Facebook Ads for Online Shops

Facebook Ads for Online Shops

Call 1-619-642-2500 if you need help with Facebook marketing. See our Facebook Ads Marketing pricing page or contact us here.

Do you wish to learn how to start promoting your online shop using Facebook? If yes, then you have come to the right place. Hi, my name is Francisco, and I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a Digital Marketing Agency. My company specializes in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and remarketing. I have been doing this for years. Many of my clients are into eCommerce. In this article, I will show you how to properly start promoting your online ​shop using Facebook Ads. The article is divided into the following sections;

  1. Should online shops advertise on Facebook?
  2. Options for marketing online shops on Facebook.
  3. What should online shops do to get the most out of Facebook ads?
  4. Creating your first Facebook Ad.

Should online shops advertise on Facebook?

Many of the people that I meet have the mistaken belief that if they create perfect online shops, with killer graphics and a stunning layout, people are naturally going to flock to buy their products. However, that is hardly the case. Creating your store is actually the easiest bit. The real work begins when it comes to getting people to that shop. You have many options in this regard;

Each of the above ​options for getting people to your online shop has it’s strength and weaknesses. In this article, I am going to focus on Facebook Ads. Frankly, I have a bias towards them. They are what I do on a daily basis, after all. So, if you need help from a professional, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

But this article is not about me. The question that we are going to try and answer here is; how can Facebook Ads be effectively used to generate ​sales for online shops? But before we get there, we need to first determine whether or not online shops should even bother advertising on Facebook.

As noted earlier, I am a firm believer in the power of Facebook Ads. I believe ​they are the way to go for any business. The following are some of the reasons why I am convinced that online shops can benefit immensely from advertising on the platform;

Facebook Ads can be targeted at precisely segmented audiences

Market Segmentation is where Facebook Ads mainly beat the competition. With Facebook Ads, you can target very specific audiences. Remember that Facebook knows a lot about its users. It knows who they are, what they like to do, wh​ere they work, their marital status and much more. It even knows whether or not they like Justine Bieber. 

As an advertiser, you can use this information to ensure that your ads are shown only to people who are most likely to respond positively to them. So, you don’t have to waste time and money having your ads displayed where they will​ be ignored. 

Facebook is big and continues to grow

Another reason why Facebook Ads are one of the best options for marketing online shops is that the platform is big and it continues to grow.

Statistic: Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 4th quarter 2020 (in millions) | StatistaFind more statistics at Statista

As of the time of writing this article, Facebook had a monthly active user base of 2.7 billion people. You can ​find the current statistics in the ​above graph from Statista. But what does this vastness mean? Well, it means whoever you are looking to target, chances are high that you will be able to find them on Facebook.

Facebook Ads are affordable

Here is the thing, most people worry that they are not going to be able to afford to run ads on Facebook. That is hardly accurate. Facebook ads are some of the cheapest that you will be able to find out there. In fact, you can get started for as little as $1.

You can learn how to run your own Facebook Ads Marketing Campaigns

If you are not afraid of getting your hands a little dirty, then this is definitely an option for you. With some hard work, you can master the process of running your own Facebook Ads marketing Campaigns. I will give you the basics in this article. I also have interesting courses and setup plans that are designed to help you along the way.

Other Facebook Marketing Options for Online Shops

Paid ads are not the only option ​for promoting online shops on Facebook

Facebook Pages

Another option is to create a Facebook Page. In fact, this is something that every business that’s out there needs to do. Facebook Pages are created free of charge.

Their usefulness comes in the fact that they are representatives of brands on Facebook. So, your Page acts as a hub where you can meet and interact with current and potential customers. Facebook Pages are also useful if you want to target your ads to a custom audience.

You may, as an example, choose to target people who have previously liked your Facebook Page. These people are already interested in what you do. So, it won’t be too difficult to get them to buy new products from you.

It’s entirely different from creating a new audience, where you are essentially striking out in the dark. Check out my article on how to properly run Facebook business pages

Boosted Posts

You can also use boosted posts to promote your business on Facebook. Check out my article on whether or not boosted posts on Facebook are worth the effort.

I am a bit skeptical about the usefulness of boosted posts, particularly with regard to online shops. But hey, they are cheap. You can boost a post for as little as $1 so this is something that you can explore without worrying about overrunning your marketing budget.

What should online shops do to get the most out of Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are not all similar. There tend to be differences in the way they are set up depending on the nature of your business. For some businesses, things are straightforward. You can check out my Facebook Ads for Immigration Law Attorneys article.

In that and other cases, there are not that many moving parts. The same cannot be said of advertising online shops. These shops probably have hundreds, if not thousands of products in their catalogs. So, how do they create ads that cover each of those products? Is it even possible?

Conversion rates for online shops are rather low

We ​gave at the top ​some of the tools that online shops can ​use to get people to their websites. Truth is, it’s not cheap to attract people to a website. Neither is it the task of a single day. As an example, SEO can take years to come to fruition.

After all these challenges, one would think most of the people who land on an online shop will buy what they are looking for. However, that is not the case. Ecommerce conversion rates tend to be rather low.

