve exceptionally high returns on ad spend (ROAS). These unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and strained relationships.
Misdiagnosing the Problem
No amount of marketing will fix a bad offer. Agencies can only amplify your existing strategies. If your business isn’t selling, it may not be the right time to engage an agency. Use your investment wisely to test things yourself first.
Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
Some agencies focus too much on bottom-of-the-funnel metrics and over-rely on view-through conversions, inflating results without driving incremental sales. This can make their ROAS look great on paper but won’t contribute to your business’s growth.
How to Audit Your Current Ecommerce Marketing Agency
Access Your Accounts
Make sure you have access to your ad and Klaviyo accounts and regularly check for updates. Use tools like Google Analytics to assess the real impact. On Klaviyo, look for when flows were last updated, if A/B tests are being run, and list growth metrics.
Check Ad Account History
Look for regular updates and changes in your ad account history, indicating the agency is actively managing your campaigns. New ads should be launched frequently, and small changes should be made twice weekly.
Evaluate Focus on Metrics
Assess whether the agency drives incremental sales rather than focusing on view-through conversions or bottom-of-the-funnel metrics. Ensure to look over Google Analytics for more in-depth attribution modelling.
Look for a Specialized Ecommerce Growth Agency
At Harpia, we set realistic expectations, take a holistic approach, and focus on the right metrics to drive your ecommerce growth. We specialize in driving growth for ecommerce businesses through targeted email marketing (Klaviyo), Facebook Ads, and Google Ads.
After working with 50+ ecommerce brands, we’ve learned how to perform for our clients while providing maximum visibility and aligned expectations. Here’s what sets us apart:
Specialized in Growth and Retention
We only work with Meta, Google, and Klaviyo. Our team knows each of these platforms blindfolded, and we’ve developed growth playbooks for each.
Realistic Expectations and Focused Goals
We set achievable goals and expectations for our clients, ensuring we deliver results that align with their business objectives. Success is different for every business owner; we ensure our goals align with yours.
Holistic Business Approach
We assess your business to identify constraints and develop strategies to address them effectively. We’re not button pushers or one-platform specialists. We’re ecommerce marketers at heart.
Focus on the Right Metrics
We focus on click attribution and prioritize driving incremental sales that lead to long-term growth by optimizing the entire marketing funnel. We’ll implement the long-term tactics you need to grow – with or without us.
Side note: When to Consider Bringing Your Ecommerce Marketing In-House
Running ads in-house can be an excellent option for smaller businesses with a smaller budget (less than $10k/mo marketing budget), or if it’s a service you’re an expert in (a media buyer who started an ecommerce, for example).
However, for many businesses that fall in between, partnering with an ecommerce growth partner like Harpia to outsource their deficiencies can provide the right balance of expertise and cost efficiency.
Where Should I Go from Here?
Choosing the right ecommerce agency is a critical decision. By understanding common pitfalls, knowing how to audit your current agency, and what to look for in a new one, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.
If you’re unsure about your current marketing agency, we’d be happy to audit your ecommerce accounts to see if they’re being adequately managed and how they can be improved.
Our team of experts will assess your Klaviyo, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads strategies to identify areas of opportunity and provide actionable recommendations.
Ready to Take Your Ecommerce Brand to the Next Level with Self-Liquidating Offers?
At Harpia, we are dedicated to helping ecommerce businesses skyrocket through email marketing and advertising strategies.
Better yet, we can audit your current marketing agency to ensure you’re not missing out on major growth and profit opportunities!