Facebook ads have been a powerful tool for ecommerce brands for a number of years now. But as Facebook advertising has become increasingly accessible for businesses at all growth stages, so has the competition to capture their audience’s attention. Add to that increasing ambiguity from the social networks and it’s no surprise many question whether Facebook ads are truly worth the investment.
But personalization is an equally powerful tool—and it can boost the effectiveness of your ads as well as your return on investment (ROI).
When it comes to building effective marketing campaigns, providing your customers with timely, relevant information is a key step in capturing their interest and bringing them back to your online store.
Dynamic product ads on Facebook help you do exactly that.
What is a dynamic product ad?
Dynamic product ads are a way to display either single or multi-product Facebook ads to customers who have already visited your website, featuring the products that Facebook already knows your customers are interested in, based on their behavior.
Image credit: Facebook
Dynamic product ads let you serve ads to your customers featuring the exact products they want to see. With the power of the Meta pixel, dynamic product ads use behavioral information about visitors to your website to determine which products should be featured in your various types of Facebook ads.
This process—also known as retargeting—is a highly effective way to turn one-time window shoppers into dedicated customers, since website visitors who are served retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert.
And when you set up Shopify's Facebook channel, this process becomes a lot easier. Your products sync to your Facebook account’s product catalog, and you can then use them when you create dynamic ads to promote your store and the items in your catalog. You can also pause dynamic ads and check out analytics using this seamless integration.
Why use Facebook dynamic product ads?
You can use dynamic product ads to target three different customer behaviors:
- Viewed content: After a customer views a product page on your store, you can begin serving them ads featuring the same product to encourage them to take another look.
- Add to cart: If a customer adds a product to their cart but doesn’t purchase it, you can show them ads that specifically promote that product, giving them a gentle nudge back to your site to complete the transaction.
- Product purchase: Once a customer successfully purchases a product, you can serve them ads featuring related products, upsells, new arrivals, and anything else that might be valuable to them based on their purchase history.
The products featured in the ad are entirely influenced by what your customers have already looked at, expressed interest in, or purchased previously, which makes dynamic product ads a highly personalized way to connect with your customers and showcase the products they actually want to see.
Not only do dynamic product ads provide your campaigns with an added layer of personalization, they also save you time and effort by letting you serve highly relevant Facebook ads to your customers without having to build hundreds of different ads for all of the products on your website.
How 3 Shopify stores are using dynamic product ads to grow ecommerce sales
Get inspiration from these real-world examples of Shopify merchants finding success with Facebook dynamic ads.
Sustainable footwear brand Allbirds used Facebook dynamic ads to promote a new product line, its Dashers running shoes. It ran ads to target people who viewed an initial round of product ads and clicked Shop Now but didn’t end up making a purchase.
The brand decided to test its approach with four different ad creatives, prioritizing:
- Brand storytelling and reiterating the quality of the materials and design
- Product benefits and how they fit into people’s lives
- The innovation in the product’s design and features
- A combination of the above
The two messaging overlays Allbirds tested included “Natural materials, engineered to perform” and “Performance, done naturally.”
Facebook automatically displayed ads to people, over time adjusting which ad creative to display, in order to make the most impact at the lowest cost. All in all, Allbirds drove a 48% increase in purchases.
2. Chi Chi London
Women’s clothing brand Chi Chi London also found success through Facebook dynamic ads. It had an overarching goal: increase sales from both new audiences and existing customers. It already had retargeting ads set up for users who would visit its website, mobile app, and social media commerce channels. To double down on these ads, Chi Chi London used dynamic ads to run A/B tests to find the most effective ad format and creative.
While the retargeting ads were successful at reaching the brand’s existing audience, it leveraged a similar approach to hit new users. Rather than using the retargeting ads, the dynamic ads used the brand’s product catalog and created an ad campaign from that, targeting broad audiences. On Facebook, broad audiences include users who may have seen or been exposed to the brand but didn’t actually visit the website, app, or product pages. Broad audience targeting automatically pulls products from the product catalog based on what the user is likely to be interested in.
In the end, the broad audience targeting allowed the brand to increase sales by 40% and decrease “cost per action” by 29%.
3. Kortni Jeane
Shopify merchant Kortni Jeane has also found success with Facebook dynamic ads. The mix-and-match women’s swimwear brand wanted to get a head start on its seasonal sales with a boost from its Facebook ads—especially important after a slow 2020 due to the pandemic. To build some buzz and excitement, it decided to do a weeklong campaign with new product drops every morning.
The creative consisted of photo and video ads with bold visuals and product-focused content. Along with Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences, the brand used dynamic ads to reach broad audiences and new potential customers who had previously engaged with the brand, its products, or similar brands and products. The dynamic ads were built using the brand’s product catalog and pixel on its website. The brand also used Facebook’s automatic optimization for cost-effectiveness across channels, apps, and services.
