Build Ecomerce Store 2017
How Build Ecomerce Store 2017 (Facebook Ads)
If you missed How to build an ecomerce store part 2 then click HERE .
Our store’s live (remember to check that you’ve unset the password-protection that prevents people from seeing your store before it’s launched!) – it’s time to put the pedal to the metal.
There are a million ways to drive traffic to a store, so don’t think that Facebook is the only way. But for the purposes of the Cookbook, we’ll use Facebook to start, at least. It’s fast, it’s effective, it has amazing targeting, and it works.
If you don’t have one already, start by making a Business Account on FB. Then let’s get going! You should be creating and managing all your ads through your Business Manager setup, not your personal account.
A Note On Facebook
There are a million ways to set up a campaign on FB. Conversion-based, click-based, engagement-based, one ad per adgroup, ten ads per adgroup, a/a testing, a/b testing, and so on and so on.
What we’ll be following here, based on the research and interviews I’ve done with people making a success of ecomm with FB, is an effective method to set up your ad campaigns. Other people elsewhere on the web use different methods, and they may well work too.
But if you start here, you won’t go too wrong – and you can always experiment with other methods later.
Pick one of your products that closely matches either an unmet need or a pain point in your target audience. It doesn’t have to be a big pain point – something that solves a niggle can be very effective – but it should definitely be there.
The product should also give you a minimum profit of at least $5 after the cost of the item from AliExpress and shipping costs. This is because otherwise the minimum bid on FB gives us some problems with running a thorough test.
Look at all the available photos on AliExpress for that product, and pick the one that jumps out at you the most. Ideally it should have a person in the photo, be clear, colourful, and work well both at thumbnail size and larger size. It should also ideally be square. Follow the tips we outlined in Part 2 to adjust it in Photoshop for maximum impact.
Write down 5 versions of your headline. This’ll encapsulate, in one or two short sentences, the pain that this product solves, as well as the fact that the product solves it. Ideally, you should include a question.
So, for example (for a niche audience that’s into coffee):
- Tired of poor pourover? Make perfect coffee with the Gooseneck!
- Want to make perfect third-wave coffee? Control your pour with this gooseneck kettle.
- Sick of expensive beans making thin, bitter coffee? The secret’s in the kettle.
And so on.
Note: avoid making statements about the reader. “You’re sick of thin coffee”, for example. That can come across as “creepy” to the user, and what the user finds creepy, Facebook hits with the banhammer.
Pick what you think is the strongest version of your headline. That’ll usually be one of the later ones – so in this example, I would probably use the third one I came up with.
Now, go to Facebook’s Advert Manager, and from the menu at the top left, choose “Page Posts”. Hit “Create Post”, and choose “Photo”.
Add the picture you’ve chosen, the headline you wrote, and a Call To Action followed by the URL of the product page on your store. No need to get too fancy with the CTA – “Get Yours Here” will usually work well, or something similar.
Create the post, then click on it to check it. You should end up with something like this (hopefully with a better picture!) –
Firing Up The Ads
OK, now choose the Power Editor from the top left. Hit “Create Campaign”.
Name the campaign after your shop and your chosen product – so in the example I’m using I’d call it “Coffeelovers – Gooseneck”.
Choose the “Traffic” objective. DO NOT choose “Store Visits” (that’s for brick and mortar stores).
Tip: Why don’t we choose “conversions” as our objective? That’s because of how Facebook optimises for your objective. Initially we’ll test with small budgets, meaning we’re not expecting a lot of conversions – and that can cause the optimisation algorithm to choke. So we give it an objective that we can assume it will have reasonable results from whilst we’re testing.
Now, you’ll see that the campaign creation lists “1 adset” and “1 advert” to the right hand side. Click on the “adset”.
Name it “Interests”.
Tip: Adsets in Facebook control spend and targeting, whilst adverts are the content.
For your “Daily Budget”, choose half the profit you will make from the item you’re advertising, after shipping and AliExpress cost. If that’s less than the amount Facebook will allow, set the amount to the minimum Facebook will allow – but reduce the time you run the ad for accordingly (see below in “optimisation”).
Set Location to the country you’ve decided to target, and set Language to the language you wrote your shop and ads in.
Now, under “Interests”, add the main interest your shop is focused on, and all the similar interest keywords that someone who would be into the thing you’re selling might have. If you don’t already know these, you’ll hopefully have come across a lot of them whilst researching your niche, and Facebook will also make suggestions.
For example, for my posh-coffee shop, I add:
- Coffee bean
- Coffee lover
- Coffee preparation
- Coffee roasting
- Latte art
Next, go to Edit Placements. Remove all placements except Instagram Feeds and Facebook News Feed.
You’re done with the adset. Close it using the right-pointing arrow at the top left of the sub-window, and go to “Advert”, then edit your Untitled Advert.
Name this ad “Ad1”. Connect the Page you created for your store and your business account, then hit “Use Existing Post”. Choose the post you created above.
Make sure “Pixel Tracking” is set to use your pixel, and then close the advert.
Now, choose “Duplicate” on the Power Editor, and create 3 identical copies of that ad. Don’t make any changes to them and make sure they’re all in the same Adset.
You should now have 4 Ads in the 1 adset.
Now, go to “Adset”, and duplicate the Adset. Name this new Adset “Brands”.
