10 great ecommerce ideas: The secret hacks that could improve your Facebook Advertising results
10 great ecommerce ideas: The secret hacks that could improve your Facebook Advertising results
Facebook is the world’s biggest social network, with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users. That means a huge audience of potential new customers for your business.
But with 317,000 status updates, 147,000 photos uploads and 54,000 link shares every 60 seconds, getting organic cut-through for your business’s messages is near-on impossible.
Paid advertising on Facebook is now essential for any ecommerce business wanting to succeed, because everything is trackable and your reach is maximised.
Even so, spending money still doesn’t guarantee you the results you want. Like everything in marketing, the way you spend your Facebook advertising budget needs to be strategically executed and carefully managed. However, there are always a few hacks and techniques you can use to make the most of your spend, and maximise your results.
I’m going to share 10 of these tips with you today.
Hack No.1: Optimise your account for CPM to reach more people at a cheaper cost.
Facebook’s machine-learning algorithm loves data. The more you can feed it, the better. It works by building a picture of people who have a higher intent to purchase, based on their browsing history, previous purchase behaviour, sites they have clicked through to and content they have engaged with. It’s why we would usually use the Consideration or Conversion objective when setting up our advertising campaigns, as you’re setting a specific intent that Facebook understands, and can therefore direct people more likely to take action to that ad.
This is called oCPM (Optimised Cost Per Mille) and it works in a similar way to search marketing, even though people aren’t proactively searching to make a purchase on Facebook, as it allows you to bid on your desired objective, such as driving website conversions.
For top of funnel and middle of funnel audiences, this is definitely key, as it finds people who are interested in your products and pulls them through to the bottom of the funnel. However, this is a more expensive metric, because it’s targeting a smaller pool of people, with higher purchase intent.
A hack we have had success with at Hello Earth, is using the campaign objective of Reach at the bottom of the funnel. With Reach and CPM (Cost Per Mille), it’s cheaper to reach more people, as you’re not necessarily reaching the people that have that specific intent behaviour.
So, why does it work?
As an ecommerce business, you’ll have plenty of data up your sleeve from your customers and potential customers’ activity on your website. One very useful piece of data comes from those who have added items to their cart, but didn’t go on to purchase. This action of adding to cart means the hard work has already been done, you don’t need an oCPM approach any more as you’ve already got this audience through the sales funnel to the point of purchase.
Using the campaign objective of Reach means you are reaching more people at a cheaper cost. But because they are already at the bottom of the funnel, they already have purchase intent, so you have almost cheated Facebook’s own machine learning algorithm and jumped a couple of steps forward.
Hack No. 2: Klaviyo
At Hello Earth, we harmoniously combine Facebook and email marketing as part of our performance strategies. How do we do it? Well, it forms two parts.
Firstly: data acquisition forms an important part of how we strategically build and nurture our custom lists. Because custom audiences and lookalike audiences work so well within our Facebook advertising campaigns, our goal is to build out highly relevant and profitable audiences we can further optimise within our Facebook campaigns. We use various lead magnet and data acquisition techniques to drive our list growth, but more importantly we have automated sequences in place to drive purchase and relationships as customers begin to engage with us.
Secondly: we pull custom audiences from our Klaviyo database that are segmented by their behaviour and purchase history. This allows us to build really smart value and behaviour-based audience segments, which we can then use to optimise our advertising campaigns, to take advantage of these customers’ likely actions.
Hack No. 3: Use 5% lookalike audiences
I’ve already mentioned that Facebook’s machine learning algorithm likes to have as much data as possible. This applies to your lookalike audiences too.
A good way to find the right new customers via Facebook is to use lookalike audiences. This means taking existing data – such as website traffic, email lists or social media followers – and creating lookalike audiences. It works because it uses data on your most successful customers and audiences to find new people who have similar demographics, interests or behaviours.
Historically, we have favoured the 1% lookalike audience, as that will consist of the people most similar to your lookalike source. However, we have recently been testing 5% lookalikes, with excellent results.
This makes sense, as by being too niche in your audience targeting, you are limiting Facebook’s machine learning capabilities. By expanding your 1% audiences to 5% audiences, Facebook has more data to play with and figure out who your key audiences are.
Hack No. 4: ROAS forms three parts.
ROAS (return on ad spend) is an important figure for anyone running Facebook ads, but most people lose sight of how ROAS is calculated. The first element of ROAS is formed in two parts: 1) Your CPC (cost per click) and CTR (click through rate); and 2) your site conversion rate. The second element is your average order value.
When running Facebook ads, most advertisers fixate on the metrics reported in the advertising platform. But actually this is not giving you the full picture. Your soft rmetrics (CPC, CTR, ATC etc. ) within Facebook can stay exactly the same, but if you make slight changes to your site conversion rate and even your average order value, this in fact can make more of a significant improvement to your Facebook ad metrics than anything you can directly do in Facebook itself.
I see a number of agencies promising results with Facebook alone, but actually the real value comes from having a grasp over your site UX, what your customers are buying and how you can bump up their order value. This is what has a significant impact on your bottom line. In the next few insights, I will show you some tactics which have been working for us recently.
Hack No. 5: Optimise your landing page
We have seen higher conversion rates when directing traffic through to a product-specific landing page, rather than the storefront or homepage. To optimise your landing pages, make sure they include the product’s key unique selling points front and centre, as well as product information, user reviews, great imagery, videos and how to buy.
Essentially, you’re providing a home page experience merged with a product page, which closes the gap between your Facebook ad campaigns and your landing page.
You work hard and spend money to drive traffic to your website; but if people get there and the user experience doesn’t match their expectations, they will drop off. Facebook considers this when the bid auction happens. It’s not only looking at your account, but also the user experience on the website. By making tweaks on your landing pages, you can see a much stronger performance across the board.
Hack No. 6: Refine your checkout process.
In recent weeks, we have been a/b testing a number of variables as part of the customer’s checkout experience. A number of our findings supported our hypothesis.
The first being that removing the ‘buy now’ button from product and collection pages would increase average order values. For clients who have more than five products, the rationale was that ‘buy now’ insinuates the end of a transaction and in fact, encourages a consumer to continue with their check out with that singular item in their cart. When in fact, we want to encourage customers to add more to their cart. This change was quite significant for some our
client accounts and our conclusion was to remove the ‘buy now’ and even ‘shop now’ buttons from most of their site.
The second hypothesis was that ‘black call to action buttons’ work significantly better in terms of actions taken than brand-coloured buttons. Our rationale here came from insight and research into our client’s customer avatar. We looked at a number of larger sites that our client’s ideal customers would shop online with, and found common consistencies with the types of call to actions they were seeing, including that all call to action buttons were black. Therefore we a/b tested this among our client’s website and again found a significant uptake in the number of actions taken.
Hack No. 7: Order bumps
Order bumps have been a Clickfunnels favourite for many years, they work specifically well with digital products. However, we have been finding some real success in rolling out the same execution across our clients’ Shopify stores.
Order bumps are one-time offers, added during the checkout process. The reason they work so well, is because it is giving your customer a last minute opportunity to purchase something which is a lower value. If you think about it, this is something shops have been doing very subtly for years, if you have ever found yourself at a checkout counter, you will be surrounded by smaller lower cost items such as chewing gum, socks, lip gloss etc. And, if like me, you’re a sucker for a last minute product you tend to add these to your basket. Well, we are using the same concept with our clients’ ecommerce stores.
Here is a Clickfunnels example below.
Hack No. 8: Audit your own site, regularly
As part of our onboarding process we audit clients websites, this gives us a good overview on what the customer journey looks like, but will also highlight any areas of opportunity or error. It always comes as a surprise to me how months (sometimes years) can pass since our clients last walked through their own sites to test what this looks like and look for areas of opportunity.
We suggest auditing your own site at least once a month. Get into the habit of this, look at competitor sites who are doing well and compare and contrast. I guarantee you, you will quickly pick up improvements.
Hack No. 9: Build landing page funnels
For clients who have less than five (sometimes 10) products on their website, we always build landing page funnels. Landing pages work significantly better than a simple product page. As part of your funnel, you need to be looking at setting up a structure which answers your potential customers, questions and concerns, adding in proof such as PR, influencers reviews, and then brand information. This takes your customer on a journey through and for the most part answers their objections whilst selling in the solution. Here is a great example of a brand who does it really well.
Hack No. 10: Be you
In recent years, the rise of influencers has been quite remarkable. People follow along for inspiration, motivation and as a way to see what is under the curtain. The best example I can use is Mrs Hinch. Mrs Hinch, soared to fame through her cleaning tips. Although cleaning is a fundamental part of her social content, her day to day life and infectious personality is now what makes her more endearing, inviting over 3.5 million followers. People now watch to see what she is feeding her son, the things she buys for her home and everything else that happens in her daily life. Mrs Hinch is well and truly an influencer because of who she is and not what she does.
But how does this impact your business? The most incredible thing about most ecommerce businesses nowadays is they are individually owned and this gives them a power bigger brands can not compete with. They have the ability to be their brand hero, to become an influencer in their own right. By showing up everyday and sharing your one story is a sure way to build a following of loyal customers who advocate your brand and buy into you, not what you are selling. That is powerful and best of all free. All you need to do is show up every day and share your story with the world.
Facebook can be a brilliant tool to scale your ecommerce business, we see it work for our clients every day. Combining hacks and tips like these I’ve shared today, alongside a stellar strategy and smart execution, can really accelerate your business’ journey to success.