How to Build Successful E-commerce Ads on Facebook

Emily Lutz
March 23, 2021

We know that Facebook Ads can be a useful tool to find new customers for your e-commerce business. But have you considered how commerce ads on Facebook could increase your brand awareness, promote events, and upsell or re-sell your current customers?

Facebook Ads can be used at every stage of the e-commerce sales funnel to increase your bottom line. You just need to know the right strategies.

We’ll walk through how to build out the most effective Facebook ad campaigns for e-commerce, depending on where your customers are in the sales funnel.

e-commerce sales funnel


Facebook E-commerce Advertising for Awareness & Consideration

Do you want to grow awareness and knowledge of your business among prospective customers? Brand awareness campaigns can effectively (and cheaply) reach large numbers of people on Facebook.

These brand awareness campaigns can be used to boost your reputation or grow your remarketing audience. Remarketing audiences are valuable because they can be targeted with ads if they show interest in your website.

Facebook ad campaign costs vary due to many factors, but awareness ads tend to have a lower cost per click than lower-funnel campaigns like conversion.

Awareness and consideration ad strategies do not have a goal of getting more sales directly. Instead, they engage people so that they will remember your company when they next need your products.

It’s likely that these audiences will not be in the market for your products right now. While brand awareness campaigns may lead to some sales, they are likely to have fewer purchases and a lower ROAS (return on ad spend) than campaigns targeted at the bottom of the funnel.

Facebook Advertising Objectives for Brand Awareness & Consideration

Based on the goal of your campaign, creative, and audience, you will want to choose the “Objective” carefully. Facebook ad campaign objectives will affect who in your audience will actually see your ad.

campaign objective choices on facebook ads

  • Reach: Selecting “Reach” as your campaign objective on Facebook will give you the evenest delivery across your entire targeted audience. Facebook will show your ad to as many people in your audience as possible. They will not show your ads multiple times to the same person (unless your audience is small and the budget is large). Instead, your ads will be served to a variety of people at least once.
  • Brand Awareness: Selecting “Brand Awareness” as your campaign objective means Facebook shows your ads to your audience and then quizzes them later to see if they remember your brand. They will be able to give you metrics based on your brand lift from your ads. However, delivery can skew toward people who are most likely to answer these quizzes rather than showing evenly across your audience.
  • Traffic: Selecting “Traffic” as a campaign objective means Facebook shows your ads to your audience and tries to get the most people to click on your ad and go to your website. If you want to grow your remarketing audience or get more website traffic, this may be the best objective for you. However, delivery can skew toward people who often click on ads in your audience. People who rarely click on ads may never see your ad, even if they are very qualified to be a customer.
  • Engagement or Video Views: Selecting one of these campaign objectives means Facebook shows your ads to your audience and tries to get the most people to engage with your ad. This can include getting clicks, likes, comments, follows, video views, or any other measurable engagement with the ad itself. If you want to get more followers or promote a specific creative asset (video or image), this is the objective for you. However, again, delivery can skew toward people who often click, like, or comment on ads or watch videos often. Facebook may favor people already connected with your business, since they are more likely to respond to the ads, so you may want to exclude any current customers or followers from your audience.

Facebook Audiences for Awareness and Consideration

Your audience for Awareness and Consideration campaigns should be fairly wide–you are trying to reach people who have not purchased from your brand before and may not even be in the market for your given product. Because of this, you may just want to target by location and broad demographics.

Or, if you have a product only for a certain group of people, you may want to add in some more specific interests or a wide lookalike audience to get a more relevant audience.

Facebook Ad Creative for Awareness and Consideration

The most important thing to have in an Awareness campaign is engaging ads! Your ads are showing to people who know nothing about your brand or products and are scrolling quickly through their news feed.

Your ad should catch their attention at a glance with an interesting image or start of a video. And your content needs to convey what you do/sell and what sets you apart from your competitors in a few, easy-to-read sentences.



Facebook E-commerce Advertising for Conversions

Conversion is the stage in the sales funnel where you turn interest into a purchase.

On Facebook Ads, you have options to target people who have not been to your website but who are likely to make a purchase (prospecting) and to target people who have been to your website but did not complete a purchase (remarketing).

These campaigns often get a high volume of purchases and a high ROAS (return on ad spend). However, depending on both brand awareness, competition, and the popularity of your product, your conversion audience can be limited.

If your conversion campaigns are slowing in performance, you may need to focus on awareness to grow the upper part of the funnel. Then, you can use remarketing to bring audiences to purchase. Depending on the size of your conversion audience, costs per click can be much higher than awareness campaigns. However, most businesses get a better return on their investment as well.

With Dynamic Ads on Facebook, you can use a product feed to show audiences the items that they recently viewed on your website. This way, you can fully personalize your ad creative to the viewer.

You can also use Dynamic Ads to give Facebook a wide variety of images to show people who have not been to your website. Facebook can choose which products this new audience may best respond to.

