3 Smart Ways E-Commerce Brands Use Facebook Advertising to PROFITABLY Acquire New Customers & Encourage Repeat Purchases

Ecommerce Facebook Ads

This is part one in a series uncovering how successful online retailers are using Facebook advertising for profitable, scalable revenue growth.

Today we focus on 3 ways your brand can use the most powerful piece of the Facebook advertising platform… The Facebook Pixel

You’ve very likely heard about the FB pixel before. There’s a good chance it is already installed on your online store – or you at least have an older version of it in place.

And you’ve definitely seen some dynamic ads built by the pixel, that look a little like this:

Facebook dynamic product ad example


Even though most online retailers have a Facebook pixel in place…

More than 95% of the stores we look at are NOT using their pixel to anywhere near its full potential…

…and regarding dynamic product ads like the one above – they’re almost NEVER using those to their full revenue-generating potential.

Almost never.

If your brand falls into this group – and there’s a good chance it does – then you’re missing out on a LOT of revenue, lots of repeat purchases and lots of new customers.


The Facebook pixel is SO powerful, and SO mis-understood, that properly implementing and taking advantage of it presents a huge revenue opportunity for the vast majority of e-commerce brands.

Today we’re going to look at the TRUE power of the Facebook pixel and how it can be used to:

  • Profitably acquire new customers at scale
  • Create your highest ROI re-targeting campaigns
  • Crosssell and Upsell to increase customer lifetime value (CLTV)
  • Recover more abandoned carts
  • Create loyal repeat buyers

…all while maintaining a very healthy return on ad-spend (ROAS).

If your e-comm brand isn’t taking full advantage of Facebook’s new advertising pixel you’re missing out on revenue, repeat purchases and new customers.

There’s ZERO doubt about that.

Ryan Turner, PerformanceFunnels.com

Let’s get started…

The ‘New’ Facebook Pixel and Your E-Commerce Funnel

One of the major benefits of Facebook’s new pixel is that it allows you to track a visitor’s journey through your entire Ecommerce funnel – including keeping track of every product each individual person shows an interest in…

Right from the homepage to the order confirmation page, and across all devices. This is true regardless of which platform you use – one of the major e-com solutions like Shopify or Magento, or something more streamlined like ClickFunnels. If you are using CF, check out our free funnel templates here.

You’re given the ability to advertise to people based 100% on their specific behaviors. The goal obviously being to move prospects and customers on to the next step in their buying journey – and eventually to a purchase…

…then another purchase… and then another.

If your store is taking full advantage of the Facebook pixel you can personalize every marketing message people see from your brand.

This personalization is based not just on their purchase or browsing history, but also on specific sales goals you may have.

Everything takes place cross-device without relying on cookies in the traditional way.

Taking full advantage of your Facebook pixel’s capabilities allows you to extract the maximum amount of revenue from every step in your sales funnel using completely personalized ads.

Let’s take a look at exactly how that can be done…

The Raw Power of Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs)

We’ve mentioned personalization a few times already. Facebook takes personalized ads SO much further than traditional ‘dynamic’ display advertising, which often just shows people products they’ve looked at – or similar products – in a carousel on a re-targeting basis.

Here’s what Shoes.com said about Facebook DPAs…

Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads is one of our strongest formats with one of the highest ROAS. In comparison to static re-marketing Facebook campaigns, the stats for the DPA campaigns come in much stronger. CTR is 3.12 x higher, CPC is 73% lower and ROAS is 2.4 x higher.

– Shoes.com

Hopefully we’ve made it clear how much we believe in Facebook’s personalized ad technology by now, so let’s look at some real-world use cases for e-commerce retailers.

What follows are specific examples of how e-commerce marketers are using the power of the Facebook pixel and dynamic ads to drive profitable, incremental sales at scale.

This is NOT just a re-targeting play, which is how most e-commerce retailers approach Facebook advertising.

We’ll be covering:

  • New customer acquisition
  • Cross-selling
  • Up-selling
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • And of course, non-buyer retargeting

Example #1…

Personalized Cross-Selling and Up-Selling to Increase CLTV, Encourage Repeat Purchasing and Create Brand Loyalty

There is only so much you can achieve with on-site promotions and email campaigns to encourage people to buy more products more often.

Thankfully, Facebook ads provide e-commerce marketers the opportunity to run VERY targeted cross-sell and up sell-promotions right in the newsfeed. Each campaign perfectly tailored to the person seeing it.

You can tell Facebook EXACTLY…

  • Who you want to up-sell or cross-sell
  • When to do it and for how long
  • What they should be offered

This is all based on the individual’s previous interactions with your brand of course.

…Want to market your bestselling products to ALL buyers 7 days after their last purchase?

No problem.

…Want to offer your new range of mens sweaters to guys who bought from you in the last 30 days?


…How about showing your best iPad cases to anyone who has ever purchased an iPad from you?


…Why not market a new range of tents to people who added a tent to cart – but didn’t buy – in the last 10 days?

Let’s do it.

Specify any combination of onsite product-based behaviors and the Facebook pixel can isolate ONLY people who fit that description. You can then advertise whichever products you think are the best fit for this audience from your entire catalogue… or use Facebook to test and find out what they actually want to buy.