As a result, Kortni Jeane successfully improved its conversion rate by 11% and earned a 22.9 times return on ad spend across 2,000 purchases.
How to set up Facebook dynamic ads
While setting up dynamic product ads might seem intimidating at first, it’s actually quite straightforward. To help you build your first set of dynamic product ads, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide.
Let’s take a look.
1. Upload your product catalog to Facebook
To set up your first dynamic ad, you’ll need to use Business Manager to upload your online store’s product catalog to Facebook.
Your product catalog is a data file that lists all of the items from your store that you would like to display in your Facebook ads.
First, head to your Business Manager account. Click on Business Manager in the top left of the navigation bar and then click Product Catalogs under the Assets header.
Now, click Add New Product Catalog and select Create New Product Catalog from the dropdown menu.
Give your product catalog a name (it’s usually good to stick with the name of your store) and click Create Product Catalog.
Once you’ve created your product catalog, you’ll next need to add a product feed so your catalog can automatically generate your product listings.
A product feed is a list of products from your online store. You can create multiple product feeds to represent different categories of products from your online store, such as products that are only available in certain regions or products that cater to specific demographics.
Image credit: Facebook
Before we move on to the next step, you’ll need to create a product feed for your online store. Product feeds are essentially spreadsheets that list off all of the details of your products. They can be CSV, TSV, RSS XML, or ATOM XML files.
If you own a Shopify store, you can set up your product feed using the Facebook Product Feed app from the Shopify App Store. You can also do this from your admin. Once you find Facebook in the Shopify App Store, click Add Channel and then Start Set Up for the feature you want to install. Click Connect Account, sign in to your Facebook page, connect your Facebook assets, accept the terms and conditions, and click Finish Setup.
Your product feed must follow strict formatting rules and contain a set of required fields to work properly. To get a better idea of how you should set up your product feed, take a look at the example feeds created by Facebook’s support team.
After creating your product feed, you’ll need to host it using FTP or upload it to a cloud storage site like Dropbox or Google Drive. If you’re using the Facebook Product Feed app, you won’t need to host it anywhere because the app takes care of that part for you.
Once you’ve uploaded your product feed to the cloud, go to Product Catalogs and click Add Product Feed.
You’ll then be able to name your product feed, adjust your currency, and choose an upload type for your feed. The two options are Schedule Recurring Uploads and Single Upload.
With recurring uploads, you’ll be able to add a product feed and have it update whenever changes are made or new products are added. With single upload, you’ll simply be able to add a static product feed and you’ll need to manually update your feed in the future.
For this walkthrough, let’s select Schedule Recurring Uploads. Click Next when you’re ready to move on.
Schedule how frequently you would like your feed to update—either daily or weekly—and drop in your feed’s URL (the Dropbox, Google Drive, or FTP link for your spreadsheet), so that Facebook knows where to find your product information.
For Facebook Product Feed app users, you’ll simply need to log in to the app and look for your automatically generated product feed URL (it will look something like this: http://your-store-name-here.myshopify.com/a/feed/facebook.rss) and copy and paste that URL.
Add the login information for your storage account to give Facebook access to the file (if necessary). Click Upload.
Your product catalog will now be ready to go.
2. Set up your Meta pixel
To help Facebook understand which of your products to serve to which audiences, you’ll need to place the Meta pixel on your website and adjust it so that it tracks when products from your product catalog are viewed, added to cart, or purchased by your customers.
If you’re not familiar with pixels, here’s an easy way to think about them:
They’re a small piece of code that you add to your website to track your visitors. The information they gather about your visitors can help you advertise to them later (a process known as retargeting) and track their behavior when they come back to your site.
Pixels may seem confusing at first, but they’re an essential tool for tracking the success of your marketing campaigns.
To find your pixel, head to your Business Manager. Click Business Manager in the top left of the navigation bar and select Pixels under the Assets header.
If you haven’t created a pixel before, click Create a Pixel.
Name your pixel and click Create Pixel.
If you have a Shopify store, you’ll simply need to copy your 15-digit pixel ID and head to your Shopify Admin. Click Settings then Online Store and paste your pixel ID into the Meta Pixel section.
Click Save. Your pixel will now be automatically set up to work with dynamic product ads.
If you don’t have a Shopify store, you’ll need to manually set up standard events for your Meta pixel so Facebook can track these three actions: View Content, Add to Cart, and Purchase.
Once you’ve set up your standard events, you’ll need to edit the HTML/CSS of your website. Copy and paste your code in between the <head> and </head> tags on every page of your site to finish setting up your pixel. If you run into trouble with your pixel, use the Meta Pixel Helper to track down the source of the problem.
3. Create your first dynamic product ad
To create your first dynamic product ad, head over to your Facebook Business Manager, which is essentially your ads manager. Click Create Campaign and select Catalog Sales under Conversion as your objective. Click Continue.
Name your ad campaign, ad set, and ad. Try to use a descriptive title for your campaign so you can easily identify it later (for instance, you could call it “Dynamic Ads - View Content - Mugs” if you’re hoping to target all of the customers who have viewed mugs on your website).
You can also select whether or not you want to A/B test these ads, as well as use Facebook’s Advantage Campaign Budget option to automate ad spend optimization.
Make sure Catalog sales is still selected as your campaign objective and click Next.
Edit your ad set to make sure it’s promoting the correct product catalog. Verify it’s set up properly and then select your budget, audience, location, placement, and other desired targeting options.
In your ad set, you’ll be able to specifically filter which products you want your ads to feature, also called a “Product Set,” by selecting the + button under Promoted Products.
You can filter your product set by Availability, Brand, Category, Product Type, and Price, allowing you to create highly targeted ads with more relevant ad copy. These filters will automatically organize your products based on the way that you’ve set up your product catalog.
Once you’ve named your product set and finished customizing its products, click Create. You can now use this product set to populate the products that will appear in this ad set.
After creating a product set, head down to the Audience section.
Here, you’ll be able to select whether you’re hoping to hit a target audience of people who have previously viewed content on your website, added products to their cart, or successfully purchased products. These custom audiences have thankfully already been created for you by the Meta pixel, which is a huge relief since they’d be incredibly time-consuming (and headache-inducing) to set up manually.
When choosing an Upsell or Cross-Sell audience, you’ll also be able to specify which product sets you want to promote to customers who have already viewed other product sets. This is a nifty feature for turning your one-time shoppers into repeat customers by showcasing similar products they could also be interested in or that work well with things they’ve already purchased.
Now that your ad set has been properly optimized for dynamic product ads, it’s time to create your ad. Go to the Ads tab and either create a new ad or choose one you’ve already created within that ad set.
Unlike other Facebook ads, dynamic ads require special keywords (these keywords are actually just the section headers that you used for your product feed spreadsheet).
With the help of these keywords, Facebook will be able to automatically populate your ads with the relevant product information when the ads are served.
Here’s an example of an ad template provided by Facebook. Keywords like “product.name” and “product.description” along with the actual product photo will be replaced by relevant information pulled from your product feed when the ad is served to a customer. These keywords simply help Facebook understand how the ads should actually look.
Image credit: Facebook
While the product photos, titles, and descriptions will be uniquely customized to each viewer, the ad copy at the top (“Jasper’s is more than just groceries …”) will appear the same for everyone.
When designing your ad, make sure your copy stays relevant and can apply to any products that could potentially show up. You can experiment with using keywords in the ad copy at the top as well, but it’s safer to stick with dynamic product names, descriptions, and pricing when you first start out.
When editing your ad, click on the + button beside each field to drop in the keywords that you’d like to use.
Once you’ve customized your ad copy (and made sure that you’re tracking conversions with your Meta pixel), you’ll be ready to run your ad!
4. Optimize your ads
It’s always a good idea to iterate and optimize advertising and marketing campaigns to boost effectiveness and ROI. When it comes to dynamic ads, you always want to show the right product to the right audience with the right messaging. Look at your ad metrics to see what’s performing well and which campaigns aren’t measuring up in comparison. You can then tweak creative, budgeting, and targeting to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
Let’s get personal
The ecommerce retailers who get the most from Facebook advertising know how to leverage optimization and effective targeting as part of their strategies. With the advertising landscape growing increasingly competitive and expensive, it’s more important than ever to integrate and automate as much as you can. When you set up the Facebook channel on Shopify, you’re already a few steps ahead.
Now that you know how to set up your first dynamic product ad, it’s time to start giving your customers an even more personalized and relevant experience on Facebook!
Facebook dynamic ads FAQ
What are Facebook dynamic product ads?
Facebook dynamic product ads are a way to display either single or multi-product Facebook ads to customers who have already visited your website, featuring the products that Facebook already knows your customers are interested in, based on their behavior.
What are the benefits of dynamic ads?
The benefits of dynamic ads include increased ROI and more effective ad spend due to personalization. Plus, you don’t have to manually analyze and optimize for ad performance since much of the process is automated.
Are Facebook dynamic product ads effective?
Facebook dynamic product ads are effective and can help brands be more cost-effective in their ad spend. Facebook dynamic products ads are even more effective when integrated with your ecommerce platform, like the seamless Facebook–Shopify integration.
Where do Facebook dynamic product ads show up?
Facebook dynamic product ads show up on Facebook, Instagram, Marketplace, Messenger, and audience network channels.
When should you consider using Facebook dynamic product ads?
You should consider using Facebook dynamic ads if you’re interested in boosting sales on your Shopify site.
How do I create a dynamic product ad on Facebook?
- Set up your product catalog.
- Install the Meta pixel.
- Build your creative.
- Select your targeting and budget.
- Customize your product catalog and which items to promote.
- Launch your ad.