However, before setting this up, consider the quality and attractiveness of the photos in your product feed. Not all products show well in a feed. In Dynamic Ads, you can add an uploaded first image or video as the first thing that the customer sees, and then they can click through your products if they are interested.

facebook dynamic product ads

Facebook Dynamic Product Ads

Facebook Advertising Objectives for Conversions

  • Conversions: Selection “Conversions” as your objective means Facebook shows your ads to people in your audience who are most likely to purchase a product on your website. This will skew delivery to people in your audience who Facebook determines are ready to purchase.
  • Catalog sales: Using the “Catalog sales” objective means Facebook shows ads to people in your audience who are most likely to purchase items in your catalog or product feed on Facebook. This also skews delivery to people in your audience who Facebook determines are ready to purchase.
  • Store visits: If you have local storefronts, the “Store visits” objective is for you. Facebook will show your ads to people in your audience who are likely to visit your store. These ads normally lead to store location info, and Facebook uses their location data in the Facebook app to measure if they visited your store. They will skew delivery to people near the actual store location who are likely to purchase a product.


Facebook Audiences for Conversions

If your focus is building conversions, you want to make sure your Facebook ads are specifically targeted to people likely to make a purchase. In these ads, instead of using broad demographics & interests, you want to target specific product interests, close lookalikes, and remarket to people who have visited your website recently.

However, as the Facebook algorithm matures, Facebook now recommends using wider audiences for Conversions ads. This is so you do not limit the audience for the algorithm and give it more leeway to find the best customers who are likely to convert. If you have a mature Facebook account with lots of purchase data, this strategy may be worth testing.


Facebook Ad Creative for Conversions

Your ad creative for Conversions ads should be focused on getting the sale. Your Remarketing audience is familiar with your brand and your entire audience is interested in your product. Think about how you can set yourself apart from your close competitors and how you can push someone to make that final sale.

Discounts and other offers normally perform well. Adding urgency to your ads, like with a final discount date, can push people to make the decision more quickly.

Facebook ads with discounts

Facebook ads with discounts

Similar to awareness ads, you want your ad creative to be eye-catching. Most people scroll through their news feed quickly, so you need to catch their attention and get them to slow down to process your ad.

Since Conversions ads are so targeted to a small audience who is ready to purchase, ad fatigue can set in quickly. People in your audience will be shown your ads often.

It is best practice to have 3-5 active ads in each ad set so that your audience is seeing a variety of images and do not get tired of the same ad over and over. Facebook also recommends changing or adding new ad creative every 2-4 weeks with a small audience.


Facebook E-commerce Advertising for Retention 

Along with garnering new customers, Facebook can be used to re-sell or upsell products to your existing customers, get them to become repeat purchasers of your products, and turn them into dedicated fans of your brand.

Facebook Audiences for Retention

On Facebook, you can create custom audiences of existing customers, either through recent purchase activity, logins on your website, or email lists. You are able to divide these customers into different groups based on how recent their last purchase was, the size of their purchase, what types of products they purchased, or their demographics. This allows Facebook to show them ads that are most relevant to them, and ultimately increase your profits.

For example, say you input a segment of customers that purchased a dress at your fashion store within the last 30 days. You can then advertise related shoes or jewelry that will complement the dress.

If you have a customer that purchased 6-month size baby clothes 3-6 months ago, you can show them ads for 1-year-old baby clothes or products. The possibilities for retention campaigns on Facebook are endless and will be different for every business.

By dividing your customers into custom audiences, you are also able to create lookalikes on Facebook for additional prospecting of new customers. For instance, if you create a group of repeat customers or customers with a high purchase value, you can target look-alikes of those customers to drive new audiences and increase your ROI.

Facebook will then show your ads to people similar to your best customers. You can also divide your customers into different demographic personas and then show lookalikes ads based on their pain points and needs.


Facebook Ad Creative for Retention

Ad creative for Retention ads, as always, should be eye-catching in the news feed. However, the copy should be more specific to the audience’s needs.

Since you are able to create these specific audiences, you should also have ads that speak directly to them to convince them to purchase again. You may run member specials or coupons to promote certain products. Or, your ad can include messaging tying back to their recent purchase.

However, don’t get too specific about an audience’s online activity in your ads. People can get creeped out when ads are a little too specific, and it seems that the business is watching their every move.

For instance, we would not recommend an ad saying, “This necklace will go great with the prom dress you purchased last week at our store!” Instead, we may say, “Looking for chic jewelry for prom? Shop our jewelry sale that ends on Friday!”


Facebook for E-commerce: Building the Best Ad Campaigns

Facebook Ads for e-commerce give businesses the opportunity to target people at different stages in the sales funnel with customized, personalized ads that lead them to the purchase.

If you know how to take advantage of campaign objectives, targeting strategy, and creative strategy, you can drive new customers to purchase on your site, bring your current customers back to purchase again, and increase your profits.


Connect with Perfect Search Media for an expert audit of your current Facebook campaigns. We can work to revamp your Facebook ads to bring in the maximum profit for your company. Visit our services page for more information

Emily Lutz
Director of Strategy

Emily Lutz is from Kalispell, Montana and has been camping more times than she can count. She geeks out over musicals and the TV show Firefly (yes, she’s on some chat sites). Before joining Perfect Search, Emily was a zookeeper for ten years.

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