Testing Your Cross-Sell Campaigns

Facebook allows you to create what are called Product Sets. These are subsections of your primary catalogue – inside which you can group products by whatever common characteristic you like.

For example:

  • Bestselling women’s watches
  • Organic skin creams
  • Mens slim-fit shirts
  • All women’s shoes
  • Laptops priced over $700
  • New fall 2016 travel bags

With the ability to create unlimited product sets you have the opportunity to test and find the best ROI cross-sell approaches for different audiences who have interacted with your brand.

What are your skincare buyers most likely to buy from you in the next 21 days?

…it could be more of the same products

…it could be hair products

…or maybe its a category you hadn’t necessarily thought of, such as aromatherapy candles

The power of the Facebook ads pixel allows you to test for all of these scenarios, and more, to find out where all of your prospects and customers would prefer to spend their money with you next time around.

Examples From a Brand Selling Essential Oils

Here are some examples from within the Facebook interface showing various ways an essential oil retailer promotes their ‘Single Oils’ to different groups of customers and prospects that have recently interacted with their brand.

Promote all Single Oils to anyone who purchased an Essential Oil Blend in the last two weeks:

Essential Oil Cross Selling

Promote single oils to people who viewed a blend in the last week:


Promote single oils to people who added one to cart but didn’t buy in the last two weeks:



As you can probably tell the opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell people with different products based on their onsite behavior are almost endless with Facebook. Their advertising platform also makes it very easy to test and find out what the most most profitable combinations of audiences and products are.

TIP: If you’d like a low risk and high ROI way to test these campaigns for your brand then start with the ‘Added to basket but not purchased‘ targeting option above. This is another way to encourage cart-abandoners to return and make a purchase they were considering.

Example #2…

Use The Facebook Pixel to Find New Buyers Who Behave Exactly Like Your Most Valuable Customers

Anyone familiar with Facebook advertising has heard of ‘lookalike’ audiences.

Most digital marketers though have no idea how powerful these audiences can be when used to their full potential – especially for NEW customer acquisition on Facebook.

Lookalikes are especially powerful for successful e-commerce brands who already have good levels of website traffic, a sizable list of email subscribers and, of course, a database of existing customers.

If your e-com brand fits this description you should absolutely make sure you’re taking full advantage of Facebook lookalike audiences.

Let’s take a look at ways you can go about doing that.

Firstly: What exactly is a lookalike audience?

Here is how they work…

Step 1 – You give Facebook a ‘seed’ list of people who have taken a certain action on your site. This action could be visiting a certain category page, subscribing to a newsletter, adding to cart, purchasing etc etc. The Facebook pixel can be used to gather this data, or you can physically upload a list of people to the ad platform yourself.

Step 2 – Facebook searches through its entire list of users and finds people who are most similar to the people in your seed list. This is based on over 200 data points, so it can be very accurate. You typically start with the 1% of all Facebook users who look most like your seed list.

Step 3 – You now have access to these people as an advertising audience. This means you can market your brand to them using Facebook ads – even though they may of never heard of you before. Facebook lets you advertise to them just because they’re extremely similar to your current customers, so there’s a good chance they’ll like your brand and your products.

Lookalike audiences can be EXTREMELY effective. If your original seed list of users is large enough (over 1000 people is a good size) then Facebook usually does a truly excellent job of identifying new potential customers for you to advertise to.

How Online Retailers Can Use Lookalikes

Most e-commerce brands running Facebook ads will have experimented with lookalike audiences to some degree. Earlier though we suggested that most brands are not using them to anywhere near their full potential.

The go-to strategy for most online retailers is to create lookalikes of their email list or from their website traffic.

However there are many, many potential audiences you can build for free and then test running ads to. They’ll all perform differently.

There are also a LOT of different ways to advertise to these audiences.

Here are some different audiences you could create…

  • Lookalikes of email subscribers
  • Lookalikes of your entire customer list
  • Lookalikes of people who bought from a specific category
  • Lookalikes of people who bought a specific product
  • Lookalikes of people who added to cart
  • Lookalikes of your highest value/most loyal customers
  • Lookalikes of your blog readers
  • Lookalikes of all website traffic
  • Lookalikes of people who viewed certain products/categories
  • Lookalikes from specific landing pages/promotions/offers
  • Lookalikes of mobile/tablet buyers
  • Lookalikes of people who have watched your brand’s Facebook videos

Pay particular attention to that last one. Video view lookalike audiences are proving to be VERY effective at the moment and delivering excellent ROI for e-commerce brands.

Here are some different ways you can advertise to these audiences…

  • Dynamic product ads containing your best sellers
  • Dynamic product ads from certain categories
  • New customer discount coupons
  • Seasonal/limited time promotions
  • Giveaways/competitions/quizzes to build your email list
  • Promote downloadable content to build your email list
  • Promote blog content to build brand recognition and trust

In summary, your options for testing different advertising campaigns to different lookalike audiences are practically unlimited. And remember – these are all NEW potential customers you’re reaching.

How much potential new revenue do you think is hiding inside these various lookalike campaign ideas? Unlocking it and increasing your bottom line is just a case of being willing to test – and tracking the ROI of course.

Example #3…

How to Win New Customers from Your Biggest Competitors Using the Power of The FB Pixel

The Facebook platform gives you the ability to show your ads to fans of most major brands. This makes it very target


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