Edit this adset: remove all the Interests, and instead add all the brand names that are associated with the niche your store is targeted to. You should have found these in the research phase. Again, once you have a few, Facebook will suggest more.
So, for Coffee, I remove all interests – including “Coffee” – and add:
- Blue Bottle Coffee Company
- Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea
- Caffè Nero
- Chemex Coffeemaker
- Costa Coffee
- Peet’s Coffee & Tea
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters
(I could go on – for some time – but that’ll do for now.)
Close that adset. Duplicate again, call it “Magazines”, and do the same thing, but for magazines, websites, and Facebook groups. (Only large sites and groups will show up in “Interests” – just keep trying until you find the ones that do.) Close that adset.
Finally, if you feel you have a solid idea from your research of the average person who consumes your niche’s products, create a 4th adset called “Persona”, and define the person in there as narrowly as possible: age, gender, education level, profession, etc. Only do this if you think you know for sure who your likely audience are.
Done all that? Hit “Review Changes” at the top, hit “Apply”, check your ads are running.
Now, leave the ads to run for 4 days. You should only modify anything during this stage if:
1) You couldn’t set a minimum bid low enough. If that’s the case, run for 2 days or until the ads have spent, in total, twice your profit for the item per adset, whichever is longer.
2) The ads spend more than you expect, in which case you should check all your settings.
Whilst the ads are running, set up another campaign for a second product. You should Always Be Testing.
Ad Review And Optimisation
During this time you might get some orders. Hurrah! If you do, follow Oberlo’s guides to fulfil those orders ASAP.
Once the 4 days have passed, review your adsets.
Any adset that hasn’t had an order should be paused.
If an adset has had one order or two orders (meaning you are at -50% ROI or have broken even), see “Optimising Partially Profitable Adsets”, below.
If you’ve had more than two orders for an adset, congratulations! You’ve got a successful campaign. Keep it running, and see “Scaling Up”, below – as well as the next part in the Cookbook, “Scaling”, which is coming soon.
If you’ve paused all your adsets at this point, then the product just didn’t work for the audience. Don’t worry about it: just keep rolling with new products.
The only exception to this is if the product could also clearly target and solve a totally different pain point to the one you initially focused on. (If you’re an affiliate, you’ll recognise this as the product’s “angle”.) In that case, you can also go back and create a new campaign for the product, focused on this totally different pain point. Your choice as to whether to do this or focus on another product. Don’t do this more than twice, though – if the product isn’t moving after you’ve tried two different angles, you’ll have a higher chance of success focusing on a different product.
If you’ve had 4 or more unsuccessful products, it may be that this niche just doesn’t work. In that case, go back to “Research”, choose the next best store idea you’d researched, and build out that store. Don’t worry: sometimes success takes a few tries. If you haven’t asked Facebook groups for your niche for feedback, or haven’t asked STM for feedback, then you should also do that – check whether there’s something critical you’re doing wrong.
Optimising Partially Profitable Adsets
If you’ve got an adset that’s making money, but not enough money to be profitable, it’s worth trying some different ads to see if you can get it to break through.
Most of the time, eCommerce doesn’t involve as much micro-optimisation as you might be used to in other areas of affiliate marketing. So we don’t generally do a lot of this work. But in this case it’s worth it.
Duplicate your partially successful adset 2-3 times, and try some of the following (your choice as to which):
- Rewrite your copy and choose a new image that’s radically different to the original.<br>
- If there’s a way to sell the item with a different “angle” – a different pain point or different appeal – try that.
- Try a Carousel or Slideshow campaign.
- Try an ad with multiple images of the product, if the product has multiple appealing images.
- Use one of the many third-party tools to create a Facebook video ad from images and text, and test that. Here’s one example of those tools.
Remember, you’ll need to create new Page Posts for most of these. Don’t just alter your existing Page Post, particularly not if it’s running in other successful campaigns!
Run each for 4 days with the same daily budget as before. If they don’t achieve profitability, kill them.
If none of these ads work out, just stop testing this adset. The product’s so much more important in eCommerce, and you have such a range of product choices, that it’s not worth trying to test endlessly on a single adset that’s not profitable.
Once you have a successful adset, there are two ways you should scale it up.
Firstly, simply increase the budget for the adset by 20% every two days. Don’t be tempted to increase it faster – Facebook’s algorithm tends not to like dramatic changes like that.
You can also start new campaigns with the same targeting but with a campaign target of “conversions”. These will need a substantially larger daily budget – you should aim for 25 conversions in 7 days minimum for the pixel to start working.
Secondly, once you have around 200 pixel actions for the product, you can create a new adset based on a Lookalike Audience. To do this, go to “Audiences” in the Facebook ad tools, then “Create Audience”. Choose “Custom Audience”, and create one from the pixel action that you’re choosing.
This doesn’t have to be purchasers! “Viewed Content” lookalike audiences can be very effective indeed.
Once you’ve created the Custom Audience, create three Lookalike Audiences from it: 1, 3, and 5%.
Now set up adsets targeting each of those – with no Interest targeting, just the Audience – and test them for 2x your profit in adspend as above. Keep the profitable ones and scale those too!
And that’s it for this part! In the next part we’ll look at handling customer service for your newly-created business, as well as other routes for traffic creation.
Ecomerce store tutorial index: