How to run dynamic Facebook ads with Facebook Conversions API

It is rare that we speak to a customer at Littledata who isn't spending a majority of their PPC budget on Google and Facebook, and this hasn't changed with browser and OS privacy changes and the renewed focus on first-party data. It has just become more complex. Facebook Ads are used by top DTC brands to find new customers and retarget shoppers, and dynamic ads are one of the secrets to success on that paid channel. But without the right tools, dynamic ads can be difficult to run correctly — let alone optimize for higher ROAS. In this post, I look at what dynamic product ads are, the main use cases for DTC marketers, and how to use tools such as the Facebook Conversions API (CAPI) to improve your ecommerce advertising. What are dynamic product ads on Facebook? Dynamic ads, or specifically dynamic product ads, allow you to show a Facebook user an advert for the same (or similar to) the product they browsed on your store. This dynamic product ad is typically displayed to an audience that has added a product to their cart but has not yet purchased. Facebook has shown using this strategy increases click-through rate (CTR) on ads and reduces your cost per acquisition (CPA). In one example, Inch Blue, a children’s shoe manufacturer, more than doubled their return on Facebook Ads spend by using dynamic product ads and lookalike audiences (another technique described here). What do I need to set up dynamic product ads? To enable dynamic product ads, you need to feed four things from your store to Facebook: An event telling Facebook which users have viewed a productAn event telling Facebook which users added which products to their cartAn event telling Facebook which users have completed purchases (so they can be excluded from the audience)A product feed matching the product ID viewed, with the image and description you want to be displayed in the dynamic ad It's important to send all of this data to Facebook Ads, because otherwise you could waste a lot of money targeting shoppers with the wrong products, or retargeting customers who already bought the item! Using Facebook Conversions API to run high-performing ads The four necessary events above are increasingly being blocked by anti-tracking technology in web browsers when tracked via Facebook Pixel. Ad accounts missing the “add to cart” event will have a smaller audience to target. Those missing the “purchase” event will be advertising to users who already purchased. Both of these problems increase CPA. Facebook Conversions API (CAPI) solves this problem by sending the events from server to server, where they cannot be blocked, and so they can contain more complete customer data to match to a Facebook user. This increases the relevance of the audience on Facebook and reduces CPA. This is a big uplift — many brands report a 20% to 30% increase in purchase tracking after using Facebook CAPI, meaning they can save up to 30% of their ad budget since they avoid retargeting customers who purchased already. Shopify stores report a 20% to 30% increase in purchase tracking after using Facebook Conversions API, meaning they can save up to 30% of their ad budget. Some Facebook CAPI solutions only send the purchase event server-side — which only solves part of the problem. Littledata’s connector for Shopify to Facebook CAPI also sends the add-to-cart event server-side. This means that it is captured every time and can be sent to Facebook automatically. [note]Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API connection is in public beta for Shopify stores. Sign up for early access.[/note] What’s the best way to retarget product ads? Facebook recommends targeting an “add to cart” event with a broad product group. So, you can either retarget based on a product ID or a product category. Retargeting using the SKU or product variant is less successful, because the user is likely looking for something like (but not exactly the same as) the product they abandoned in the cart. In addition to using add to cart events, you could also target a broader audience who viewed the product details page (see below the ‘Viewed or added to cart but not purchased’ option). It depends on the type of product you are selling. How do I set up dynamic ads with Littledata? Littledata’s Facebook CAPI integration sends all the required events you need for product targeting via Facebook CAPI. The only limitation is that the Product Viewed event (from the product details page) is still sent client-side (via Facebook Pixel). This means some product views might be missing due to browser cookie blocking, although in a future iteration this will also be moved to Facebook CAPI. You will also need a product catalog feed for Facebook: Facebook Feed by Littledata reliably performs this role. How do I configure the dynamic ads within Facebook? To configure dynamic ads, you will first need to create a new campaign with Facebook Ads manager. Start with a Catalog Sales campaign. Next, link the campaign with the product catalogue you set up. Then name the campaign and edit how it interacts with your product catalog. Then link the event data source you configured Facebook CAPI to send to. Finally, you are ready to configure the audience rules. In this case, I have chosen to retarget users who viewed or added to cart but did not purchase. What are the other options for setting up Facebook dynamic ads for a Shopify store? As we wrote last year, there are a couple of other options for connecting Shopify to Facebook CAPI. The options are: Shopify’s inbuilt Facebook channelServer-side Google Tag Manager (sGTM) But both have their limitations. Shopify’s Facebook channel has problems with order duplication — so revenue and order volumes are double-counted, making ROAS hard to calculate. It also doesn’t send add-to-cart events server-side, resulting in lower retargeting rates. Server-side Google Tag Manager is more reliable but puts all the onus on you to maintain the integration. Facebook’s marketing technology changes every month, and we believe paying for a constantly maintained connection is a better long-term solution. Of course, if you just want to prospect new customers with selected products from your catalog, you could do this without sending events to Facebook—but then you’d be blind to whether the campaigns were really working or not. What to do next to set up dynamic ads Are you ready to boost the effectiveness of your Facebook Ad spend? What would a double-digit uplift in your ad spend effectiveness mean for your brand? You can get started today with just three things: A Facebook Ads accountA product catalog feed from Shopify to Facebook AdsAn event data feed (also known as Facebook CAPI) Happy retargeting! Note: Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API connection is in private beta for Shopify stores. Sign up for early access.

