Neil Patel

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Copy & Paste Guide: How to Drive a Flood of Ecommerce Sales Using Facebook Ads


If you want to improve the success of your e-commerce store, you might not know where to begin to find a bigger target audience.

There are so many tactics and strategies that you can implement.  At times, it can probably all feel a little bit overwhelming.

The aim of this post is to give you a few simple, proven strategies that will help you grow your e-commerce store.

More specifically, we’re going to focus on how you can use Facebook Ads in order to improve your e-commerce store sales.

Even if you think you know all there is to know about Facebook Ads, give this post a read – because we’re going to cover some pretty advanced stuff that will increase your conversion rate.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a keen sense of how you can use Facebook Ads to drive more sales for your ecommerce store.

Let’s begin!

Implement retargeting campaigns

You can use retargeting to drive a potential customer back to your ecommerce store if they did not take the desired action the first time around.

72% of online shoppers tend to abandon their carts and having a retargeting campaign in place can potentially get a lot of these people to complete their purchase.

When you run an ecommerce store, you can use retargeting to achieve the following –

  • ‘Remind’ a potential customer of a product that they were looking at
  • Promote upsells and cross-sells
  • Promote discounts on products that people were interested in
  • Promote related categories of products (different from upsells and cross-sells) –  if you run an electronics e-commerce site you might promote a fridge or microwave, depending on what someone has already bought
  • Promote to people when they’re on a mobile device

Let’s take a look at how you can set up a retargeting campaign on Facebook.

First, you need to install something known as a ‘Facebook Pixel’ on your site to determine a click-through rate.

You’ll want to make sure that this pixel is installed on every page of your site. This gives you the freedom to run a variety of retargeting campaigns designed for website conversion

You can set up your Facebook Pixel by logging into Facebook Ad manager and selecting the Pixels option.


You’ll then get the chance to create your Facebook Pixel.


Give your Facebook Pixel a name and give the terms a read.


You’ll then be told that the Facebook Pixel is ready. You can install the Pixel on your own, or you can email it to your tech support team.


If you choose to install the pixel on your own, you’ll be presented with the code.


Note: You can also track conversions from the social network using this pixel. Tracking conversions will help you to monitor what actions are being taken and by whom.

Here are the standard conversions that you can track –


If you want to track conversions, you need to edit the code in relation to the page you’re going to place it on. The code adjustments you need to make are shown in the far right-hand column of the chart above – known as ‘Standard event code.’

You can add the conversion rate code (and any adjustments) as follows –


You can also add some of your own, Custom Conversions.

You can check if your Pixel is installed properly, by using the Pixel Helper plugin for Chrome.


In any case, once you’ve installed your Pixel you can then go about setting up a retargeting campaign on the social network.

To do that, you need to create a Custom Audience. A Custom Audience is a target audience on social media where your ad copy will be focused.

To get started, click the ‘Audiences’ option or visit


Then, select the ‘Custom Audience’ option.


Pick the ‘Website traffic’ option.


You then get to set up your Custom Audience. The information you put in here will determine who sees your ad copy, based on the actions that they have previously taken with your e-commerce site.


So, if I click on the ‘Website traffic’ option, I can pick from the following.


If I want to run a simple retargeting campaign that’s designed to remind people about a product they saw on my site, I might pick the ‘People who visit specific web pages.’

Then, I can run retargeting ads, based on specific webpage visits.

For example, let’s suppose I run a furniture store and I want to retarget people who have looked at ‘oak tables.’

I can type in ‘tables’ and ‘oak’ to ensure that my retargeting ads are only shown to people who have looked at pages related to oak tables.


If I want to retarget people who have looked at ‘Oak tables’ and have visited the checkout page, but have yet to purchase, I might set up some ‘Custom Combinations.’


Here, I’ve set it up so that ads are shown to people who have looked at oak tables, then looked at the checkout page. I’ve also added an exclusion for those who visit the ‘thank you’ page.


The thank you page represents what people see once they’ve actually completed their purchase. By excluding them from this audience, I ensure that people won’t be shown ads, once they’ve taken the desired action – completing a purchase.

Ideally, you’ll want to add an exclusion for all of your campaigns, to make sure that people aren’t shown irrelevant ads. The exclusion should signify that the desired action has been taken. They are no longer a potential customer; they are a customer included in your conversion rate moving into retention.

The amount of time you run a retargeting campaign for will depend on the retargeting campaign in question.

A ‘remind’ campaign can be run for 30-40 days, but a checkout reminder probably only needs to be run for 10 or so days. If people don’t buy from an ecommerce business after that time, they probably won’t ever buy.

In any case, once you’ve created a custom target audience that meets your requirements, simply set up a campaign the way you normally would and select the Custom Audience you created, while adjusting the targeting of the ecommerce business.


Note: When developing your ad creatives, make sure that your ads let people know that they’ve been retargeted.

It helps to provide an incentive to encourage a potential customer to complete their transaction.

If you can generate desire and encourage action, you’re retargeting efforts will be better received by those you’re showing your ads to.

Retargeting can leave a bad impression, when done incorrectly. But, when done well on social media, it can often be welcome.

In order to achieve that, you’ll need to create custom ad copy, for your retargeting campaigns, that are relevant and provide value. The ad below is a good example of how you might want to do that.


If you run a very large e-commerce store, you can also take a look at something known as ‘Dynamic product ads.’

This is a feature where Facebook will almost run your retargeting campaigns for you, automatically.

Running Dynamic Product Ads will require you to upload product feeds.

It’s quite a complex process that we won’t’ go into here, but you can find out more here, in the meantime.

Make use of Lookalike Audiences

You can also generate more sales for your ecommerce store by targeting your ads towards ‘Lookalike Audiences.’

Lookalike Audiences are audiences created by Facebook that share similarities to an existing target audience you have already deal with.

Lookalike Audiences are worth checking out, because they provide you with the ability to target your ads with greater specificity. The use of a Lookalike Audience also takes out some of the guesswork you might have to go through when setting up ad targeting. This helps the click-through rate since the right buyers usually exhibit similar tendencies.

This all has the potential to produce a better ROI for your campaigns, because your ads will be relevant to the people seeing them on the social network.

If you want to set up a ‘Lookalike Audience,’ head over to the ‘Audiences’ section again –

This time, click on ‘Lookalike Audiences,’ after clicking on ‘Create Audience.’


You then get to input some parameters, so that Facebook can develop a Lookalike Audience that resembles your existing potential customer profile.


When creating your Lookalike Audience, you first need to decide what it is that you want your campaign to achieve.

For example, do you want to sell more of a certain product?

Then, you need to gather an ‘Audience’ of people who have purchased that product.

Or, do you want to get more people to read an article on your e-commerce site?

Create a Custom Audience of people who’ve read the desired article and provide it to Facebook, when developing the Lookalike Audience.

It’s worth noting that you can also set up a Custom Audience using a list of email addresses and phone numbers.

You might want to upload data if you don’t want to wait around for Facebook to build a Custom Audience based on future visitors to your e-commerce site.

Your ability to do that, however, depends on the data that you have already collected.

If you want your Lookalike Audience to be really targeted, you might want to base it on a certain ‘Conversion tracking pixel.’

This will ensure that Facebook only targets people who are likely to take a certain action on your site or e-commerce business.

When you’ve selected the base audience that Facebook will work with to develop the Lookalike Audience, you also need to decide how similar you want the Lookalike Audience to be.

To begin with, it is helpful to keep the Audience Size at 1, as this will keep your campaign targeted.

Once you begin to get results, you might want to try an Audience Size of ‘1,’ but within another country. This could deliver cheaper clicks, making your campaign more cost effective while maintaining returns on social network channels.

Tell a brand story before promoting sales

Many marketers are often in a rush to get people to buy from them.

Rushing the sale, however, can often lead to reduced sales figures.

There is another way, though.

It’s a way that draws out a sales campaign by telling a story.

Known as a ‘sustained call-to-action’ campaign, telling a story over the duration of an ad campaign has been known to improve conversions.

There’s data to back this up.

Adaptly conducted research that involved running two campaigns side by side.

One campaign focused strictly on generating subscriptions, right from the get go.

The other campaign told a brand story with the use of ‘sequenced ads,’ before providing ads that gave people a chance to sign up.

Both ads were targeted, using a Lookalike Audience and were displayed within the Newsfeed.

Adaptly found that by showing sequenced story ads, they were able to increase subscription rates by 56%. They also found that by using the sequenced story ads, they were able to boost landing page visits by 87%.


As you can see in the chart above, it is also the case that the more sequenced story ads people saw, the higher the click-through rate.

Therefore, when running a campaign of your own, consider telling your brand story before you ask people to buy something from you.

In doing so, you can build trust and also a reputation. This will help increase the receptiveness of people who are exposed to your ads that do ask for a sale.

If you’re not sure how to tell the story of your brand, you could consider the following approaches –

  • Show how the product is made
  • Discuss how the product idea was discovered
  • Interview people who make the product
  • Show the factory/where the product is being made

Some of the biggest brands take this approach. Take a look at the screenshot below, that comes from Rolls Royce.


When running these types of campaigns, you can use the Video Ads option, within Facebook, to ensure that your campaigns get the kind of social media exposure they need.

Advertise on Instagram

You may also want to take a look at advertising on Instagram. Most ecommerce stores find that their ability to sell certain products is reliant on how good the visuals of the product look.

As a result of this, a lot of effort goes into taking high-quality pictures that make the item look good.

If you have high-quality pictures, there’s a good chance that your product will perform well on Instagram – a social network platform that is very image heavy.

You can take advantage of the targeting features that Facebook provides, too, ensuring that your compelling visuals are shown to the right people.

Happily Unmarried managed to boost monthly sales by 12X, advertising on Instagram.


Thanks to visuals that displayed the product clearly and in a manner that would resonate with their target audience of 18-35 year old males, the company developed an Instagram ad campaign that garnered significant engagement.

Here’s another example, from a company called T.M Lewin.


The brand is over 100 years old, but that didn’t stop them from achieving success with the modern social platform.

Again, thanks to clear visuals that resonated with the target audience, T.M Lewin found success with Instagram.

In fact, thanks to Instagram Ads, they managed to achieve a 9x reduction in their cost per acquisition.

They also made use of a feature, known as Carousel Ads, that allowed for them to showcase several images within a single ad.


Facebook ads can grow your ecommerce business quickly – if you know how to use them.

We’ve touched on a number of advanced tactics that you can use to drive sales for your store. Retargeting, telling a brand story before asking for a sale and using Lookalike Audiences are examples I mentioned.

The beauty of Facebook Ads is that you don’t have to overextend yourself when running a campaign designed for website conversion.

Spend 10 or so bucks a day and you’ll definitely begin to see how you can use the platform to benefit your ecommerce store.

Get started now, and see what’s possible.

Best of luck!

Do you have any tips you can share when it comes to growing an ecommerce store using Facebook Ads? Please share below!

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