An Introduction to Facebook Ads for Ecommerce

According to Statista, Facebook boasts more than one billion users every single month. This gives you an incredible opportunity to incorporate Facebook advertisements into your business model, and target this massive audience. To give you an example of a success story, the online retailer, Pigtails and Ponys (a hair accessories brand), boasts that around 70% of their customer base has come from people exposed to their advertisements on Facebook. Another online retailer, Jospeh Nogucci (a jewellery designer), has seen a 7 times return on their advertising investment!

Using Facebook advertisements for your business may be a completely new concept that you have been yet to consider, so let’s run through the details and how you can get started and hopefully achieve the same level of success as we just saw above!


Why Facebook Ads Should Be At The Top Of Your List

Marketing your business on Facebook allows you to be highly specific about the actual people that you target. As we know, Facebook collects so much information about peoples biographies, likes and dislikes, wants and needs, that the demographics that you can choose from can range from a broad area down to a highly specific niche. For example, you might want to target only 30 to 35 year olds who are interested in wallets (a kind of bad example, but you get the point).

In regards to the cost, the way that it works is that you bid on a price which you pay every time that a customer clicks on your advertisement, or a price based on how many people your advertisement is shown to. Statista states that in Q3 of 2014, businesses paid on average around $0.49 per click. However, you have complete control over how much you pay, how much you want to spend per day, and how much you are willing to spend in total for your advertising campaign.

You might even consider starting out with say $2 per day and see how effective your advertising campaign really is – then you can consider raising the stakes and targeting a broader audience.


Where Can I Display My Advertisement?

Displaying your advertisements on sidebars and news-feeds are the two most popular places for you to position your ads. Ads displayed on news-feeds, and viewed on a mobile device, have a much higher (up to 3 times higher) click-through rate than those viewed on desktops. This means importantly that you should ensure that your website is mobile-friendly – since when people click on your advertisement, they are going to land on your webpage. Luckily though, if you are using Shopify, you do not need to worry about the mobile experience, because it will be awesome.


What Types Of Ads Can I Choose From?

We will only look at the types of ads which make the most sense to be used in regards to our ecommerce business.

  • Page Post Ads – basically your Facebook page used as an advertisement. Customers are directed here where they can discover further information.
  • Multi-Product/Carousel Ads – a slideshow of several products or advertisements.
  • Page Post Video Ad – you have probably seen movie trailers marketed this way, and for good reason. People love the engagement that they get from watching a video, and this means that you have a great opportunity to take advantage of this fact and reach out to your audience with a video advertisement.

For each type of advertisement that you may choose to use, there will be a different cost structure in place. For example, you may pay for likes, shares and comments received, or the number of people who have viewed the ad, how many clicks, and how many conversions (or sales) have resulted from the advertisement.


What Kind Of Audience Are You Looking To Target?

As discussed earlier, because Facebook collects so much information, we are able to target very specific audiences within our target market. For example, you can create your own target market from scratch by choosing one or more of the following demographical factors:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Relationship
  • Education
  • Work
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parents
  • Politics
  • Life Events
  • Interests
  • Behaviours
  • Connections

There are of course a multitude more that you can choose from when creating a target market from scratch, but this list should give you a fairly good idea as to what is possible.


Creating Your First Advertisement

Facebook provides you with three options when creating your first Facebook advertisement. You can create your advertisement from your Facebook page, from the Ads Manager, or from the Power Editor.

  • From your Page – you can choose to either increase the number of people exposed to your posts, or promote your page in order to increase page likes.
  • Ads Manager – this is what most beginners start with, as it is a very simple and straightforward process.
  • Power Editor – a little more advanced, but has a greater functionality than the Ads Manager and sits as my top recommendation.

Once you have made your first advertisement, you will see that it is put into a category of either Campaigns, Ad Sets or Ads. To explain, Campaigns are the overall groups for your advertisements; Ad Sets are groups of specific advertisements; and, Ads are the advertisements themselves.


Guidelines And Approval Process

Make sure that you read Facebook’s guidelines for posting advertisements before you click post yourself. You will want to make sure that you are not going to be breaking any rules or posting something which is illegal or offensive. You also have to consider the rule that only 20% of your advertisement can be made up of text. Luckily, Facebook has a grid tool which you can use to determine this percentage range.

After submission, your advertisement will go through an approval process, which may take from only a few minutes to a few hours. If successful, you will receive a notification that your ad is good and ready to go.


Monitoring Your Advertisements

Just like any other advertising campaign that you run, you should make sure that you monitor its effectiveness. In Ads Manager, Facebook allows you to view detailed reports on how your advertisement is currently performing. You will be able to view:

  • Conversions – how many people clicked on your ad and/or made a purchase.
  • Reach – how many people have seen your advertisement.
  • Cost – how much you are spending to get these results.
  • Frequency – how many times, on average, each user will see or has seen your ad.
  • Click-through Rate – the percentage of people that have clicked on your ad.

Please know that there is no specific benchmark that you need to emulate in regards to the results that you achieve. These things will take time, so have patience. You can always pause or edit your advertisements whenever you feel like they need to be modified or updated.



Facebook Ads can certainly give your business an added boost. Just make sure that you are realistic in regards to the results that you expect, and have a clear idea of just how much money you are willing to spend on this campaign. Do it right and the rewards will be great.