Inside This Post
It’s a great time to be an e-commerce store owner.
The continued evolution of social advertising platforms has opened a new world of opportunity that’s available to shop owners large and small.
One of the key developments over the last 2 – 3 years has been the steady roll-out of sophisticated retargeting and audience management solutions, mainly through Facebook.
The new “Facebook Pixel” enables you to do really awesome things like:
- Build custom audiences and look-a-like audiences, all the way down to the product level
- Run “hyper-targeted” campaigns to convert cart abandonments and other actions of interest
- Set up “Dynamic Product Ads”
Dynamic Product Ads are an incredible tool for any e-commerce store owner who has more than a few products. If you haven’t seen Dynamic Product Ads (DPA), here’s the skinny:
DPAs enable you set up e-commerce retargeting ad “systems” that basically run on auto-pilot and dynamically show products from your store to your website’s past visitors, based on their unique behaviors.
Further, because this is all based on Facebook’s Pixel tracking, it works cross-device!
There’s a bit of a “rub” here though:
Getting advanced capabilities like Dynamic Product Ads set up properly is a major hurdle for most store owners, so most stick to the most basic targeting and ad-types.
Relying on basic targeting is like Facebook giving us a rocket launcher and we’re using it to shoot water balloons.
So, what do we need to trade those water-balloons for “rockets”?
DPA’s require two key components:
- Your on-site tagging needs to be very exact and must send the proper data to Facebook dynamically
- You need to add your “product catalog” to Facebook to get the dynamic data to flow through properly to the ads interface (Power Editor)
Unfortunately, because Facebook has been transitioning to a new “Pixel”, there’s a load of outdated or flat-out incorrect information out there about how to set up the tagging.
In this post, we’ll go through an overview of the Facebook e-commerce funnel, how the new pixel works, show an example of a “manual” retargeting ad for a product, and then take a longer look at Dynamic Product Ads.
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The Facebook Funnel and How It’s Setup For E-Commerce Sites
If you’re experienced with e-commerce conversion funnels, most of this will be familiar.
For most e-commerce (and Shopify sites), you have the following flow to your site:
- The visitor hits a product “category” (or “collection”) page. Many products are displayed on this page, as specified by your site’s products’ metadata (eg: “T-Shirts”).
- The visitor clicks through to a specific product.
- The visitor adds the product to the cart.
- “” initiates checkout
- “” enters a payment method
- “” purchases the product
So, to arm ourselves with the capability to build “audiences” of people who have performed any subset of those events, we need to send Facebook data about who is doing what actions on the site.
Facebook offers a set of “events” that you can add to your site’s tracking to mirror those behaviors.
If you’re not familiar with “events” in the context of the Facebook Pixel (or the pixel in general), don’t worry, we’re about to go into more detail momentarily.
From the flow we presented above, I’ve removed a few intermediate steps (but kept the most important ones), and let’s look at how Facebook’s events and parameters map to this behavior flow: