20 Minutes

Facebook Ads for Ecommerce (Ultimate Guide)

If you run an ecommerce business, Facebook Ads is one of the most popular ways for driving conversions to your store. With over 2 billion daily active users, understanding how to use Facebook Ads is a must-have skill for any serious marketer.

Some common questions people have about ecommerce Facebook Ads are: Do they still work in 2024? What kind of starting budget do I need? And how do I get started running a profitable campaign?

Do Facebook Ads Still Work for Ecommerce in 2024?

After analyzing 2700+ ecommerce ad campaigns, we found that Facebook Ads were still incredibly profitable, but relied much more heavily on having a high converting creative and copy. Ads which have relied on targeting aren’t nearly as profitable.

Nowadays, content is king. So if you want to succeed with using Facebook Ads for an ecommerce store, here’s what you have to do: 

How to Run Facebook Ads for Ecommerce Websites

First, I’ll share with you 6 steps to get started in Facebook Ads, then I’ll share some tips on how you can optimize your ad performance later.

Here’s how to start promoting your ecommerce website on Facebook:

Step One: Study Other E-commerce Competitors

The absolute first step, before you do anything else, is to analyze your competitor’s ads. This will allow you to gauge the type of content that is performing well.

Try to find other ecommerce sites that are running Facebook Ads and see how they do things. Pay attention to their copy and creative:

  • What format do they use? 
  • What colors are they using? 
  • What are the common themes across their designs?
  • What is the length of their copy?

So how do you find competitor ads?

1. Go to Facebook.com and search for Facebook pages with a similar niche. Ideally they are an ecommerce store too, but this is not always the case. Also look for ecommerce stores in different niches to get a variety. Make a list of 10-15 to start. 

2. Head to the Meta Ads library and input the pages that you just listed. Here you’ll be able to see all ad campaigns that are run by them.

3. Note down the URLs of ads which caught your attention for future reference. If you see a campaign that has been running for a long time, it’s likely a successful ad.

4. Take inspiration from these ads in order to come up with ideas for your own ads.

Try to look for companies that do a LOT of testing. Their creatives tend to be very high converting. I’ll show some high converting examples later. 

Step Two: Set Up Meta Pixel

Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook pixel) is a snippet of HTML code you just copy and paste into your website. 

It allows you to track your visitors and see which pages they visit, which will be important for retargeting.

How do you install Facebook Pixel? This video will guide you through from adding the code, setting up events to verifying your domain:

Step Three: Set Up Conversions API

What is Conversions API? In a nutshell, Conversions API allows Facebook to get data from your Shopify/Woocommerce store. 

Conversions API is another method of tracking visitors on top of Facebook Pixel. You should be using both methods. Why?

Facebook Pixel tracks data through the user’s browser, and conversions API tracks visitors through your website’s servers. This means it doesn’t rely on browser cookies and isn’t prone to the same errors as Pixel (ad blockers, browser settings, browser crashes etc).

Combining these two methods of tracking will provide the most accurate full-funnel data for your campaigns.

The easiest way to set up conversions API is outlined in this video:

Step Four: Design Your Ad Creative

On average, people spend 2.5 seconds browsing each Facebook post on desktop, whilst on mobile, they only spend 1.7 seconds.

This means your ad needs to grab their attention fast.

But wait… 

There’s a difference between grabbing someone’s attention and standing out.

People dislike having advertisements shoved down their throats. If they realize your ad is an ad before they even read it, they’ll skip through it.

The best performing ads are ones where the user browses through their news feed, reads a post, then realizes it’s an ad after reading it. 

In order to design some award winning ad creatives:

1. Begin by analyzing your competitor’s ads to get a feel for what’s working and what’s not.

2. Identify your audience. There’s a difference between making an ad creative for a warm vs. cold audience.

3. Decide on which type of ad creative to use.

4. Ensure you get your image/video sizes correct so there’s no wasted space or awkward margins.

5. Use a tool like Canva for quick, easy, professional designs. Canva is often the tool of choice since it allows fast designs for rapid testing. There are also many Facebook image/video templates to help you get started!

5. Apply some basic color theory.

6. A/B test

7. Test, test test… The only way to achieve that killer ad creative is through testing dozens of times every month. Aim for 20-40 per month.

For more tips on design and copy, read our post on how to optimize your Facebook Ads

Step Five: Launch the Campaign

Once you’ve designed your creative, the last step is to launch the campaign.

To set up your campaign, you’ll need to name your adsets, choose an audience for targeting, and set up A/B testing.

Ensure proper naming conventions that’ll allow for easier data analysis. We'll get into how to structure your ad campaigns later on.

Step Six: Analyze the Data

Once the campaign is over, you'll need to analyze the data. This step is crucial, but most people turn away from it because they lack a data background and don't like dealing with numbers.

Luckily, being able to analyze Facebook Ads data effectively is quite easy - anyone with no statistics knowledge can learn how to do it.

We recommend choosing a data analysis tool that you're comfortable with. A few options are:

  1. Excel
  2. Google Sheets
  3. R (more advanced)
  4. Polymer Search

R is powerful and allows complex data manipulation and the ability to handle big data, but requires a data science background to operate or many months of training. Meanwhile Excel and Google Sheets are solid options, but most people find their interface confusing.

Using a tool like Polymer Search, which was designed specifcally for analyzing Facebook Ads data, can streamline the process and make it extremely easy for a beginner to learn.

Polymer's dashboard makes the data interactive and easy to understand, allowing you to filter through the data using tags and extract all the insights you need to run a successful ecommerce ads campaign.

15 Tips for Improving Your Ecommerce Store Conversions

Now that you know how to get a campaign up and running, let's look at how you can improve your profits.

These tips are based on our analysis of over 2700+ ad campaigns on Facebook:

1. Build High-Converting Landing Pages

No matter how skilled you are at Facebook Ads, you won’t drive conversions if your landing page isn’t optimized. The landing page is the most important factor in determining the success of a paid campaign. Here are some tips to improve your landing page:

1. Have a clear unique selling point (USP): If a user visits your landing page and is doesn’t understand what your website is selling within 3 seconds, you have failed your goal. The landing page should be clear and concise, addressing the “what” and “why/how” it’ll be useful to the customer. 

2. Include real user testimonials. Unboxing videos are ultra popular. Headshot photos with full names and website/contact info will help build trust and drive higher conversions. Including statistics or specific details about your products in these testimonials can also help.

If you manage to get testimonials from high profile individuals/companies, that can drive conversions through the roof.

3. Warm up the audience: Conversions aren’t the only important factor in an ecommerce Facebook Ads campaign. 

Over 90% of visitors won’t buy your product within their first visit to your ecommerce site. It’ll be a waste to just ignore these people.

Instead, warm them up by offering them information, or even better, a freebie. You can use these audiences for retargeting down the line.

4. Make a clean, simple design: When it comes to designing ecommerce pages, less is more. Minimal designs are often best - avoid having too many CTAs and if you’re going to use pop-ups, make sure to delay them or make them appear at the end of the page. 

5. Learn from examples! See the example ecommerce sites we've listed below in order to get an idea for what's working.

2. Use Faces on Images/Videos

You might’ve noticed that most Youtube content creators include a reaction face on most of their videos. They do this because it generates more clicks.

People are drawn to faces.

It’s no different when it comes to Facebook Ads. Using a reaction face as your image creative can greatly boost engagement and click-through-rates.

Here’s an example:

The environment and reaction face choice will depend on who your audience are. 

3. Write Killer Copy

There are many approaches to writing Facebook Ad copy and this depends on your audience. However, if your brand is new to Facebook Ads, I recommend starting with a short, punchy one-liner as your hook. This is one of the easiest, guaranteed methods of running a successful ad. 

Here’s my favorite example from Ruggable:

Also take note: the first thing the reader will see is the first line of your copy, not a title. Therefore, it’s crucial the first line is the hook and NOT the title. 

Here’s another example we used to promote our product:

The length of your copy depends on how well known your brand is.

If the audience isn’t aware of your brand and what you offer, your ad might have to be longer to educate the audience about their pain points and the solution you offer.

In order to get people to click through to your website, cliffhangers can be a great strategy.

4. Use Broad Targeting

There are 3 ways you can target people: through interests, lookalikes, or broad targeting.

Lookalikes used to be the most effective method of targeting, but broad targeting is becoming increasingly more important due to privacy regulations.

As of 2022/2023, broad targeting is the most popular form of targeting. Broad targeting means letting Facebook’s algorithm decide who to target without restricting whom it targets.

Every industry is different and there’s no one-size-fits all, but every ecommerce store should do an A/B test with broad targeting. 

We’ve personally found that the fewer restrictions we used, the lower the customer acquisition cost (CAC). 

5. Embed a CTA Button

Facebook offers dozens of CTA buttons, but for an ecommerce store, the ones you care about are for conversions. 

Here’s a list of Facebook Ads “conversions” CTA buttons:

  • No Button 
  • Donate Now 
  • Download 
  • Get Showtimes 
  • Learn More 
  • Listen Now 
  • Request Time 
  • See Menu 
  • Shop Now

So which button should you use?

For ecommerce stores, we found that “shop now” nearly always outperformed other CTA buttons.

Generally speaking, having a CTA button is better than not having one, but every industry is different and I highly recommend A/B testing with “no button” as well.

6. Run Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting means showing ads to people who’ve already visited your website.

So if someone viewed the “Nike Hoodie” page on your website, you can retarget them by showing them an ad of the Nike Hoodie + a limited time discount.

It’s not a good idea to retarget everybody who’s visited your site, but you should look at engagement metrics such as people who’ve added items into their shopping cart or visited certain pages on your website.

Since these are “warmer” audiences, your ad copy should be tailored towards these people which is different to a cold audience. Limited-time promotions work poorly for a cold audience, but they convert extremely well for warmer audiences. 

7. Run Ads at Optimal Times

Running ads during optimal times and dates can help increase conversions. 

When is the best time to run Facebook Ads? According to Buffer, engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays and it’s generally good practice to have ads running between 1-4 pm. 

With that said, there isn't a one-size-fits all and the best way to know is by conducting tests and analyzing the data. You’ll need a data analysis tool like Polymer that can quickly give you insights into questions like these.

8. Ensure You Budget Correctly and Have a Healthy Budget

A common mistake is approaching Facebook Ads with a low budget and attempting to run tests/experiments. If your budget is in the “low four figures” range, I wouldn’t worry too much about A/B testing. 

Here’s how to budget correctly:

In order to get valid A/B test results, you’ll need at least 100 conversions per ad variation. So let’s assume the cost-per-conversion is $20, and you want to test 2 ad variations. In order to get valid A/B test results, you’ll need a $4000+ budget (100 x 2 x 20).

A/B testing starts becoming ultra important for 5-figure ad campaigns.

9. A/B Test… A lot

For 5-figure campaigns, you should be A/B testing everything: copy, creative, audiences, placements, CTA buttons and more…

Since creative and copy are everything nowadays, I recommend testing at least 20+ variations per month.

Every 20 tests may yield 1 high performing ad that gets a 4% CTR. And every 100 tests may yield that one killer ad that gets 5.5% CTR which you end up scaling like crazy. In order to find award winning ads, you must test a lot!

10. Use Emojis

Through our testing, we found that in most cases, adding emojis to Facebook Ads tend to yield much higher click-through-rates and engagement than the same ad without emojis.

Not only will emojis make an ad look less like an ad, but emojis are also an attention grabber which can be used to highlight parts of the text. They allow you to convey an emotion, connect with the reader and get your point across.

Common emojis to use are the check mark emojis ✅ , relatable emojis 🙏, 5-star emojis ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and other eye-catching icons ❌ to get your point across. 

Here’s an example:

Using emojis in place of bullet points is a very common and effective tactic.

11. Use Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow you to show up to 10 images, each with their own link. These are great for showing multiple products with their own landing pages and are very high converting.

We’ve found for ecommerce stores, carousel ads result in a higher return on ad spend (ROAS) than static images or videos.

Here’s what they look like:

carousel ads

12. Avoid “Trigger Words”

People don’t like having ads shoved down their throat, especially when they’re browsing Facebook. Trigger words are overtly promotional words or phrases that make your ad look like an obvious ad. 

Examples of trigger words are “limited-time, follow, like, share, discount.” 

If you’re targeting a cold audience, people will subconsciously ignore these ads and skip over them.

The story is different if you’re retargeting: Since the audience is warmer and interested in your brand, these tactics become much more effective. 

13. Host a Contest

A contest or giveaway is a great way to generate tonnes of user generated content (UGC) and brand awareness.

Here’s how Pepsi did it:

If you’re doing a giveaway of the products on your ecommerce store, be sure to state a ($) amount on how much those items are worth (e.g. $5000 worth of items).

Having a dollar amount will allow your audience to see the value in this contest. 

Ensure you follow Facebook’s rules for running a contest. You aren’t allowed to require people to share/tag people as part of the giveaway, but you are allowed to have them like/comment. 

14. Exclude Existing Customers

An easy way to reduce ad spend is by using the “audience exclusion” feature. 

If you have an email list of existing customers, Facebook will allow you to upload a custom list of emails and exclude showing ads to those people. 

The audience exclusion feature can also be used to exclude audiences whom you are targeting in a different campaign, so there’s no overlap between the campaigns.

15. Get External Reviews

If people end up clicking on your ad and landing on your website, there’s a good chance that they’ll do some research on your product before purchasing.

You’ll want to contact other publications and even people on Reddit to leave reviews about your products. 

People will often search for:

“Is Website X a scam?”
“Product X reviews”
“Product X reviews reddit”
“Brand X review”
“Brand X coupons”

Having external reviews can make or break a customer’s decision to purchase from you. 

5 Examples of High Converting Ecommerce Facebook Ads

Now that you’re familiar with the many Facebook Ad tactics you can employ, let’s look at some examples of high converting ecommerce ads for inspiration:

1. Solo Stove

Solo Stove keeps things simple.

In their ad, they write a simple anecdote about their product and limit their word count to under 30 words.  

It’s easy to mistake this ad for a post that your friend shared. And that’s why it’s so effective. By the time you realize it’s an ad, it’s too late. 


LARQ’s product and value proposition is immediately evident when you visit their website:

They offer a way to filter water from toxic chemicals like lead, PFAS and chlorine. Here’s one of their high performing ads using the carousel format:

✅ The ad uses a short catchy hook as the first sentence.

✅ Uses the “Shop Now” CTA button

✅ Uses 2 emojis

✅ Carousel ad format

3. Skullcandy

Skullcandy specializes in gaming audio products. Their ad starts with a very strong hook: “JUST DROPPED.” 

It really grabs your attention and piques your curiosity: “What just dropped?”

Like the previous one, the ad also uses an emoji + the “shop now” button. There’s a reason why most ecommerce stores prefer including these in their ads.

This isn’t always the case, but it should be something worth testing out. 

4. Natori

Here’s an example of a high converting ad with zero copy:

Natori is an apparel ecommerce store that positions themselves as classy, luxurious and elegant.

In this example, the images do a great job in conveying this. No body text is needed.

When studying ads like these, pay extra attention to the use of color to convey a certain emotion and message. In this example, the pastel colors convey a feeling of gentleness and elegance.

Although not including body copy might work well for industries like fashion/clothing, other industries can greatly differ.

Also interesting to note is that Natori prefers the more passive “learn more” CTA button than the “shop now” button. It goes to show that no two ads are the same and require A/B testing to get the optimal result.

5. Ruggable

Ruggable’s ad performs well because they quickly address the customer’s pain points and how they’ll address it.

Most rugs out there are non-washable, so a stain on the rug can ruin it entirely. People who’ve accidentally stained their rug before can quickly get on board with the idea of a machine washable rug. 

Ruggable uses lots of “unboxing” videos for their Facebook ads which mostly have some similarities:

  • The thumbnail looks more like an organic image than an ad
  • Vertical videos are preferred over horizontal videos
  • The videos tend to show kids, dogs or other family members who accidentally stain the rug
  • The music creates a positive vibe overall

Like the other ads, they also love to include emojis and the “shop now” CTA button.

Ecommerce Facebook Ads Campaign Structure

Now that you’re ready to dive in - how should you structure your campaigns? We recommend starting with 10 ad sets. 

Use automatic placements and keep everything consistent between these 10 ad sets except for the audience targeting: Test 10 different interests and go broad with one of those ad sets. You can allocate $20-40 for each ad set. 

Make sure to follow our Facebook Ad naming conventions which will greatly help in analyzing your data later on.

Believe or not, if the product is good, you can turn a profit on day one. Otherwise, out of these 10 ad sets, find the ones that are profitable and start scaling them.

Once you have the audience down, you’ll want to start A/B testing the copy and creative.

Which Facebook Ads are Best for Ecommerce?

Facebook offers a variety of ad formats, and we’ve found the best one overall to be carousel ads. 

With that said, there are several reasons why you should use other ad formats:

1. Not all audiences are receptive to the same format. 

2. Bottom of the funnel audiences respond differently to top of the funnel audiences

3. Ad fatigue is a real thing - where showing people the same ad over and over again can cause them to ignore it completely.

This is why most ecommerce stores use a combination of everything:

1. Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)

One of the best ads for ecommerce websites are Dynamic Product Ads (DPA). 

Dynamic Product Ads are like carousel ads, however, instead of having to manually create an ad for each product, you create an ad template, and it’ll automatically pull images and product details from your data feed. 

Dynamic Product Ads are perfect for ecommerce stores because Facebook will use the tracking data from Facebook Pixel to show ads to people who’ve shown interest in a particular product. 

Ebay uses DPA a lot. Their website has millions of products, but they’re able to advertise exactly the products that people are interested in without manually creating each ad.

2. Carousel Ads

If your ecommerce store has a small amount of products (i.e. 20 or less) - carousel ads are better to use, because you can customize each one separately.

You can use them like DPA to promote different products on each slide, to tell your brand’s story with different slides, or to have certain slides drive traffic to your informational content (a blog post). 

3. Video Ads

Videos can engage audiences better than static images and most marketers prefer to use them because they result in higher click through rates (CTR). 

However, there are a two major downsides to using videos:

1. Creating them takes a lot of time/money if you don’t have UGC

2. Videos can result in higher customer acquisition cost (CAC) and cost per mille (CPM)

Even with a higher CTR, you can still get a higher customer acquisition cost than static images. 

This isn’t always the case, so that’s why it’s so important to test. But do keep in mind, it’s easy to get excited at the high CTR of using videos, but the important metric is return on ad spend (ROAS).

Also when using videos - you’ll want to analyze two metrics: 

1. Thumb stop ratio (or stop rate)

2. Average watch time

“Thumb stop ratio” is the percentage of people who viewed at least 3 seconds of your video. This metric is highly important in determining how effective the hook of your video is. You can have a high thumb stop ratio and a low average watch time which indicates you have a good hook, but the rest of the video is lacking.

4. Images

Marketers should not underestimate images. They can yield a very high ROAS - and since you can create them much quicker than videos, you are able to test different creatives more frequently.

Overall, the best ecommerce stores use a combination of everything to achieve the best results and avoid ad fatigue from their audiences. If you look at the example ecommerce stores above, you'll notice they all use various ad formats: videos, images, carousel ads, DPA...

In the right hands, all these ad creative formats can be highly profitable.

Understanding Facebook Pixel for Ecommerce

When diving into the world of Facebook ads for ecommerce, one tool you absolutely must familiarize yourself with is the Facebook Pixel. The Facebook Pixel is a small piece of code that you install on your website. It tracks user interactions and sends this data back to Facebook, allowing you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, drive more targeted ads, and optimize for conversions.

Why is Facebook Pixel Crucial for Ecommerce on Facebook?

  1. Conversion Tracking: One of the most vital functions of Facebook Pixel is tracking conversions. When someone takes a specific action on your website, like completing a purchase, the Pixel will record this and attribute it to your Facebook Ads campaign.
  2. Retargeting: The Pixel allows you to track user behavior and later target these users with more specific ads. For instance, if someone visited a product page but didn't make a purchase, you can retarget them with an ad for that particular product.
  3. Lookalike Audiences: Based on the data collected by the Pixel, Facebook can generate Lookalike Audiences—groups that are similar to your existing customers. This is an excellent way to find new potential customers who are likely to be interested in your products.
  4. Optimizing Ad Spend: Knowing how users interact with your website helps you to adjust your ad campaigns for better performance, ensuring you get the most out of your advertising budget.

