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Facebook Retargeting Ads: A Guide For eCommerce Sellers

This is a guest post from Michael Folling. Michael is the founder of Limitless Designs and author of 101 eCommerce Tips. He enjoys building brands and writing about eCommerce. Follow him on Twitter to chat about eCommerce.

Do you ever feel like your Facebook ad campaigns aren’t resonating with your target audience?

Are your campaigns resulting in a negative ROI?

If so, your campaigns might not be personalized to your audience well enough. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to personalize your Facebook ad campaigns and raise conversions at a lower cost than you would otherwise.

To help you step up your advertising efforts, I’m going to share one of the most powerful tools an eCommerce marketer has at their disposal; Facebook retargeting ads.

Follow this guide and you’ll be on your way to creating personalized ads that resonate with your audience and lower your customer acquisition cost in no time!

What Are Facebook Retargeting Ads?

Much like other ad networks, Facebook Ads has a feature that gives you the ability to “retarget” your website’s visitors by showing them ads while they use Facebook’s products.

For example, here’s how a retargeting ad from eCommerce brand Chubbies looks on Facebook.

By adding just a line of code to your website you can use Facebook’s Ads Manager to create a campaign that will show your ads to your website visitors as they browse Facebook’s News Feed, Facebook Messenger, and even Instagram.

Best of all, these ads will be more personalized, because you can customize them based on how the person you’re showing the ad to interacted with your website.

Why Create A Facebook Retargeting Ad Campaign?

Facebook’s ad platform is one of the best tools an eCommerce marketer has for customer acquisition. Unlike many other ad platforms, Facebook has incredibly detailed targeting options, making it easy to serve ads based on interests, behavior, and demographic profile.

When running a retargeting campaign, you would typically show your ads to everyone who has visited your website, but if the need arises you could use Facebook’s detailed targeting options to exclude a segment of that audience if it makes sense.

While there are a lot of reasons to show ads to people who have visited your website, it’s especially important to retarget them on Facebook, mainly because consumers spend so much time on Facebook and Facebook’s other products like Messenger and Instagram.

To give you an idea of how much time users are spending on Facebook, they have 2.6 billion monthly active users and 1.73 billion daily active users who spend 35 minutes a day on their social network. That’s a lot of opportunities to show ads!

In addition to being able to target your website visitors where they hangout, Facebook’s retargeting ads are so easy to set up. Just follow the steps below to create your first campaign.

How To Set Up A Facebook Retargeting Ad Campaign

Before we get started, you’ll want to make sure that you already have your Facebook Ads account set up and the Facebook Pixel installed on your website.

Once you have your Pixel installed, Facebook will gather data about your website’s visitors so they can be targeted for advertising. After Facebook has gathered some data, you’ll want to create an audience within Facebook Ads Manager.

1) Create An Audience

Depending on the needs of your business, you could create an audience based on specific actions they took on your website. For our purposes, I’ll show you how to target all visitors to your website. If you would like more ideas on how to create audiences, this is an excellent post on ways to remarket your website traffic.

To create an audience, navigate to Audience > Create Audience > Custom Audience > Website Traffic, then select All website visitors.

Facebook’s default setting is “in the past 30 days,” but you can change this to something else depending on your sales cycle.

2) Create A Campaign

After you’ve created your audience, you’ll want to create your campaign. If you have experience with Facebook Ads already, the setup is similar with a slight difference.

To begin go to Ads Manager > Create Campaign > and choose Conversions as your marketing objective.

Next, you’ll want to select the audience that you previously created under the “Audience” section of your campaign.

Once you’ve selected a custom audience to target, continue to set up your campaign just as you would any other Facebook campaign.

3) Create Your Ads

Next, you’ll want to create ads that will help you reach your campaign goals.

Some examples of ways you can use retargeting ads to reach your goals are;

  • Raise awareness about the content on your blog
  • Remind a visitor to continue shopping
  • Promote sale items like in this example from Hari Mari

No matter what kind of ad copy you create, the most important thing to keep in mind is to customize your ads to your audience.

Facebook’s Pixel is a powerful tool that allows you to gather data easier than ever before. Don’t take it for granted!

Use the data to create ads that speak directly to your customers and solve their problems and you’ll create a customer acquisition machine that will pay dividends.


Advertising your products on Facebook is a great way to convert your visitors into customers and keep your brand top of mind, and a retargeting campaign will likely perform better than what you’re used to thanks to the ability to customize your ads to actions visitors have taken on your website.

For that reason alone, I recommend you experiment with launching your first retargeting campaign.

To get started, follow the steps above and see how easy it is to acquire customers with a retargeting ad campaign on Facebook today!

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