Digitree Digital

E-commerce re-marketing through Facebook dynamic product ads

Introducing Facebook e-commerce re-marketing

In the Facebook ads guide for e-commerce, we saw how to set up and run Facebook ads to help an e-commerce entity get transactions or conversions. This will get you results over a period of time, but these may not be the optimum results you can get (and therefore the need for Facebook dynamic product ads). You may be wondering why! To understand this, let’s consider an example.

Let’s say you’re watching TV and a commercial for a new Honda car comes along. You get really excited to see it and rush to your nearest Honda dealer. Once you get there, you choose the colour you like and immediately sign the purchase agreement! The dealer is happy and you’re happy that you bought a new car! But wait! How likely is this scenario to happen? The answer – very unlikely!

The need for re-marketing

The scenario described above is more likely to play out as follows:

You see a Honda commercial for a car you like. This piques your interest and you decide to Google it and check out its features, reviews, price etc. You ask the opinion of your friends and ask them to check if someone in their  extended circle has bought it, what do they think of it etc.

You also talk to your family members and then one fine day you decide to hop over to your nearest dealer for a test drive. A friendly sales person blabbers on about how good the car is, but you just tune out until it’s time to get into the car. You take the test drive & you like the car. The sales person offers you a deal on the car,  but you think that it’s rather too expensive.

So you check out prices with a few more dealers and even do some more online research before deciding that the deal offered at the original dealer was the best and go for that one!

The AIDA process of an online consumer

What you just read above is the AIDA or Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action process which every consumer goes through. He sees the ad for the first time, which only serves to create an awareness of the product. Subsequently, he does research to see if the product is worth buying. This includes searching on Google, asking family and friends, checking the product out physically etc to see if he really likes the product enough to buy.

An online shopper goes through pretty much a similar process. Let’s take another example here. Let’s say you’re trying to sell shoes online and setup Facebook ads to do the same (as explained in this guide). You run the ads and someone interested in your product clicks on it and they become aware of the product that you’re selling. Now, e-commerce is a fairly competitive game so you can rest assured that your potential customer will do some research. They will get on Google and search for prices on other websites. They might think of asking a friend, but let’s say they’re at work and something important comes up. So they forget all about your shoes! Now what?

Re-marketing to the rescue!

Luckily for you, you’ve also set up Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads! So the next day when your target customer logs in to Facebook, they see an ad for the very same product they saw yesterday! So they pick up their research where they left it. They call up a friend and take an opinion. This convinces them that the shoes are indeed worth buying. So out comes the credit card and in flows the money into your bank account!

So the role of remarketing is to help a seller enable consumer to continue their journey through the AIDA process. It aims to overcome the interruptions caused in the process and ultimately get a consumer to transact online. Having seen these examples now, let’s take a look at how to actually set up the ads.

It again begins with the Facebook pixel

By now you must’ve realised that for running any kind of Facebook ads, it’s a must to add the Facebook pixel to your site. Fortunately, the process of creating and installing one has been given elaborately in this Facebook guide for e-commerce. The process in this case remains the same as over there and you need to configure all the same standard events.

You may want to hire a tech guy to do it for you. In that case just forward him the above guide and let him configure it for you.

Setting up a product catalogue

To use dynamic product ads, you’ll need to set up a product catalogue. You need to do this so that whenever someone sees a product on your site and goes away, the system can automatically fetch the same product & show it to them.

To get started with setting up a catalogue, visit https://www.facebook.com/products/catalogs/new. Then give your catalogue a name, select the products option and hit create catalogue.

Next the system will give you the option to add a product feed, which is essentially a table or database of your entire inventory.

Here you’ll need to name your feed, select your currency & the type of feed i.e. recurring or one time. You’ll need a recurring feed if your inventory changes on a regular basis & you need to update it periodically. On the other hand, if you expect your inventory to remain static then just select the single upload option.

For the purpose of this post, we’ll assume that you need a recurring upload. And frankly it’s the easier of the two to set up. A single upload requires you to create a CSV file with your product details, images etc, which can be overwhelming if you’re doing this the first time.

To create a recurring feed, just use a feed generator app like this one for shopify. There are are different apps available if you’re using WordPress or Magento.

Enter how often you’d like to schedule the feed uploads. Then specify the feed URL, user ID & password that you got from either of the above apps & hit create feed to complete the setup.

Setting up the campaign for Facebook dynamic product ads

Once you’ve setup your product catalogue, it’s time to get started with the ads. For this you’ll have first set up the campaign by selecting the campaign objective. Go to the ads manager as usual by clicking on this link and select product catalogue sales as the objective.

Next select the catalogue that you just created and give your campaign a name.

At this stage, the system will ask you to associate a pixel ID with the ad campaign. If you’re creating your first dynamic ad campaign then you’ll have only one pixel ID shown to you. So select that one.

Setting up the ad set

Next we move on to ad set creation. Here you need to choose which products you’d like to advertise. You can select either all products or create a smaller subset of them. For the purpose of this guide, let’s assume that you’d like to advertise all products.

Once you’ve done that you need to select the audience for the ads. Now this audience isn’t the general Facebook audience unlike the case of static ad. These are only the people who have visited your site and have been tracked by the Facebook pixel.

So the options available are:

  1. Viewed or added to cart, but not purchased
  2. Added to cart, but not purchased
  3. Upsell products
  4. Cross-sell products
  5. Custom combination and
  6. Advanced options

Your primary goal should be to get those people to buy who have viewed or added to cart, but not completed the transaction. So you’ll find yourself selecting the first option a majority of the times. But do play around with the other ones in subsequent campaigns and see if they yield any results.

Next, click on edit placements and remove Instagram from the placements. As we saw in the guide for the static ads, Instagram placements don’t really work out.


Under Budget and Schedule, remember to set a daily budget of at least Rs. 1000 a day and select ‘Conversion events’ under ‘Optimization for Ad Delivery’. Click on continue to move on to ad creation.

Ad creation

Of the two ad formats offered to you (single image and carousel) choose the carousel one as it offers better reach. Also you need the ad to showcase multiple products to the customer to give them a wider choice.

You don’t have to add the images to the ad as they will automatically be fetched from your product feed, based on what the customer has seen on your site. All you have to do is add specify your website URL and give the text of the ad.

Since these are dynamic ads, you get the option to insert fields from your product feed into the various text fields of the ad. So for example, if you’re selling shoes, you can say “check out the latest <product brand> shoes” in the main text field. In case your customer has seen Nike shoes on your site, the message will read as “Check out the latest Nike shoes” to them.

Similarly, you can use any of the fields that you get in the dropdown (when you click on the + icon) in the Headline and News Feed Link Description.

After you’ve completed the text fields, click on “Place Order” to finish the ads creation process. Congratulations! You’ve just set up Facebook dynamic ads for your products!