How low? Well, on average, only about 2% of people who land on a website will buy. Fortunately, there is an answer to all these challenges;

Dynamic Facebook Ads

Facebook has come up with a solution that’s designed to help online shops get the most out of advertising on the platform. Dynamic Facebook ads are designed for businesses that sell a large range of products.

The aim is to ensure that advertisers falling under this category do not have to create individual ads. That would be impossible if, as an example, you have 1000 fast moving products.

With Dynamic Ads, each person is shown an ad on Facebook that corresponds to their interest on your website.  Perhaps they had ​shown this interest by adding one of your products to their catalogs, before leaving without buying. Or they could have shown an interest by visiting certain product pages. 

You can literally follow them to Facebook (where everyone is these days) to try and get them to buy that product. Another person will be shown an ad that corresponds with what they were looking for on your site. But how is this interested tracked?

Implement a Facebook Pixel on your Site

You may be wondering how Facebook keeps track of what people are doing on your website. The answer lies in what is referred to as a Facebook Pixel.

It’s my firm belief that every business that advertises on Facebook needs to have a Pixel installed on their website. This vastly expands your audience targeting options.

A Facebook pixel is simply a piece of code that keeps track of what people are doing on your website. So, if someone visits a particular page of if they add a product to their catalog, ​that is noted by the pixel that’s on your site.

A Facebook pixel is essential for retargeting

You need to have a pixel installed on your site to create dynamic ads. Note that with Dynamic Facebook ads, you are essentially engaged in remarketing or retargeting.

How retargeting takes place

Diagram of Retargeting

Retargeting involves showing people ads based on their interested on your website. It’s a common tool used to enhance ad performance, both by Google and Facebook. The image above shows the retargeting cycle. 

Audience Options for Dynamic Ads

What are the audience targeting options for Dynamic Facebook ads?

  • You can target people who have not visited your site, but who may have shown an interest in products that are similar to yours. In this instance, you don’t need to have a Pixel installed on your site.
  • Next, you have the option to target people who have previously visited your website. These people will have shown an interest in some of your products.

Why use Dynamic ads when creating Facebook ads for online shops? 

If you want to succeed in marketing your online shop on Facebook, then the route that we have just outlined is the one to take. Otherwise, your performance will be below par. Dynamic ads are essential for Facebook ads for online shops for the following reasons;

  • Each ad is tailored to a specific individual, based on their interest on your website. If a person was interested in a golf t-shirt, t​he ad that they will see will feature that product. This vastly improves the chance that they will buy your product. It’s essentially a second chance for you to make a sale. And you will be selling to people who would otherwise never have bothered going back to your website to buy your goods.
  • Another major advantage of using dynamic ads when creating Facebook Ads for online shops is that it takes away a lot the work that you would have had to do to advertise on Facebook. Instead of having to create a thousand ads, Facebook will dynamically handle what will be shown to whom.
  • Dynamic ads are, as already noted, a form of remarketing. You are giving yourself a second chance to convince people to buy from you.
  • You can reach new shoppers who have shown an interest in similar products on websites other than yours. So, you have a chance to expand your shoppers’ base.

You need to create a catalog

Remember what I have already said about Facebook ads for online shops being a bit more difficult to create than is the case for other ​ads? Well, this continues the trend. 

To run dynamic Facebook ads, you need to have a catalog featuring all your products. This catalog needs to be linked to your pixel.

Facebook catalogs can be created in ​Commerce Manager. You can learn more about how to create them here.

It’s essential to integrate your online shop with Facebook

Ecommerce software that can be integrated with Facebook

Ecommerce software that can be integrated with Facebook

Creating a catalog through Catalog Manager works well enough if you don’t have that many products. However, what happens if you have a thousand products on sale in your online store? Things become a bit challenging in that case.

One major ​issue is that you would need to constantly tweak your catalog to account for new products, products that have gone out of stock and other changes that may occur within your online store.

Fortunately, there are certain things that you can do to make life easy. Yes, everything that we are talking about here may appear to be impossible at the outset, but once you have everything set up, you should be good to go.

The answer lies in integrating you online shop with Facebook. Facebook allows for integration with a number of eCommerce platforms. These include;

  • BigCommerce
  • Ecwid
  • Eventbrite
  • Magento
  • Naked Lime
  • OpenCart
  • PrestaShop
  • Shift4Shop
  • Shopify
  • Sincro
  • Storeden

So, if your online shop runs on any of these platforms, you can integrate it with Facebook. From there, you will be able to quickly and easily set up dynamic ads that are truly dynamic. Changes to your catalog will be reflected in your ads. 

NB: If you need help getting everything done, get in touch with me. This is what I do on a daily basis.

Creating your First Facebook Ad

Those are the basics of creating Facebook Ads for online shops. Hopefully, you have read them well. If you neglect the above tips, your ads are not going to be successful and you will soon be saying Facebook ads are no good. 

