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ECC Talking Points: Q1 2022

Real Life 2022 Challenges and Successes, from our ECC 2022 events series January 2022 saw the return of in-person ECC events, 2021 was the year of video-call fatigue, so great to get people together. Rising CPAs in Q4 21 Facebook post iOS 14 and 15 How do we measure this from here? January 2022 performance […]

16th Mar 2022
ECC Talking Points: Q1 2022 16th March 2022

Real Life 2022 Challenges and Successes, from our ECC 2022 events series

January 2022 saw the return of in-person ECC events, 2021 was the year of video-call fatigue, so great to get people together.

Rising CPAs in Q4 21

January 2022 performance

  • For many, January started behind budget for many retailers – this was a shared pain and many took comfort in knowing this was a wider-spread issue
  • Discussed benchmarking performance back to 2019 and early 2020 and not forecasting off 2021

The great attribution model debate

  • Complexities of cross device and post cookie roll out
  • How can retailers handle diverging analytics sets? 
  • Is it time to stop bothering?

Digging into the discussion points:

Rising CPAs in Q4 2021:

  • 2021 saw the warning of inflation – heating bills, fuel etc all set to rise, and huge increases seen last year too
  • In real terms, with commodities increasing, so have wages and this has led to price increases across many sectors to mitigate increased costs from delivery / packaging etc.
  • For a more cautious customer, this is hitting their pocket and retailers are faced with double whammy of increased CPCs and CPMs from media outlets due to increased competition and a shrinking customer demand pool
  • This is leading to a drop in conversion rates, and thus, increased CPAs
  • To mitigate this, retailers have to be smarter – Time sensitive sales / offers to make people open emails
  • Better targeting and reduced wastage
  • Improved remarketing and second purchase strategies to offset the initial customer acquisition cost
  • Also discussed the increased use of split it suppliers e.g. Klarna – allowing consumers a longer timeframe to pay for higher value items and affording them more choice

2022 performance to date:

  • 2021 saw a captive audience, with higher purchase intent due to the global pandemic
  • Many ‘pop up’ online retailers from 2020 and 2021 are still active – meaning increased competition for most and linked to the above point – higher CPCs and CPAs.
  • Discussed the need for ‘show me you know me’ mentality to connect with your customers and ensure loyalty to your brand
  • Segmentation of audiences is key, and following this through to prospecting and acquisition channels via lookalike and customer match strategies to be smarter with budget and maximise sales from key audience segments
  • Retailers that had reduced reliance on discounting last year were discussing bringing them back to boost performance into February 2022 – but doing this at product / customer segment level, or using ‘surprise and delight’ or bundles to reward great customer cohorts


  • A long standing ECC topic, it’s no wonder that in the year of the iOS14 update
  • Reporting on Digital Marketing performance in a private world.
  • One of our attendees discussed how their organisation has moved completely away from an attribution model: Moving to a TACOS (total acquisition cost of sale) model, maximising results from the website as a whole, rather than restricting individual channels based on individual KPIs.
  • As a growth partner, we have always advised clients to move to a blended model, with many of our client strategies operating a “one search” strategy.
  • Brand search is used tactically, if we identify competition on your brand, with generic search and shopping used to promote category or product specific discounts and deep linking to pages where this is displayed.
  • Similarly, many clients are looking to ‘brand response’ channels such as programmatic display to offset the increased CPCs on Facebook and Instagram, previously relied upon by many to build reach and prospect to new customers
  • Teaser: Al has recorded a podcast with James at Furniturebox on this topic and will be released soon.

The session saw many wins from the last quarter too, and here’s a quick run down:

  1. Reduced reliance on discounting during Black Friday Cyber Monday
  2. Loyalty programmes are great for tapping into like-minded customers to existing champions
  3. Credit platforms like Klarna have helped improve conversion rates
  4. Website migrations – many clients completing migrations ahead of Black Friday week and reaped the rewards of improved navigation and UX

Recap of our top tips:

  • Use generic PPC to promote discounts and deep link to pages where discount is visible
  • Loyalty programmes are great to increase your loyal customer base
  • Implement apple / GPay to improve your position in a walletless world
  • Klarna and other payment platforms offer more than just payments
  • Push up the free delivery threshold and offset risk
  • Test variable discounts based on spend levels
  • If your product aligns for subscriptions, check out Recharge and other apps
  • Use Generic PPC to promote discounts at product / category level, protecting your brand
  • Demonstrate that you know your customers by delivering relevant and timeline communication, based on purchase behaviour, latency between orders etc.

If you’ve enjoyed reading our talking points and want to be part of the next discussion, sign up for our next E-commerce Collective.


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