With all the algorithmic changes made to social media in the past few years, businesses find it harder and harder to reach their audience organically. It’s why more and more, businesses are looking towards paid options such as Facebook ads or Instagram ads.
For most eCommerce store owners, it becomes essential to run paid social ads to generate more sales and scale their results. Paying to reach new audiences is very beneficial for eCommerce store owners because it gives them back control.
Control is very important when it comes to growing your eCommerce. It might be nice to make $5,000 without spending a dime, but it’s nowhere near making $6,000 with $1,000 spent.
Why is that? Well with $1,000 spent and $6,000, you know you could increase your budget and make money. With organic sales, you don’t have the same amount of control to scale.
The amazing thing about Facebook ads is that you can use them any step of the customer journey. You can use them to educate your audience about a new tech product, push them to visit your website and even push them to close the deal.
You can essentially target a cold audience and a warm audience directly on the platform. A cold audience represents people who have never heard about your brand, and a warm audience represents the people who have heard about your brand with various degrees.
In simpler terms, you can attract customers first, then convert them, then close them and then make sure they are delighted. It looks like the picture above, although you can put an arrow going from “Delight” to “Attract” to create a wheel.
In this article, I’ll share with you 20 tips to grow your eCommerce sales fast and efficiently. There are some beginner, intermediate and advanced tips to reach the next level. The ultimate goal? Make your Facebook ads for eCommerce strategy the best it can be.
1. Leverage Great Facebook Ad Visuals
When it comes to Facebook ads, using high-quality images is really important and has a huge impact on your results. As you can see, the image above is unique and the quality is great.
I’d like to add some guidelines when it comes to using great images:
- Leverage colours that stand out to be eye-catching
- Avoid images that fit Facebook’s colour palette because they don’t stand out
- Include people in your ads if possible to make them more native
- Pictures of women tend to work better than men (who knows why)
- Select the right ad format when creating your Facebook ads
It’s also important to remember that people scroll on Facebook quite quickly and don’t tend to stop. It’s why standing out is extremely important if you want your Facebook ads to perform.
Additionally, Facebook tries to prioritize ads that have 20% of text maximum in terms of space. You should stay below that mark, but we’ve also seen ads perform well even if they have more than 20% of the text.
Pictures in your ads can produce a lot of engagement by themselves, but they are not enough. It’s really important to complement your Facebook ads images with strong ad copy. Some like to integrate the ad copy inside the image, but most just like to add it in the text sections.
Finally, it’s really important to use unique and native pictures. You want to showcase your product in its best light, but you don’t want to use a stock photo to do it. Why? People have seen those photo’s everywhere and they are simply emotionless.
Stock photo’s don’t look alive. They look great, of course, but they don’t allow your audience to connect with your brand and that is very important if you wish to generate strong results with Facebook ads.
2. Install The Pixel On Your Website
It’s really important to install a Facebook pixel on your website. Why? Well, if you don’t install a pixel you won’t be able to track your results and thus optimize your results to get sales.
According to Facebook, it allows you to reach the right people by finding new customers on Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network while optimizing your ads to reach people likely to buy from you. It also helps you measure your data to help you figure out which advertising yielded results.
Creating a pixel is quite simple. All you have to do is following the steps below:
- Login in to your Facebook business manager
- Go into the events manager
- Click on create a pixel
- Add the pixel to your site manually or using a third-party integration
If you are using Shopify, let me help you set it up correctly. After creating your Facebook ad pixel, all you would have to do is to go inside your Shopify admin panel and paste your pixel ID inside “Facebook pixel”.
If you have a WooCommerce website or would like to simply add the Facebook pixel manually, we wrote an article on that subject to help you out!
3. Interests suggestions to find new audiences
Although people on Facebook generally want to socialize, they also tend to look for products. Of course, by reaching the wrong people, you won’t be able to generate engagement which is likely not good for your Facebook ads.
When targeting a cold audience, meaning people who don’t know about your brand, it’s really important to target the right people. If you don’t, then no matter how could your Facebook ads design is, you won’t get good results.
If you’d like to learn more about Facebook ads design, you might like our article “27 Facebook Ads Design Hacks (2020)“.
When it comes to Facebook ads, the hardest yet everyone’s goal is to generate sales. By targeting the wrong audience, you are bound to not be able to generate the results you are looking for.
It’s why to recommend starting to write an initial audience with your Facebook ads. For instance, if you sell luxury fashion then you could target “Louis Vuitton” and then you’d have a bunch of other Facebook ads interests popping.