How to Install Facebook Pixel

  1. Create a Pixel in Facebook Ads Manager: Head to the Ads Manager, click on "Events Manager," then "Pixels," and finally "Create a Pixel."
  2. Install the Code: Once the Pixel is created, you'll get a code snippet. Install this code on every page of your ecommerce website. Most ecommerce platforms like Shopify have simple integrations for this.
  3. Test the Pixel: After installation, test to ensure it's working correctly. You can use tools like Facebook's Pixel Helper.
  4. Set Up Events: Finally, set up specific events that you want to track, such as 'Add to Cart,' 'Purchase,' etc.

By understanding and effectively implementing Facebook Pixel, you're setting the stage for more targeted and successful Facebook ads for your ecommerce venture.

Leveraging Dynamic Ads for Your Ecommerce Store

Dynamic Ads are a game-changer when it comes to Facebook ads for ecommerce. This feature allows you to automatically show different ads to different audiences based on their behavior and interaction with your ecommerce website. The ads are generated dynamically from a product catalog that you upload to Facebook.

Why Dynamic Ads are Essential for Ecommerce on Facebook

  1. Personalization at Scale: Dynamic Ads allow you to deliver highly personalized content to your potential customers without having to create each ad manually. This saves you time and increases the chances of your ads resonating with the viewers.
  2. Lower Cart Abandonment Rates: Since Dynamic Ads can retarget users who have shown interest in specific products but haven’t completed a purchase, they are excellent tools for reducing cart abandonment rates.
  3. Up-Sell and Cross-Sell: You can use Dynamic Ads to showcase related or complementary products to individuals who have made recent purchases, thereby increasing your Average Order Value (AOV).
  4. Real-Time Pricing and Availability: Dynamic Ads automatically update based on your product catalog. This means if a product is out of stock or there's a price change, your ads will reflect this in real-time.

Setting Up Dynamic Ads for Your Ecommerce Store

  1. Upload Your Product Catalog: The first step is to upload your product catalog to Facebook Business Manager. Make sure it is well-structured and contains all the necessary information like product name, price, image, and URL.
  2. Install Facebook Pixel: If you haven’t already, install the Facebook Pixel on your ecommerce website and set up the necessary events that you want to track.
  3. Create a Dynamic Ad Campaign: In your Facebook Ads Manager, select the ‘Dynamic Ad’ option when creating a new campaign.
  4. Set Up Your Audience: Define the audience you want to target based on the interactions captured by Facebook Pixel. You can choose to target users who visited specific product pages, added items to cart, or even made a purchase.
  5. Design Your Ad Template: Use Facebook’s ad template to create the structure of your ad. The product information will be filled in dynamically based on the user’s interaction with your site.
  6. Monitor and Optimize: Once your Dynamic Ads are live, monitor their performance and make adjustments as needed to ensure you’re getting the best ROI.

Dynamic Ads are an incredibly powerful tool for any ecommerce business advertising on Facebook. They offer a high level of customization and automation, making your ad campaigns more effective and easier to manage.

Getting Started

Start by setting up those 10 adsets mentioned earlier and allocating $20-40 budget to each one. 

Let the data do the talking and see which tests were successful so you can scale those.

Start by optimizing for ideal audiences, then move on to optimizing ad creative and copy. Afterwards, A/B testing the different CTA buttons, and times to run the campaign can optimize results further.

Then finally, use the data you've gathered to retarget people. This is still one of the most profitable steps.

Data analysis might seem like a complex topic, but using a tool like Polymer can save countless hours of data wrangling and allow any beginner to extract important insights from their Facebook Ads data that other tools like Excel or Google Sheets can miss.

Posted on
August 30, 2023
under Blog
August 30, 2023
Written by
Rand Owens
Founding team member at Motive (Formerly KeepTruckin) and passionate about all things Marketing, RevOps, and Go-To-Market. VP of Marketing @ Polymer Search.

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