Starting an online business is incredibly appealing.
It gives you the flexibility to work your own hours and there is huge income potential. You don’t need a lot of capital, either. Nearly a third of small businesses get started with less than $5,000 in capital.
Starting an ecommerce website is a viable business model. But it’s also essential to have a robust marketing strategy. One marketing channel that you can’t afford to overlook is social media.
Social media has seen explosive growth over the last decade. There are now over 3.725 billion active social media users or almost half the world population.
Social media platforms like Facebook allow anyone to share their images and connect with their friends. Businesses have also started to pay attention. Over 3 million businesses now use Facebook ads to reach their audiences and promote their products.
In this article, you’ll learn why you should use Facebook ads for ecommerce advertising, how to get the most out of your ads, and examples to give you some inspiration.
Why use Facebook for ecommerce advertising?
While there are tons of channels to promote your products, it makes sense to spend your budget on where it can have the most impact. Here are several reasons to use Facebook for ecommerce advertising.
1. Driving traffic from an active user base
Facebook is by far the most popular social platform, accounting for a whopping 89.2% of all social network users.
No matter what niche your business is in, there’s a good chance that your target audience is on Facebook. Facebook also allows you to add a shop to your page, so customers can browse and purchase your products without having to leave the network.
2. Targeting customers based on specific criteria
What makes Facebook such an attractive platform for ecommerce advertising is the targeting options available. You can display ads based on demographics, interests, and even behaviors. These targeting features allow you to reach customers who are more likely to purchase from your ecommerce store.
3. Generating brand awareness
People around the world turn to social media networks like Facebook and Instagram for different reasons. Some use it to share personal updates, while others use it to stay in touch with their friends. Many now use these platforms to inform their friends and families of their purchasing decisions. 54% of users turn to social media to research products.
Advertising on Facebook can help you generate brand awareness and capture buyers early in the sales cycle.
Pro tip: If you’d like to learn more about all the available options inside various paid ad channels, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to ecommerce advertising.
Be successful with your ecommerce Facebook Ads
Advertising on Facebook can help you achieve your business goals. Utilize the following strategies to get the most out of your ads:
1. Utilize multi-product ads
Does your online store have a wide selection of products? Multi-product ads, as the name suggests, allow you to display multiple products in your ads. You can display a carousel of different items. Users on desktop or mobile devices can scroll through the carousel in their news feed.
Each ad has its own image, description, and click target. Even if you don’t have any design experience, you can use a banner maker to create and design your ads.
2. Run retargeting campaigns
Not all visitors will convert. Some shoppers may need more time or may have been distracted with something else. Facebook retargeting allows you to bring back visitors to your site with specific ads. For example, if someone viewed a product on your website but left without purchasing, you can target that user on Facebook with an ad for that product.
Although retargeting ads are mostly used for new customers that’s not the only use-case:
Retargeting campaigns not only work for acquiring new customers but also for re-activating existing ones. For example, you could offer complementary products to people who have already bought from you. A person who has purchased a paintball marker might be also interested in a protective mask. To make it even more appealing, you could even offer a voucher that will expire in a couple of days to increase urgency.Arne Stamer, Ecommerce enthusiast at My Package Tracking
3. Use a conversion tracking pixel
A Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. The code allows you to track conversions from Facebook ads, and helps you understand the actions people take on your website.
Pixels allow you to optimize your Facebook ads for even higher conversions.
4. Use video advertisements
It can be challenging to capture users’ attention, especially on Facebook. One way to make your ads more engaging is to use videos.
Be sure your videos are formatted correctly and showcase your products in a way that highlights their features. Your videos should be about 1 minute or less.
5. Offer a discount
You can appeal to price-conscious individuals by offering a discount. Facebook has an offers feature that allows you to display ads with discounts. If someone saves your offer, they can receive notifications before it expires. You can reach more people with your offer by creating an enticing discount and including an engaging image. Be sure to also set a reasonable expiration date.
6. Share relevant and useful content
Consumers are constantly bombarded with a barrage of ads. While your goal is to increase sales for your ecommerce business, your ads don’t always need to focus on selling.
You can also use Facebook ads in other ways. For example, let’s say your team just started a blog and you now have tons of valuable, long-form content that links to lead magnets. You can promote this useful content on Facebook as well.
Sharing helpful content demonstrates value and it indirectly benefits your brand as it can build consumer trust.
Another one of my personal favorite methods is using ads to showcase social proof. One of my favorite examples is Spruce, who shares direct reviews and boosts them to appear as traditional feed content:
7. Use lookalike audiences to find new customers
Lookalike audiences allow you to reach even more people. For example, if you have an email list, you can upload that information and Facebook will look for users with similar attributes. Facebook recommends creating a lookalike audience with a source between 1,000 to 50,000 contacts. With a lookalike audience, you can promote products that have been popular with your existing buyers.
Speaking of emails, here’s our in-depth guide on email marketing for ecommerce that provides strategies and examples on how you can generate more sales from your email subscribers.
8. Use ads to communicate your brand’s story
Facebook is an excellent platform to not only connect with your audience but also to communicate your brand’s story. Sharing your story can even improve overall conversions. A campaign with sequenced ads that tells a brand’s story and provides product information outperforms a campaign that only displays ads.
9. Funnel traffic to a dedicated landing page
Sending paid traffic to the homepage is generally a bad idea, especially for ecommerce sites. If someone clicks a product ad, they should be taken directly to that page without having to navigate to it. You’ll have much greater success with your Facebook ads if you funnel traffic to dedicated landing pages.
You often see this done in digital marketing spaces, and for good reason: it works. For example, take a look at the bottom of this dedicated landing page by My SEO Sucks:
Each local area has its own dedicated landing page to improve personalization and conversions.
While not as common in ecommerce, it’s still being done by tons of successful brands like Eachnight, who funnels Facebook ad traffic to their dedicated sleep calculator landing page:
Building dedicated landing pages for each ad requires effort. But, you’ll be rewarded with higher conversions.
Ecommerce ads for Facebook examples
Getting started with Facebook ads can be overwhelming. There are different settings, audiences, ad copy, and creative at your disposal. You can learn a lot by analyzing what has worked for other companies and using the right planning tools to find success from the start.
Here are 13 inspiring ecommerce ads:
SpearmintLOVE is an online store that sells a wide selection of baby and kids’ clothing and accessories. With Facebook Ads, they were able to generate a 14.2x return on ad spend.
- SpearmintLOVE used Facebook Pixel to measure visitor activity and created dynamic ads to bring visitors back to the site.
2. Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein offers a modern and fashionable clothing line for men and women. The company wanted to increase brand awareness for the launch of its new fragrances. The campaign resulted in an 11-point lift in ad recall.
- To promote its new fragrance, Calvin Klein ran a series of video ads in a carousel format.
Bliss is a retail product company that sells its own line of bath, body, and skincare products. The company used Facebook ads to raise brand awareness and generated a 50% increase in purchase intent using four or more ad placements.
- Bliss placed engaging video ads of its products across Facebook’s family of apps.
4. HR Certificate Institute
HR Certificate Institute is a US-based organization that offers credentials for HR professionals, administrators, and managers around the world. The company was able to generate more than 2,000 submissions for their survey using Facebook ads.
- In addition to using video ads and lookalike audiences, HRCI ran multiple split tests on their ads to measure their effectiveness.
Lenovo is a multinational technology company that manufactures laptops, tablets, servers, and more. The company ran a Facebook ad for Memorial Day weekend and saw a 10% lift in online sales and a 54% increase in product page views.
- Lenovo displayed targeted ads to lookalike audiences and funneled traffic to dedicated landing pages.
5. La Tienda
La Tienda is an online store that offers a wide selection of authentic Spanish food and wine. Its dynamic Facebook ad campaign resulted in a 2.1x lift in the number of purchases and a 6.2x lift in return on ad spend.
- Utilizing a dynamic carousel with multiple images, displaying ads to lookalike audiences, and retargeting ads to visitors generated positive results.
6. Layla Sleep
Layla Sleep is an online company that offers mattresses and other sleep accessories like pillows. The company wanted to run a more efficient campaign on Facebook and increase their sales.
- Layla Sleep utilized campaign budget optimization and automatic ad placements, resulting in an $86 higher average order value and a 29% increase in return on ad spend.
8. Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club is an online business that sells razors and other personal grooming products. The company used a new ad format and was able to increase subscriptions by 1.5x and reach over 1.6 million people.
- The company utilized collection ads to make it easier for people to browse their products and signup for a membership.
Imperfect is a food delivery subscription service that aims to reduce food waste by selling foods that are deemed “imperfect.” The company ran video ads on Facebook and generated a 2.3x lift in subscriptions.
- Imperfect used video to provide statistics on food waste and funneled traffic to a dedicated landing page that made it easier for people to sign up for the delivery service.
Sephora is a multinational chain that sells a wide selection of makeup and skincare products around the world. To boost sales for the end-of-the-year holiday season, the company used Facebook ads to promote gifting. The campaign resulted in a 32% higher return on ad spend.
- Sephora used custom audiences and lookalike audiences to show targeted ads to people who viewed products on the website but didn’t purchase.
11. Three Bird Nest
Three Bird Nest is an online boutique store that carries trendy clothing and stylish dresses. The company used Facebook ads to test different image ratios and found that square ads generated a 2.1x return on ad spend.
- Three Bird Nest displayed engaging photo ads and included a call to action with a discount on their clothing to entice shoppers.
Jewlr is an online retailer that specializes in selling personalized jewelry that customers can customize. The company used Facebook dynamic ads to attract more customers and generated a 48% higher return on ad spend.
- Jewlr used multi-product ads to feature up to 10 products and included discounts to entice potential buyers.
- The company also utilized automatic placements and Facebook marketplace to reach even more customers.
Sivana is an online store that offers a selection of products that focus on enlightenment, such as gemstone bracelets and Om pendants. The company was able to generate a 13% return on ad spend by utilizing campaign budget optimization with automatic placement.
- Sivana used carousel ads to feature its products and funneled traffic to a dedicated product page.
There are many more examples of successful Facebook ads, but these should give you a good idea of what you can achieve.
It makes sense to allocate your Facebook ads budget to where your customers are.
Use Facebook ads to advertise your ecommerce business and reach a wider audience. Implement some of the strategies described here to get better results with your campaign.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different ad formats and always measure your results.
And if you need more ideas for organic promotion, check out these social media marketing strategies.