A lot of people talk about laser targeting, but at SH1FT we’ve never seen it working. Our best performing ads were ones with super large targeting. We always recommend, especially for cold audiences, to target a large pool of people and let Facebook optimize.
The reality is that most interests aren’t as precise as people think. Someone who has checked the Louis Vuitton’s page might not even care about luxury fashion and just have been curious. Having a large audience and letting Facebook optimizes, makes sure you are targeting the right people based on your Facebook ads objective.
Also, Facebook ads reach is extremely large. There are 1.6 billion active users on Facebook. As a brand, you are bound to find the audience that wants to buy your product. You might just need a bit of testing and optimization from Facebook to reach a satisfying level.
4. Leverage custom audiences for retargeting
It’s been said over and over again that people need to see or hear about your brand multiple times before they choose to make a purchase. In fact, close to 98% of visitors won’t purchase during their first visit.
Even by creating the most perfect Facebook ad design and targeting the exact audience that craves your products, they are still a vast majority who won’t buy from you. There’s nothing you can do about it, sometimes only time builds trust. By having someone looking at your product, it already shows that they are highly interested in your product.
How can you remedy that and generate more sales? You’ll need to set up retargeting by creating Facebook ads custom audiences. Those audiences are built based on actions your audience has taken with your brand in the past.
If you want to learn more about Facebook custom audiences, you should check out our article “Facebook Ads Custom Audience: Everything You Need To Know In 2020“.
Here a few examples of Facebook custom audiences you can create:
- People who added a product to cart but didn’t purchase in the past 30 days
- People who visited your product page in the past 10 days
- People who bought from you in the past 180 days
- And much more…
You can retarget those people with relevant Facebook ads such as giving a discount code to people who have added their products to cart but didn’t buy. Retargeting is an art that can bring a lot of revenue to your brand. If you aren’t leveraging Facebook custom audiences and retargeting, you are missing out on a lot of money.
Here’s an example of a Facebook retargeting ad that can help you understand how they look like. Here, Dropbox tells their prospects about a feature they can use inside Dropbox.
If you want to learn more about Facebook ads retargeting, I recommend our article “Facebook Retargeting: 155-Point Guide + 18 Refreshing Examples“.
5. Retarget abandoned cart audiences
When it comes to Facebook ads retargeting, one of the best audience to target are people who not only visited your page but also added their products to their but didn’t buy.
As an eCommerce store owner, you’ll probably see a lot of abandoned checkouts and it can be frustrating. Why don’t they buy? It could be a million reason, but creating an abandoned cart audience and retarget them is a good step in the right direction.
Think about it, there is no audience closer to buying from you than people who added their product to the cart but didn’t purchase. Sometimes, they just need a discount code or to realize how awesome your product is. In some cases, people just forget about their cart and you reminding them it is enough to finish their purchase.
How should your Facebook ad look like? You should add a picture of the product they’ve added as well as a link to the product. Some brands even include a discount offer to incentivize people further.
It’s also important to notice that the more recent the abandoned cart is, the higher they will perform. For instance, someone who abandoned their cart 2 days ago will convert more than someone who did 2 weeks ago! To bring people back from 2 weeks of an abandoned cart, you might need to incentivize people more with a discount or a special deal!
6. Increase your AOV by upselling
A lot of eCommerce store owners send emails with recommended products based on the past purchases of their customer. You can do the same thing with Facebook advertising. Maybe a few days after you had an order from a customer, you can target them to show even more of your products they might be interested in.
There are 3 ways to increase the average order value with Facebook ads:
- Up selling is about selling a more expensive product.
- Cross selling is about selling a complimentary product such as socks with shoes.
- Down selling is about selling a cheaper product than the one they bought.
This type of Facebook ad can be extremely powerful because someone who just purchased from you is very likely to trust your brand enough to buy something else. It’s definitely easier to make a sale with them than some stranger you are targeting. In fact, there’s a 60% chance someone who bought from you, buys from you again according to Marketing Metrics.
If you feel like you are close to generating a profit from your Facebook ads, you might need to simply increase your AOV by setting up one of the 3 strategies listed above!
7. eCommerce referral program
Although Facebook ads can push repeat purchases to increase your average order value or customer lifetime value, they can also push people to refer their friends if they are well incentivized to. You can leverage Facebook ads to target your past customers and show them your eCommerce referral program.
When it comes to promoting your eCommerce referral program, we’ve often seen at SH1FT that Facebook ads were way better at generating results. For instance, you can ask people to refer their friends while giving them a discount for them and their friends.
Here’s an example from DapperTimes which explains the concept quite easily.
If you are looking for an ultimate list of referral program ideas, Referal Candy made an epic list of 80 referral programs!
8. Leveraging content marketing
When it comes to eCommerce, companies often forget about content marketing and Facebook ads. It’s important to remember traffic temperature when it comes to Facebook ads. People who don’t know about your brand are cold and people who bought from you are hot. Here’s how it looks like in graphic design:
As you can see, you have three different components to your traffic temperature with Facebook ads but in reality you can have as many as you want. Here’s what each element means and how you can use it to generate better Facebook ads results:
- Ice cube: this audience doesn’t know anything about your brand, they are cold. You have to slowly warm them up by creating a sense of need for your product.
- Desert: they are interested in what you have to sell, but they aren’t sure you are the right brand. Show them why you are the best, make them see others love you and they’ll literally become fire.
- Fire: those are your customers. You can thank them, push them to buy more, incentivize them to refer their friends, and so on.
As you can see, you can adapt your content to any stage in the funnel which would then help you bring people closer to being your customers. Although for eCommerce all the stages feel the same (showing your product), you can try to be more strategic!
9. Using Facebook Lookalike audiences
Facebook lookalike audiences are based on Facebook custom audiences, and custom audiences are people that have taken an action on your website, Facebook page, Instagram profile or app. For instance, you can have a custom audience of people who bought from you and then ask Facebook to create a lookalike audience which means “hey Facebook, can you find people that have the same characteristics as my buyers?”.
For our clients, we always use lookalike audiences to acquire new customers and lower our CPA. These audiences are generally some of the best when it comes to acquiring new customers for your eCommerce store. Why? Well, there’s virtually no better audience of new people then to target an audience that resembles your customers right?
If you don’t have a custom audience, don’t worry! You can build a custom audience based on an email list of past customers. If you have an email list, it’s actually quite easy to create that custom audience and then ask Facebook to generate a lookalike audience.
To create a lookalike audience, all you have to do is head over to your Business Manager, then open the menu and select audiences. You’ll then see a create button in which you’ll select a lookalike audience.
You’ll have to choose your percentage: 1% is precise and 10% is less precise. You can also make a lookalike audience that takes the 1 to 10% audience together (it’s one of our favourite).
10. Create a Facebook contest or giveaway
Contests and giveaways are pretty old school but people still love them because everybody likes winning free stuff. There are just a few things to consider when you create a contest or a giveaway.
First, it’s important to have clear guidelines around your contest. You should have a timeline of when the contest or giveaway starts, when it ends and when the winner will be chosen. It’s also important that the rules are clear as to what people can do and what they MUST do in order to win.
While not necessary, it’s also a great idea to tell people how the winner will be selected so that people feel like the contest is fair. This can really help in making sure people participate in your contest because if they don’t trust how the winner is selected, they might not be motivated to partake.
Second, make sure the prize is big enough so that people feel compelled to participate. Since people know they are likely not to win, they need to be properly incentivized to do so. It’s why with contests, it’s always a “go big or go home” mentality. If you are not ready to give a huge prize, then it might not be a good idea to run a contest.
Third, make sure you follow Facebook’s rules for contests. This is one is very important because if you don’t respect those rules, you might be banned from creating contests.
11. Utilize Facebook Offers
Facebook offers are awesome when it comes to selling eCommerce products from your store. You can’t run them for free anymore on your page but being able to offer a discount or an incentive is really worth it to grow your eCommerce sales with Facebook.
People generally love offers because they feel like it’s the right time to buy. They feel like they are getting a bargain which diminishes their buying objections by tons.
You can access Facebook offers directly on your Facebook page from the offers tab. Then, you should see a button called create offer like the one below to create your first Facebook offer. If you don’t see the tab, visit this Facebook article to help you find the right tabs.
You’ll then have a plethora of options to customize your offer.
You can select the picture you want for the offer. We recommend something unique yet congruent with your brand. It’s also important that the image you choose stands out in the news feed.
You can set up any offer you want but the most used ones are generally:
- Percentage discount
- Amount discount
- Buy X, get 20% off Y
- Spend X, get 20% off
- Free shipping
Then, you can add the timeframe during which you’ll run your Facebook offer. You can also choose the CTA people will click on once they’ll want to redeem your offer!
12. Retarget with a discount code
Discount codes are amazing to incentivize your eCommerce prospects to become customers. If you run your eCommerce store on a third-party platform as most do, you can create a discount directly on there and share it through a Facebook post or Facebook ad.
Here’s an example of a Facebook ad we’ve made for one of our client that worked pretty well:
The benefits of retargeting your audience with a discount code are the following:
- Increasing the amount of sales or conversions you generate
- Generate value for your existing prospects by increasing brand loyalty
- Create a feeling of being special enough to get a discount code for your customers.
When it comes to discount codes, it’s important to set good practice rules such as not letting someone use a discount code more than once. We also recommend adding a date limit for the discount code or a maximum total amount to not have random people abuse of it.
13. Create a Facebook Product Catalogue
You can create a Facebook product catalogue to display your products directly on your Facebook page. Although not everyone is allowed to sell directly on Facebook, each product can have a call-to-action that directs them to your eCommerce website.
By allowing your customers to simply click a buy now button from your product catalogue, you are making their life much easier and thus give yourself a chance of making a few sales.
It’s really easy to create your Facebook Product Catalogue. All you have to do is go inside your Facebook business page and add the tab Shop. You’ll then be able to navigate to that tab and start adding your products one by one with the picture, title, description and price. If you have a Shopify website, there is an integration to set this up quite easily.
You can then have multiple collections with your products that people can find on Facebook very easily. This can come in very handy to be able to simplify the sales process of your eCommerce business.
14. Choose a Strong Ad Copy
When it comes to Facebook ad copy, it’s really important to focus on your target audience. Your goal is to engage with them, continue the conversation already happening in their head. How do you do that? Well, it starts with capturing their attention in the first few words of your ad copy.
Facebook is crowded with posts and ads from a billion different people and businesses. Your ad copy should be unique, it should captivate your audience. You should also connect your image with your ad copy to make it relevant.
For instance, adding 1- 2 emoji’s can help you ad copy stand out and be less boring in the feed. You can truly be creative with your ads because what has already been seen is now boring to people.
If you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few ad copy methods that I’m sure you’ll benefit from:
- USP: write in 5-10 words the unique selling of your brand and put it as your ad copy. It can be like “a watch that doesn’t break the bank”.
- Question: create a question that gets your target market curious. Following the example above it could be “looking for a watch that doesn’t break the bank bu stays stylish?”.
- Target market: call out your audience by saying for instance “Watch lovers, we’ve got some stylish affordable watches for you”.
We also recommend you try any ad copy you have in mind. Although these options are a great way to start, we know creativity has no limits. Remember, the goal here is to show people the value you are giving to them in the shortest amount of words possible. Think about being impactful.
15. Create high CTR Facebook ads
When it comes to Facebook ad copy, it’s important to put a lot of focus on grabbing your customer’s attention. We’re not talking about click bait scams, it still has to be relevant to your brand. The goal here is to really use strong words that compel your target audience to click.
For instance, you could add a sense of urgency or show social proof. It could be along the lines of “we have our biggest sale ever for the next 48 hours”. This type of Facebook ad can be extremely valuable in your Facebook ads retargeting strategy.
You can use words such as “biggest sale”, “hurry up”, “until X date” and so on. Your Facebook ad should also focus on the unique selling proposition of your brand which makes your target market relate to your brand. For instance, your USP could be “the most comfortable sneakers ever”. A USP like that would compel people who care about comfortable sneakers to want to learn more.
If you want to get more awesome Facebook ads design hacks like this one, you can check our article “27 Facebook Ad Design Hacks (2020)“.
Most people check your image, then the title and then they read your ad copy. It’s why making sure all these parts stand out and grab the attention of your audience is super important. If people are not compelled by your image, then they will never read the rest of your ad.
16. Generate emails from Facebook ads for eCommerce
Most people don’t think about using this strategy, but you could retarget people who visited your website or even customers to subscribe to your eCommerce email list in a creative way. You can give value to your audience by leveraging Facebook lead ads but you need to be creative.
We recommend generally giving people at least an incentive. It could be that they will get a free product on their next order by signing up, get a discount code or access to something for free.
You can use an app such as Mailchimp to send your emails afterwards. Mailchimp allows you to create email marketing automation and send email broadcasts to generate more revenue for your eCommerce store.
If you need help with email marketing, don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our “Email Marketing Agency” page.
Growing your email list for your eCommerce store can be a very rewarding strategy. Some eCommerce stores make the majority of their revenue with email marketing. Using emails to communicate with your customer is also a great strategy to create a more positive impression. The goal here is to vary between promotions and giving value in the form you can.
17. Be creative with carousel Facebook ads
The advantage of carousel Facebook ads is that they allow you to have multiple Facebook ads in one where users can decide to scroll to the right. The goal here is to make the user curious enough to scroll right so that they end up visiting your website or doing what you want them to do.
Here are a few ideas of what you could do with your Facebook ads when it comes to creating a carousel format:
- Using multiple products in the same category
- Showing your best sellers
- Sharing 3 reasons why people should buy from you
- Showing a product with multiple variants
The great thing about carousel ads is that you can truly be creative. There is almost a limitless amount of Facebook ads you can make from this format.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can only add up to 5 different images or videos to your carousel format ads and each image has a headline, a link and a call-to-action. You also have a description section that would appear above all the carousel ads.
If you want to learn more about Facebook carousel format ads, you can read Facebook’s article on the subject I linked above.
18. Launch an eCommerce Facebook video ad campaign
It’s really simple to start a Facebook video ad campaign for your eCommerce store. You just need to select video when creating your campaign and upload a video you’ve already made.
You can also just post your video to your Facebook page and use Facebook ads to get more video views. The main problem is that most brands are afraid of creating videos because they seem extremely complicated to make.
You can also see it as an advantage because most brands will shy away from creating videos for their eCommerce store which would put you above the competition.
The ideal length of a Facebook video is between 4 minutes and 5 minutes. You can also create shorter videos for Story ads that are shorter than 15 seconds.
Remember that the ideal length of a video on Facebook is somewhere between four and four and a half minutes. Why are Facebook video ads performing so well? It’s because they are much more interactive and dynamic than simple images.
Brands should leverage Facebook video’s because video views are cheap but also because it helps them connect with their audience with a more memorable experience. If you want to learn about Facebook video ads, I recommend two articles:
- Facebook Video Ads: Ultimate Guide & Best Practices in 2020
- 24 Facebook Video Ad Examples To Freshen Up Your Results
19. Live video Facebook advertising
When it comes to Facebook video’s, you also have the option to create Facebook live videos. Those are generally more interactive but not necessarily more dynamic because you can’t edit the videos. They are a simple way to record and share videos on Facebook in real time.
The awesome thing is that when you start recording a Facebook live, Facebook sends a notification to all your followers that you are recording a Facebook live. This skyrockets your engagement rate and gets tons of people to come and view, like and share your Facebook live organically.
Facebook will send an invitation to your followers to watch your video when you begin recording it. That means that viewers can like and share it while it’s still live.
After you’ve finished recording your Facebook live, it is automatically transformed into a Facebook post with a tag saying “recorded live”. You can record Facebook lives around product announcements, big news about your company or to do a giveaway!
20. Carefully select the right call-to-action
When it comes to Facebook ads, it’s extremely important that you set up your Facebook CTA correctly. There are over 9 different possible call-to-action’s when it comes to Facebook ads:
- Shop Now
- Book Now
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Watch More
- Install Now
- Listen Now
- Play Game
- Use App
It’s really important that you select a CTA that is relevant to your goal, your brand and the Facebook ad campaign you created. When it comes to eCommerce, 90% of the time you’ll use the Shop Now call-to-action because you want people to buy products.
Another example would be mobile apps. Your call-to-action for a mobile app Facebook ad should be Download or Use App because it’s what people will do after clicking on the CTA of the Facebook ad. Here’s an example from our case study of TryTaste which is an app and where we’ve used the CTA Download.
It might seem simple to choose the right CTA but most companies mess up this part of their Facebook advertising and as you can guess it does have a big impact on the results you can generate for your brand.
As you can see in the example below, we’ve created an ad for our client Star Laser for which we’ve made a case study. The CTA here is Shop Now because it’s an eCommerce store.
The goal is to have your description, headline, text and CTA all consistent with each other. If there’s isn’t what we call a scent, then you will confuse your audience and this will greatly diminish the results of your Facebook ad.
There is no once size fits all strategy for all eCommerce store’s Facebook ads because it changes depending on the company, industry, target market and objectives. At SH1FT, we believe that it’s important to test, collaborate and mastermind with our clients to always come up with new ideas to reach your goals. Creativity has no limits!
In my opinion, if you follow these tips to improve your Facebook ads, you’ll definitely find a way to generate decent even amazing results. Just keep in mind that you might have to tweak what you tested with your Facebook ads for eCommerce. I recommend starting by creating image ads, installing your pixel and spend time looking at the Facebook ads targeting options to fully leverage Facebook ads.
Remember the core concept of Facebook ads, you are simply sharing content to the right people. The most important part is always to craft amazing content and amazing content often starts with an idea in your head. By leveraging our advice, you’ll be able to craft a great Facebook ad copy, a strong image or video and the right CTA.
At SH1FT, our mentality is “always be testing”. When it comes to Facebook ads for eCommerce, you’ll often be surprised at what ends up working. It’s why it’s very important to keep an open mind, try things you find in your research but also ideas that come in your mind at random moments!