Facebook ads for eCommerce can be profitable if done correctly. Read on to get a full-funnel ad strategy and examples of some of the most successful ads of 2022.
Facebook ads for eCommerce tend to have some of the highest gains of any industry. However, doing them right is no easy task at all.
Today we'll break down everything you need to create high-converting eCommerce ads. We'll break down each of the 6 most profitable ad types, how to use them at every stage of the funnel, and which audiences you should use for each stage.
We’ll also add some tips on how to be successful with your strategy, as well as examples of some of the best ads of 2022.
Let's dive in!
Do Facebook ads work for eCommerce?
Funnily enough, this is one of the most popular questions I get about Facebook ads. My answer?
Not only do Facebook ads for eCommerce work, but they were nearly tailor-made for the platform.
There are a ton of facts to support this argument and are proof positive that eCommerce advertisers need to be on Facebook's properties:
- Over one million users purchase a product through Shops every month, with some brands seeing higher Shop sales than on their own websites.
- Facebook ads have some of the best returns on investment among any paid channel.
- Facebook continues to improve and expand on its offerings for eCommerce by adding AR and AI-based tools for a better user experience.
Not only should your business be advertising on Facebook, but it's safe to say you're missing out on a significant revenue channel if you're not.
WARNING: Set up your Pixel before continuing
While eCommerce advertising is incredibly profitable, there is one beast you absolutely need to tame before you can safely run any campaigns: the Facebook Pixel.
The Facebook (or Meta) Pixel is the key component of your ad results. This bit of tracking code added to your website helps to attribute clicks to sales and is the basis for creating the different audience segments we'll be covering today.
Without it, you won't know how many sales you had and how much revenue you earned from those sales or be able to retarget visitors who left without making a purchase.
It's essentially like throwing a coin into a well and hoping for thousands of dollars to come back out in return.
If you don't currently have your Pixel or SDK (the mobile app version) set up, we have a complete guide that will take you through all the steps available for free.
While using the Pixel is a great basis, unfortunately, that's not all that's needed these days. Due to privacy issues post-iOS14, Apple has restricted the data that feeds back into your Facebook dashboard coming from third-party companies. This would be your eCom platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.
This means that even if your Pixel is installed, iOS users will not be counted towards your conversions or be available for retargeting in your audiences, among other issues.
Luckily, there are some additional ways to combat this problem—the best one being first-party tracking. Madgicx's Cloud Tracking Services can solve this problem specifically.
With Cloud Tracking, our team of experts will set up all the tracking items you need to capture 20% more data inside Ads Manager in as little as 2-3 days. Without first-party tracking, you're likely to end up spending thousands based on faulty data that doesn't capture the reality of how your campaigns are performing.
The Facebook ad funnel for eCommerce
In an eCommerce advertiser's utopia, each person who viewed our ad would purchase one of our products instantly without hesitation. In the real world, however, things are a little more complex.
In order to go from stranger to repeat customer, there are a few stages your audience needs to go through. They need to be aware of the problem, search for solutions, and then purchase an item. Once they do, they become loyal fans in the best-case scenario or demand a return and run away screaming at worst (well, the very worst).
Likewise, as advertisers, we must create campaigns that target audiences at every stage of that same sequence. This process is known as creating a sales funnel, and it looks like this:
Each stage of the sales cycle is designed to mirror each step that your audience goes through when deciding on a purchase.
Acquisition - Prospecting: In the first stage of the funnel, your audience has a pain they need solved and are on the lookout for a solution. At this step, you as an advertiser should try to have your first 'handshake' and introduce them to who you are and what you have to offer.
Here, we're looking to target cold audiences, which are people who have never heard of us before. Use interest-based targeting to find audiences interested in the products you sell or even target other competitors in the space.
Better still, you can create lookalike audiences based on your existing customer database to target an audience with similar characteristics to those who already love your products.
Acquisition - Re-Engagement: Now that you've introduced yourself, it's time to take that next step to dig a bit deeper into why someone should choose your products over your competitor’s.
At this stage, we want to target those who are 'lukewarm'—so those who have liked or followed our Instagram page or have watched any previous videos would be perfect for this step. The goal of this stage should be to get them to take the next step and visit your website to view your store page or product.
When setting up your targeting, It's important to exclude the other audiences to prevent them from seeing the wrong offer at the wrong time. This means you would need to exclude every other audience type from your ad sets when you create them.
Retargeting: Here's where the fun starts, and Facebook ads for eCommerce really pick up speed. With retargeting, we want to reach out to those who have visited our online store but have not yet become customers. The goal now is to entice them to make their very first purchase and become our customers.
Here you should be retargeting using custom audiences built from website visitors or those who have abandoned items in their carts.
Retention: After you've done all the hard work of turning a prospect into a customer, it's time to repeat the process all over and turn them into a repeat buyer.
In the Retention phase, we want to use custom audiences of big spenders and entice them to buy from us again. This could be in the form of selling a related item (i.e., a makeup bag for those who purchased cosmetics, etc.) or add-on items that increase their enjoyment and experience with your product.
Happy customers and repeat buyers typically like to share their recommendations with their own audiences, which builds trust and repeatable income for you. All in all, this stage of the funnel is an easy win for eCommerce ads.
Unfortunately, each of the audiences mentioned here needs to be set up manually. This process is not only time-consuming but difficult for those who may be starting out.
With Madgicx's Audience Launcher, however, you can select from 100+ pre-generated audiences across the entire sales funnel and skip the setup process entirely. It also comes with embedded exclusions, meaning you won't waste money by letting retargeting audiences steal your entire acquisition budget.
The best part? You can try this service out with a free 7-day trial today.
Which Facebook ad types are best for eCommerce?
As we mentioned before, Facebook ads are nearly tailor-made for eCommerce advertisers. While any ad type can be used, some are typically associated with a higher conversion rate than others.
Carousel ads (and posts, for that matter) are one of the most frequently used ad types associated with eCommerce ads, and there's no doubt you've seen them in your feed already.
They are a collection of images and videos in a swipeable format, typically with an end card that leads to a website or storefront.
This format beats out the standard photo ad for eCommerce advertisers for a few key reasons:
- It offers more 'real estate' by being able to feature different products/images with their own separate copy and link
- Drives more engagement from swipes than a photo ad
- Gives your audience a wider array of items to choose from than you could in one photo
With its flexibility, carousel ads can be used for just about any funnel stage— from prospecting to retention. While the most common use of this ad type is to showcase different items, you can also use carousel ads to create an entire story.
By using one image split between multiple cards, GMC was able to create a more immersive ad experience that puts its audience in the passenger seat of their vehicle.
Take a moment to think of what story you could tell with your brand, and experiment with a longer but more engaging carousel ad for your next campaign.
Dynamic Product ads
If you've ever wondered how advertisers can show you products you've just looked at, we're about to let you in on a little secret...
...it was a Dynamic Product Ad all along.
Dynamic Product ads work by using a product catalog filled with data about your goods to display your inventory dynamically. You can then create ads that show the exact products your audience saw before leaving your site to entice them to purchase.
There are several interesting use cases for this type of ad across the funnel stages:
Retarget visitors with the exact products (or related set of products) they viewed before leaving your page. Combine this with an incentive (discount, free shipping, etc.) for an irresistible offer.
Increase cross-selling or upselling revenue by advertising related products to those who just purchased an item. For example, promoting a phone case or other accessories to those who just bought a mobile phone.
To use Dynamic Product Ads, you do need to do some groundwork. You'll need to implement the Pixel/SDK across your properties and create a Product Catalog. You'll also need to generate Product Sets to segment the different types of items you want to use for upselling/cross-selling.
Pro tip: We have a guide about how to set up everything you need to run Dynamic Product Ads here.
Though challenging to set up, these ad types can be wildly successful due to the personalization of products. Investing in the long-term profits of this type of ad can do wonders for your advertising bottom line.
While you might think YouTube is the end-all of video platforms, Facebook comes in at a surprising second place with 42% of the total market share.
Facebook also recognizes the importance of video, which you can see by their 16 different unique video placements across Facebook and Instagram available through their ads platform.
Facebook and Instagram's Reels—a nearly identical copy of the popular social platform TikTok—is one of the most notable formats for eCommerce. In fact, Reels had 11 out of the top 20 most popular posts on the platform in the last quarter of 2021. These quick 30-second videos can help boost awareness of your brand to cold audiences by joining in popular fads and challenges or showing a more human side to your brand.
In-stream video ads allow you to leverage widely known publishers that are creating content for Facebook by placing your ad in the middle of their video. These ads are also unskippable, which means that the viewership of these videos is often higher than with a typical newsfeed ad. Given its range, this format is also great for prospecting and ushering in a new audience.
Newsfeed video ads should still be top of mind when it comes to creating video content. In addition to the prospecting stage, using videos in the re-engagement and retargeting stages allows you to dive deeper into your brand's story and unique values. Using an intelligently designed video to tell a story and connect on an emotional level with your audience is a great way to build rapport and move them down the funnel.
Everyone is looking for a faster and more intuitive way to research and buy products, and Collection ads were born out of that exact need.
With Collection ads, you can feature a video or image of your product as well as a direct catalog of your items below it.
Given that these ads are focused on specific items and purchase behavior, it's best to save them for your re-engagement and retargeting campaigns and use a similar methodology as you would for the Dynamic Product ads we mentioned earlier in this article. Keep in mind that this format is only available for mobile devices.
One of the most underutilized types of ads for eCommerce is Messenger ads. These ads are, as the name implies, ads that have the goal of getting your audience to interact with you via Facebook Messenger.
Messenger ads is also an umbrella term that encompasses several different types of Messenger ad formats. Let's take a look at what each of them has to offer.
Messenger Inbox ads. Messenger Inbox ads are ads that are seen beside messages from your friends inside your inbox. You'll typically see the ad halfway down the page.
When they engage with your ad, you'll have the ability to direct them to Messenger/Whatsapp or send them to your website or mobile app. Users spend around 3 hours a month inside Messenger, so this ad type offers some prime real estate for retargeting.
Click to Messenger ads. These ads are more similar to a 'normal' photo ad. In this case, the CTA reroutes your audience to engage with you via the Messenger platform.
With this method, starting a message sequence is the only goal available. This is a good chance for those who sell high-ticket items or need to pre-qualify customers to sort through their candidates. In addition, if you sell items that are made for specific issues or uses, you can use this to help your customer find the perfect product for their unique needs.
Messenger Stories ads. Stories are still one of the most popular Facebook post formats, 62% of people in the US say they plan to use Stories even more in the future than they do today. Messenger Stories ads piggyback off the popularity of Stories by allowing advertisers to use Send Message as a call to action during one of the slides.
By engaging your audience in a format they know and love, you have the chance to reach out and answer any potential questions your prospects may have before they buy.
Sponsored message ads. One day, someone at the Facebook headquarters asked themselves, "What if brands could slide in our DMs?". Thus, the Sponsored message ads were born.
With this type of ad, you can retarget users who have previously messaged your brand with an offer delivered directly to their inbox.
Since they've already engaged with your brand, using this ad type to pitch a high-value offer could be the final piece needed to solidify that sale.
At the end of the day, it's important to realize that Messenger ads are perhaps one of the most 'human' parts of Facebook ads, in that your connection to your audience is more personal than sending them to a form or landing page.
It's important to either use a solid chatbot strategy for your ads or have a team on-hand ready to answer your messages at all times to have the best experience for your audience. These are also more well-suited for retargeting and re-engaging your audience, so you can leave your prospecting budget for other ad types.
Instant Experience ads
Everyone has had a bad experience with a website that refuses to load quickly or work well on a mobile device.
With Instant Experience ads, you can create an ad campaign that's mobile-optimized and nearly identical to a webpage with an experience to match.
Some advertisers like Sephora have seen an increase in ROI by 32% using this ad type. There are several templates available depending on the goals you have. You can choose from ones based on your product catalog or items you input manually, those geared towards informative or newsletter-style content, or even those with Augmented Reality filters to have your audience try out your products virtually.
Each ad type we covered adds some spice to the normal static image posts we so often see. That being said, coming up with a unique design that captures your brand's value and entices your audience into the next stage of the funnel isn't easy as each type has it’s own unique design specs.
If you're looking for help creating graphics that convert, look no further than Madgicx's design service, Sparkle.
Sparkle is an unlimited design service for your ads—think of them as an on-demand addition to your marketing team. With unlimited revisions and a lightning-speed turn-around time, you can have graphics that are custom-tailored to your brand identity in as little as 48 hours.
3 tips for the perfect Facebook eCommerce strategy
Knowing what ad type to use is just one part of the battle. The true test of a solid eCommerce ad strategy is how you use the tools at your disposal.
To that end, there are 3 key things you can do to make sure your campaigns go off without a hitch.
#1 Create a unique experience for each ad type
Every ad format in this list gives you a completely different way to advertise and sell your products. The best way to see what works is to look at how advertisers are currently using these formats and adapt that with your own special spin.
You can use free tools like the Facebook Ad Library to search what ads are currently running and take inspiration from some of the titans of eCommerce. It's also important to do research within your own account to identify which elements of your designs are giving you the best results.
For that, you can use Madgicx's own Creative Insights tool.
Creative Insights harnesses the power of AI to label your video and images and extract the elements of each. Using this data, you can see which design elements result in a higher ROI and drive performance. It will also give you an overview of how each ad type performed, as well as discover growth opportunities with untapped ad types.
#2 Protect your budget with preventative automation
Increases in ad costs can vary greatly throughout every hour of the day, and if you're not careful, you can end up with ads that cost more to run than they generate in revenue.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to use a tool like Madgicx, which has the ability to pause or run ads during the times they are most profitable for you using their Custom Automation Tactics. You can set specific triggers for your ads in order to ensure each convert at the price point you need to generate the best ROI.
#3 Build social proof with your ads
The relationship between a brand and a customer is built upon a certain level of trust. The best way to help build that trust up between you and a cold audience is to show them proof in the form of what we call 'social proof.'
Social proof is the term for public social media engagements on your posts or ads. This can be counted in positive customer reviews, showing you have an active and large customer base and have reputable (not spammy) people engaging with your brand. Each Facebook ad you create can be reused in multiple campaigns: meaning that over time you can build up the number of engagements on a post and use it again and again.
The more proof you have that you're a legitimate company that sells quality products, the easier it will be to get a cold audience interested in what you have to offer.
The best Facebook ads for eCommerce in 2022
After all the information we've given, it's only right that we give you some of the best examples of Facebook ads for eCommerce that we've seen in 2022.
Without further ado, here are our picks:
Instead of using a boring image to display the talk tracks, AdWorld took a unique spin by using a video carousel to display the different sessions. Each card represents a different niche while the learning outcomes scroll by.
While static ads aren’t typically as engaging as other formats, EveryPlate’s stands out by offering a direct comparison against their competitor Blue Apron. It hights the fact that while they both serve quality food options, EveryPlate is by far the more affordable option. They pair this with a Get Offer CTA for an extra-clickable boost.
There’s nothing more powerful than user-generated content, and Sally Beauty Supply understands this very well. In their Reel, they use a tutorial created by a happy customer showing a hairstyle they achieved with products available at Sally’s. They also make use of a popular Reel audio sound bite to boost their reach and findability.
One of the best things about this ad is that it packs a double punch of testimonial and personalization. StitchFix, a personal styling service, showcases different fashion styles that they have to offer in this great carousel ad. This allows the audience to get a taste of what they have to offer in an engaging way.
The marketplace can be a difficult ad placement to do well, but Splendid Spoon has the right idea. By combining a powerful offer and eye-catching graphics, they’re able to capture attention in a place where their audience already has their wallet out.
Given that MobileMonkey is a chatbot software for websites and social media, it’s no surprise to see them use a messenger ad with a fun game as a twist. Not only does this show off their own product in action, but it brings a little entertainment to the audience at the same time.
One of the advertising titans, Nike, is always a go-to for any ad inspiration. In this Story, they feature their product front and center by showcasing the comfort side of these sneakers. They also end with a swipe-up CTA enticing users to go to the Nike page to learn more.
In this piece, we've covered how to create high-converting Facebook ads for eCommerce, shown you how to set up tracking, and finished off with some of the best Facebook ad examples from around the globe.
All you need now is a tool that can help you along your path to success—and for that, look no further than Madgicx.
If you don't believe us, take the word of a satisfied customer:
“Madgicx helped us run our ads on our own. Once you set up automation tactics and launch your ARR audiences strategy, you can be sure that you are not wasting money and investing only in the right audiences."
-Ben Imberman, CEO & Co-Founder of Clean Skin Club
The Clean Skin Club, an eCommerce Facebook brand, used Madgicx to make Facebook their number one sales platform.
Creative Insights helped them find which images were most successful, and they used that information to create new graphics with similar elements. By doing so, they were able to increase their revenue by 2.2x while decreasing their ad spend by 37%.
If you're ready to take your brand to the next level and create high-converting Facebook ads, take Madgicx for a test spin with a free 7-day trial.
Tory is a digital marketing specialist and the current Marketing Manager of Breadcrumbs.io. She's been featured in various high-profile marketing blogs like Hootsuite, AdEspresso, and Databox and holds certificates for both Google and Facebook Ads. In her spare time, she gardens and paints from her house in the Florida panhandle.