2022-03-09

Why stores are using Facebook’s Conversions API

Over three million businesses worldwide use Facebook Ads. Their massive reach ensures they play a part in every ecommerce store’s marketing strategy. Of course, the key to a successful Facebook Ads strategy comes down to creating ads and targeting audiences based on good data. If you want to measure the return on investment from your Facebook Ads accurately, you need to share page-view and conversion events with Facebook. In the past, Facebook recommended you add Facebook Pixel onto all your web pages to enable this event tracking, which triggers a ping to Facebook’s servers. Originally this ping was in a request for a single white pixel loaded at the bottom of the page (hence ‘Pixel’), but nowadays the ping is usually sent from Facebook’s Javascript. In this post we’ll explain: Why you need to set up Conversions API today to improve your marketingHow this extra tracking opens up more advertising optionsHow you can implement the Conversions API on a Shopify store What’s wrong with Facebook Pixel? Over the 10 years since Pixel’s launch, three big trends have reduced its effectiveness at tracking return on Facebook Ad spend: Usage of ad blockers to stop third-party scripts from known advertising platforms (like Facebook) from sending a pingBrowsers (e.g. Safari’s ITP) restricting what third-party scripts and cookies can trackThe increasing share of clicks from Facebook’s mobile app, exacerbating the 2nd trend The introduction of GDPR and similar regulation requiring that customers opt into being tracked in their web browser presents the latest obstacle, and perhaps the biggest yet. The combined effect is that a smaller percentage of Facebook users who click on your ad can be tracked on subsequent web sessions. So a smaller percentage of the purchases which resulted from Facebook Ads can be attributed to Facebook. Tip: Want to dig deeper into the challenges of measuring ROI from Facebook? See our recent webinar. Why did Facebook launch Conversions API? The lack of marketing attribution is a big problem for Facebook, as it makes their Ads look relatively less effective and more expensive than other channels. To combat these trends Facebook launched the Conversions API (CAPI) in 2020, and in 2021 expanded it to enable tracking of any event (not just the purchase) directly on Facebook’s servers. In contrast to Pixel, Facebook Conversions API is a server-to-server data connection, allowing events linked to a visitor from Facebook to be sent independent of the browser sessions. What's the advantage of CAPI over Pixel? Firstly, the server-side events are not sent from the customer’s browser, so they are not interrupted by the web browsing and privacy trends mentioned above. Close to 100% of the purchases from your store can be shared with Facebook via CAPI. Secondly, even if the customer has opted out of marketing cookies — meaning the purchase cannot be attributed via Facebook’s Pixel ID — CAPI can send some extra user identifiers like email address, physical address and phone number. These give Facebook a better chance of linking the purchase to a user, and from there to the Ad the user clicked on. See more on user data below. This personally identifiable data is sent securely from Shopify to Facebook via a SSL connection, so there is no risk of security leaks. Conversions API also gives stores the ability to link delayed conversions back to the original ad campaign. A good example is subscription commerce (see Facebook’s case study), where stores need to see the 2nd or 3rd purchase to evaluate if the Facebook campaign is effective. Tip: Littledata’s connectors capture recurring payments from the Shopify checkout automatically. Using CAPI might not fix all your attribution issues, but one agency reported a 25% to 35% boost in attribution for Shopify stores using this technique. If you are a big Facebook spender, even a 20% improvement in attribution might be worth thousands of dollars of implementation costs. How should I use CAPI on my Shopify store? Facebook recommends you use a partner integration work with CAPI, and there are three ways to integrate Conversions API with your Shopify store: Shopify’s inbuilt Facebook channelServer-side Google Tag Manager (sGTM)Littledata + Segment To help you decide which is right for you, here is a quick comparison table. Integration routeCAPI used forSupports all FB account and campaign setupsComplexity of setupCost of maintenanceShopify’s Facebook channelJust conversionsNoLow LowsGTMAll events triggered in GTMYesHighHighLittledata + SegmentAll server-side events from LittledataYesLowLow You might be alright using Shopify’s Facebook channel if your campaign structure is simple, uses just one Facebook account, and you only target based on first-time purchases. Otherwise you should look at Segment’s Facebook CAPI destination or sGTM. sGTM is a version of Google Tag Manager where a trigger on the browser (e.g. the customer viewing a checkout step) is passed on to a dedicated cloud server, where the GTM container logic decides which events to trigger. So it’s a hybrid of client and server side tracking. