Facebook Ads for eCommerce: 16 Strategies, Examples & Tips

Running ads on Facebook for your eCommerce business is hard work. Most eCommerce stores forget to consider how and why they want to run Facebook ads in the first place. 

A strong, sales-generating Facebook advertising strategy should match the mindset of a Facebook user, with each ad campaign specific to segmented audiences and objectives. 

Additionally, it should embrace various campaign types so that you are following and reaching potential shoppers and customers at different touchpoints from the beginning to the end of your customer’s journey.

In a nutshell: Facebook ads and promotions are a big part of eCommerce social media and PPC campaign success. The ideal eCommerce marketing strategy should include cold traffic and retargeting campaigns using a variety of ad types like this:

9 Best Campaign Types to Include in Your eCommerce Facebook Strategy [+ Examples]

  1. Dynamic ads
  2. Collection ads
  3. Video ads
  4. Domain ads
  5. Messenger ads
  6. Instant Experience ads
  7. Lead ads
  8. Carousel ads
  9. Offer Ads

This post will highlight how you can successfully run Facebook ads for eCommerce, the best Facebook campaigns to use for each objective, and high-performing examples of the best Facebook ads for eCommerce. 


 6 Must-Use Expert Tips for Successful Facebook Ads for eCommerce


1. Acquire New Customers with Custom and Lookalike Audiences

The first weapon in your bag of tricks in terms of Facebook campaigns is optimizing Custom and Lookalike Audiences to strategically attract more shoppers. 

Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences are vital in ensuring your eCommerce Facebook advertising strategies are performing well and reaching targeted new potential customer segments.  

Optimizing these audiences will ensure you can better attract more potential shoppers who are actively looking for what you are selling. 

An example of an eCommerce brand that has mastered this is the superstar Dollar Shave Club. By combining the visual storytelling of collection ads with Custom Audiences, they reached 1.6 million people. 

Dollar Shave Club canvas ads example for Facebook

The results? 1.5x increase in social media subscriptions, and a 30% decrease in cost per subscription compared to traditional link ads.

The secret? Implementing expert strategies that enable you to fine-tune ads for your specific brand and market. Here are three main expert Custom Audience hacks you should be testing when creating Facebook ads for your eCommerce business:

  1. If you have specific Custom Audiences or Lookalike Audiences that are not performing, remove them from campaigns to keep ROAS up.
  2. Use your best-performing Custom and Lookalike Audiences and the valuable data they add to your Audience Insights (which you can find in your Facebook Ads Manager) to direct other PPC channel campaign strategies.
  3. To have more control over your brand awareness campaigns (with Lookalike Audiences), you should segment your audiences as much as possible. This ensures Facebook PPC campaigns are more personalized, and therefore more likely to convert. 

You can read up more about optimizing Custom Audiences and hacks to improve your Lookalike Audiences here.

Best Awareness Facebook Ad Types for Lookalike Audiences: 

  1. Collection ads 
  2. Video ads
  3. Domain ads 
  4. Instant Experience ads 
  5. Lead ads
  6. Carousel Ads

2. Target Potential Shoppers Who Are Dissatisfied With Competitors [Intent-Based Targeting]

Another essential piece in your overall Facebook marketing strategy to attract new customers is reaching potential shoppers who have already bought from or engaged with your biggest competitors. 

Not only do these potential customers have high buying intent and conversion potential (as they are quite literally shopping for the kinds of products you sell), but they are also looking for alternative brands to shop from. 

So how do you target your Facebook campaigns to potential customers who are dissatisfied with your closest competitors? With intent-based Facebook campaign targeting that harnesses the power of Facebook’s interest targeting. 

In other words, you can create a custom audience where your competitor’s brand name is included as an ‘interest’. This is done at ad set level. 

However, this will take some tweaking on your part. When creating this specific custom audience segment, you will need to: 

  1. Insert competitor-centric keywords into the detailed targeting section. The idea here is to trigger Facebook to populate the relevant domain, brand name, or page. 
  2. If the domain name is not triggered, you will need to use very specific keywords to target those shoppers. 

Note: If the brand name or desired keywords are not populated as an option, it is likely that Facebook cannot target that ‘interest’ at that time.

It’s not enough to just target these potential shoppers; your strategies should be aimed at converting them or moving them into your sales funnel. You should test a variety of ad elements and assets – including images, headlines, and CTAs – that show how your brand answers a potential customer’s pain better than your competitor does, without using their brand name in your text. 

To get into these potential customers’ mindset and get your messaging just right, you will need to do some research. Visit our How to Spy on Your Competitors on Facebook post for tips on how to do just that. 

Best eCommerce Facebook Ad Types to Target Competitors’ Fans

  1. Collection ads 
  2. Video ads 
  3. Domain ads
  4. Instant Experience ads
  5. Lead ads 
  6. Carousel ads

3. Ask Existing Customers to Buy More From You

Next in your eCommerce Facebook campaign bag of tricks is retention. Targeting existing customers not only helps boost sales, but does so for lower spend. Why? Because your customers already know and trust you. Now, it is just a matter of reminding them. 

To set yourself up for success, this part of your Facebook strategy will also require strategic segmentation and targeting to drive Facebook PPC personalization. This means using a variety of ads at different stages. You should be targeting: 

  1. Brand new customers
  2. Customers who have only bought once
  3. Customers who have bought more than once but not for X amount of time 
  4. Regular existing customers
  5. Your brand’s superfans 

Use a variety of personalized campaigns, including: 

  1. New product alerts 
  2. Exclusive deals 
  3. Product or accessory upsells
  4. Product top-up selections 
  5. Reordering notifications 
  6. Birthday/event promo codes and coupons 

An example of a brand that has turned existing customer retargeting into an art (and science) is West Coast Kids. Using dynamic ads, they target previous customers with carousel ads, showing a variety of highly-personalized products their customers would be specifically interested in, based on their previous shopping behavior. 

campaign retargeting existing customers

The results? 15x ROAS with a 28-day click-through window and an 80% increase in revenue month-over-month.

Best eCommerce Facebook Ad Types to Retarget Existing Customers

  1. Dynamic ads
  2. Video ads
  3. Messenger ads 
  4. Carousel ads 
  5. Offer ads

 

4. Use a Conversion Pixel to Track and Retarget Cart Abandonment Activity

Creating a Facebook campaign to target cart abandonment can be a very powerful conversion booster. Not only is this segment already very familiar with your brand (trust), but they also have high buying intent. With the right Facebook retargeting campaign, you can get them over the finish line. 

There are three main segments that your cart abandonment Facebook campaigns are aimed towards: 

  1. Users who visited product pages, clicked to cart, but didn’t visit the cart. 
  2. Browsers who clicked to cart pages, but didn’t go through checkout. 
  3. Potential shoppers who clicked to checkout pages but never got to the thank you page. 

However, it’s not enough. To truly convert with your cart abandonment Facebook campaigns, you need to tailor each ad to the specific shopper and the products they are interested in. An effective way to do this is by combining cart abandonment segments with dynamic Facebook ads. 

Best eCommerce Facebook Ad Types to Retarget Cart Abandoners 

  1. Dynamic ads 
  2. Video ads
  3. Messenger ads
  4. Carousel ads
  5. Offer ads

5. Retarget Potential Customers Who Visited Your Store Once

The next touchpoint on your sales funnel is retargeting potential customers who engaged with your site once. This means creating Custom Audiences based on very specific site behavior, and then tailoring your ads directly to this segment. 

At this shopping or brand-engagement stage, the audience is already familiar with your brand, having engaged through awareness campaigns, but they need more convincing. By personalizing your ads to the exact product pages they visited, you increase your Facebook conversion chances. 

Beginner Tip: Newish to Facebook marketing for eCommerce? In order to take advantage of retargeting Facebook ads, you will need to ensure you have installed Facebook Pixel on your store.  

As Facebook explains it, Facebook Pixel is: “An analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website.” To find out how to create and install a Facebook Pixel linking traffic behavior to your ads manager, you can head over to the Facebook Pixel help page for step-by-step instructions. 

You can also use apps such as Facebook Pixel Helper. 

Facebook Pixel Helper is a Chrome app designed to help users quickly troubleshoot or validate their Facebook Pixel implementation. You can check it out here.

As we know, all eCommerce Facebook campaign types can be used in conjunction with retargeting audiences. However, the secret to better ROAS is keeping the audience as segmented as possible. This means once one-time-only store visitors see and click your retargeting ad, they should be moved to the next segment – unless, of course, they convert. 

Here’s a winning eCommerce Facebook campaign example from Philosophy that generated over 9,000 leads. It’s objective? To strengthen Philosophy’s position against competitors and drive sales of its skincare products by implementing a two-phase Facebook ad campaign. Philosophy ran lead ads using Custom Audiences and link ads to retarget ads promoting the same products from the sampling phase.

lead ad example on facebook

When running multiple Facebook campaigns to target and then retarget shoppers, make sure you fine-tune campaigns to ensure the same people aren’t seeing the same ads, despite moving ‘up’ the funnel. The simplest way to manage this is using Facebook’s ‘exclude’ feature to tweak targeting. 

This ensures that the right person is always seeing the most relevant Facebook ad at the right time for conversion.

 

6. Automatically Ensure You Are Triggering the Right Ads, to the Right Audience At the Right Time to Increase Conversion Potential

We have outlined how to use Facebook Custom and Lookalike Audiences to better convert, and touched on the types of campaigns you should be using for these different touchpoints on your shoppers’ journey. 

As we mentioned in the intro, running ads on Facebook for your eCommerce business is hard work. If you want to truly bring all your Facebook campaigns into one seamless strategy that is optimized for peak performance, it is all about PPC management and automation. 

This means automating your: 

  1. Structure 
  2. Targeting
  3. Ad creatives 
  4. Campaign optimization 

The only way to do that is by using PPC management software like Traffic Booster to manage, run, and optimize your Facebook ads for eCommerce for peak performance. 

And it’s not just Facebook; here are just some of the campaigns, including Google Ads for eCommerce,  that Traffic Booster’s marketing team and powerful machine learning technology manages for you: 

  1. Facebook dynamic retargeting ads
  2. Instagram dynamic retargeting ads
  3. Facebook acquisition ads
  4. Instagram acquisition ads
  5. Smart display campaigns 
  6. YouTube Shopping 
  7. YouTube action ads
  8. Google Search ads 
  9. Google Dynamic Search Ads 
  10. Google Shopping & Smart Shopping ads

In short, it takes the guesswork out of your Facebook campaigns so you and your marketing team can focus on other tasks to boost reach and sales. You can find out more about Traffic Booster here


9 Best Campaign Types to Include in Your eCommerce Facebook Strategy [+ Examples]

Now let’s look at the best Facebook ads for eCommerce. These campaigns will help ensure you are able to reach every potential shopper or existing customer at every touchpoint on their buying journey.  

1. Facebook Dynamic Ads

If you haven’t included Facebook dynamic ads in your Facebook advertising strategy, you’re missing out on a golden retargeting campaign opportunity. Dynamic ads are targeted at potential shoppers explicitly based on their behavior history on your eCommerce store. They can be hugely successful.

brava fabrics dynamic ads example

The trick to turning this eCommerce Facebook campaign into a money-maker (i.e., generating cost-effective conversions) lies in optimization. For example:

  1. Focusing on your most profitable products and eliminating the duds
  2. Monitoring product availability
  3. Planning and controlling frequency
  4. Optimizing copy and tweaking headlines to keep them fresh
  5. Testing and tweaking bid strategies

You can find out more in our 8 Tips for Quick Facebook Dynamic Product Ad Optimization post.

2. Facebook Collection Ads

When it comes to Facebook ads for eCommerce, Facebook collection ads are essential. They are so useful that we have an entire post dedicated to just how must-have they are

Remember the Dollar Shave Facebook campaign strategy we highlighted earlier? It is just one example of how powerful collection ads can be when used in conjunction with Lookalike Audiences and Facebook retargeting. 

Dollar Shave Club canvas ads example for Facebook

There’s no denying that collection ads can have effective results, primarily if you use them to remarket to previous traffic and/or shoppers. To ensure your collection ads are boosting eCommerce sales like they did for Dollar Shave Club, you’ll want to:

  1. Create cohesive designs that maintain the authenticity of your brand.
  2. A/B test collection ad variations to find the winning formula for your specific target audience, and optimize your main image or video for more clicks.

3. Facebook Video Ads

There is no doubt that Facebook video ads can be highly effective. Last year, Hubspot tested Facebook video vs. image campaigns and found that their video got 20% more clicks than the image. In fact, AdEspresso states that when it comes to video content, Facebook’s user engagement is highest and that Facebook video content drives more organic traffic.

interaction-rate-of-facebook-videos

The key to creating good video campaigns to add to your Facebook ads for eCommerce list is creating video content that both appeals to your target audience and has a social element. This doesn’t mean you need to hire professionals for every video you create; there are low-budget smartphone videos that are generating millions of views on social media.

What is more important here is optimizing and scaling a Facebook video campaign to bring in more sales. Here’s a how-to guide from Facebook expert Ben Malol to get you started:

4. Facebook Domain Ads

Domain ads, sometimes called page post link ads, are ads that send Facebook users directly to your website from social media campaigns. They can be used to attract new shoppers, or to remarket site traffic or engaged users by pointing them back to a page, your brand, or a specific product landing page.

Like with any Facebook ad, you need to tweak, test, and optimize domain ads to make sure they’re effective. You have very little space (and time) to get your message across and attract your target audiences’ (potential customer) attention, so your Facebook ad copy and image are crucial.

Here’s an excellent example from personalized gift experts Wonderbly.

best example of domain ads for facebook

5. Facebook Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger ads can be compelling when it comes to Facebook ads for eCommerce. Facebook marketing offers a variety of ways advertisers can use Messenger ads like inbox, stories, sponsored messages, and Click-to-Messenger ads, which reach potential shoppers while they are actively engaging on social media.

example of click to messenger ads facebook

There is one case study in particular that proves just how effective Messenger ads can be for businesses. It showed how MobileMonkey achieved their lead generation goal with the help of clever copy, CTAs, and engagement. On clicking the ad, their target audience were sent to MobileMonkey’s Facebook Messenger chatbot, which ultimately resulted in the brand being able to reduce their cost per lead by 30x.

best messenger ad on Facebook

6. Facebook Instant Experience Ads

Another must-have on your Facebook ads for eCommerce list are Instant Experience ads. Formerly known as Canvas Ads, Facebook’s Instant Experiences allow advertisers to create a beautiful, full-screen destination for your ads. These ads are especially effective if you are trying to create a story with your products or need to relay a lot of product info.

Here are some stats from brands who added Instant Experience ads:

  • Jeep enjoyed a 37-point lift in ad recall
  • Montana Tourism experienced a 7.5x higher CTR
  • Tilting Point was able to reach 1.3 million potential customers
  • Sephora was able to get a 32% higher return on ad spend

example of facebook canvas ad for online stores

Pro Tip: Your Facebook ad campaign structure can make or break your Instant Experience Facebook ad campaign success. 

What you want to do is structure well at the account and campaign level, then use ad sets to segment different targeting groups to control ROAS. A well-structured account and campaign will make optimization and scaling your Facebook ads a lot easier moving forward as it ensures you can adjust ad sets and A/B test ads more efficiently. It looks a little like this:

complete-conversion-campaign-facebook-structure-example-630x514

To find out more visit our full guide: How to Create the Best Facebook Ad Campaign Structure for Conversion Success.

7. Facebook Lead Ads

If you want to use Facebook to grow your eCommerce mailing list, test a new product, download a manual or guide, sign up for a subscription service, or run a contest, Facebook lead ads can be a very effective tool to add to your Facebook advertising portfolio.

a lead ad on facebook

The benefits of lead ads include customizable instant forms and the ability to connect your leads to a CRM platform such as Mailchimp.

8. Facebook Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are a great way to highlight a collection of products in one Facebook ad. They have a lot of benefits and a good performance track record when compared to other Facebook ads for eCommerce. Here are some carousel ad examples which show the kind of success big brands are having with this campaign type.

Carousel Ad Examples

The Black Tux‘s carousel ad example had an average increase in purchases, week over week, of 51%.

good example of collection ads black tux

GameStop‘s carousel ad example saw an increase in incremental return on ad spend.

good example of collection ads gamestop

Apparel brand Christoff reported a 10x return on ad investment from their carousel ad campaigns.

facebook Carousel Ads examples ecommerce

Ultimately, carousel ads enable you to showcase up to eight products for the price of one. However, your products need to be visually appealing and grab your potential shoppers’ attention quickly.

9. Facebook Offer Ads

The last eCommerce sales-boosting campaigns that your brand should be testing are offer ads. Offer ads are customizable and easy to create, ensuring you can quickly generate promotional ads to push product deals.

facebook offer ad examples

Need more proof?

Swish noted a 4.5x return on ad spend from an offer ad campaign. The key to driving sales with offer ads is to put effort into choosing the perfect freebie/promotion and making the ads visually striking.

Bottom Line

You need a varied and well-optimized Facebook Ads for eCommerce strategy that targets every touchpoint on a shopper’s journey. This means using multiple Facebook campaign types to build a converting sales funnel that tackles attraction and remarketing.

Not only do you need to test different Facebook ad types for different objectives – including lookalike targeting to reach new shoppers and retargeting campaigns to convert – but you also should be testing ad elements within each campaign.

Like this: 

eCommerce Facebook Case Study

In AdEspresso’s Best Facebook Ad Campaigns case study, they showcased TOMS, a brand that has been able to mastermind its sales funnel with strategic Facebook campaigns. They did this in four stages:

  1. Video to boost brand awareness
  2. Building their brand and eCommerce store with Canvas Ads and contests
  3. Retargeting carousel campaigns, stories, and Instagram ads
  4. Dynamic product ads

multiple campaign strategy for g

Additionally, by using our unique multi-channel advertising strategy with EnvyStylz.com, we were able to get a 470% increase in sales to help them grow into a multi-million dollar business. You can read more about their case study here.

In short: Every brand will need to find its own winning combination. 

When it comes to building the ultimate PPC strategy, you need to test a variety of Facebook ads for eCommerce – and Google Ads for eCommerce – to fine-tune the best performers for your brand. 

All your PPC marketing channels should be working in harmony to feed every touchpoint on the buying journey if you want to truly scale your online retail store. This includes ads that attract new potential shoppers and remarketing campaigns for previous traffic, as well as existing customers.  

Got Facebook advertising questions? Post them in the comments below and our PPC gurus will be happy to help.

Pro eCommerce PPC and Social Media Marketing Tip: It’s time to automate your Facebook ads, Google Ads campaigns, and remarketing ads from one place! Traffic Booster is the only eCommerce-focused full PPC management software that will create, manage, and optimize your campaigns in real-time for peak performance. It is far more than just an alternative to WordStream, offering machine-learning campaign optimization and marketing expert assistance. You can find out more about choosing the right plan to suit your budget and business needs, here.

 

Nicole Blanckenberg

Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over sixteen years experience and flair for storytelling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beachgoer, coffee shop junkie and hangs out on LinkedIn.

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