In this section, I will briefly show you the basics of creating Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are created in Ads Manager. The process of creating them is composed of 3 steps;

  • Choosing a Campaign Objective
  • Setting up your Target Audience
  • Creating your Ad

Choosing a Campaign Objective

Best Facebook Ads Campaign Objective for Online Stores

Best Facebook Ads Campaign Objective for Online Stores

The first thing that you need to do when creating Facebook Ads for online shops is choose a Campaign Objective. A Campaign objective is a statement of your goals for each Campaign. Facebook provides you with the following 11 Campaign Objectives. You can only have one per Campaign;

  • Catalog sales
  • Brand awareness
  • App installs
  • Store traffic
  • Traffic
  • Video views
  • Engagements
  • Messages
  • Reach
  • Conversions
  • Lead generation

Best Campaign Objective for Facebook Ads for Online Shops

This is something to which we have already referred. When creating Facebook Ads for online shops, the best Campaign Objective is Catalog sales.

Remember we noted that we will be having dynamic ads? To get everything set up, you need to upload a catalog or to integrate your store with Facebook.

Integration is the best approach because products are then automatically added to your catalog from your website.

Creating a Catalog

Because we have chosen Catalog sales as our Campaign Objective, we will need to create a Catalog. This can take some time, so you need to be patient. Or if you already had a Catalog uploaded, you can simply add that to the ad that you are creating.

Select a Catalog Type

Select a Catalog Type

Select a Catalog Type

In Commerce Manager, you will be asked to select a Catalog Type, as you can see in the above screenshot. There are four options in this regard;

  • Ecommerce
  • Travel
  • Real Estate
  • Auto

Connecting your online store

The next step involves connecting your online store to Facebook. Note that you also have the option to manually add items to your Catalog. However, as ​stated earlier, that can be rather cumbersome. It won’t work if you have many products in your Catalog.

Connect your online shop to Facebook for Dynamic Ads

Connect your online shop to Facebook for Dynamic Ads

The better approach is to integrate your store so items can automatically be imported into your Catalog. For this example, we will assume that our shop runs on Shopify. The good news is that most of the major eCommerce platforms are include on the list of eCommerce software than can be integrated with Facebook.

Go to your platform to complete the integration process

Install Facebook on your eCommerce store

Install Facebook on your eCommerce store

You will now need to go to your partner platform to complete the integration process. In our case, we will go to Shopify to install Facebook on our store. Once integration is done, you will be able to create ads and shoppable posts on Facebook.

Other Facebook Ads Audience Targeting Options

In case you have not chose Catalog sales as your Campaign Objective, you have a wide range of options when it comes to your Target Audience.

Audience definition happens in the Ad Set. Here, you can choose to either go for a completely new audience, or you can create a Custom Audience.

New Audiences

You have a number of tools that you can use to define and refine your target audience in this case;

  • Location: Where do you wish to have your Facebook Ads delivered?
  • Age: Define the age ranges of the people to whom you wish to have your ads delivered.
  • Gender: Useful if you sell gender specific products.
  • Languages: You can target people who speak a particular language.
  • Detailed targeting: Uses demographics, interests and behaviors to narrow down on your target audience.

Custom Audiences

Custom audiences

Custom audiences are an essential element of retargeting. You are finding people who are already part of your audience on Facebook. These people can be derived from any of the following assets belonging to your business;

  • Website
  • App activity
  • Customer list
  • Offline activity
  • Facebook Sources
  • Video
  • Lead form
  • Instant Experience
  • Shopping
  • Instagram account
  • Events
  • Facebook Page
  • On-Facebook Listings

As an example, if you choose Website for your custom audience, your ads will be delivered to a pixel generated audience. They will be based on what these people were doing on your website.Creating your Ad

The Ad

If you need help integrating your online shop with Facebook, get in touch with me and I will help you (for a small fee, of course). I have done this for many clients, so this is a piece of cake for me. The final step on the way to creating Facebook Ads for Online Shops is the creation of the Ad itself.

Primary Text

Your ad should not be overwhelmed with text. This applies whatever the Campaign Objective that you may have chosen. Facebook recommends that your ad should have less than 20% text. These ads perform better because of the nature of Facebook. People do not go there to read loads of text.

Ad formats

Facebook allows video, single image and carousel ads. So, you need to decide which one works best for you. Don’t crack your head, however. The beauty of Facebook is that you can carry out a lot of A/B testing till you have hit the right formula.


In this article, I showed you how to create Facebook Ads for online shops. I noted that this is a challenging proposition. However, with a little bit of hard work, you can get everything up and running.

The Campaign Objective that works best in this regard is Catalog Sales. You should go for Dynamic Ads. These work with Pixel to track what people are doing on your website.

Each person is then shown an ad that corresponds to what they were doing on your online store. Dynamic ads are a good way of improv​ing your conversion rate. People are already interested in your products. You only need to take steps to convince them to make the purchase.

I admit, it can all seem overwhelming. But I am here to help you. So, get in touch or sign up for my Facebook Ads Mini course for free. You will get videos and other materials that will help you master the art of creating Facebook ads for your business.

Leave a comment

Let's Connect
Planet Marketing
Need Leads or Reviews?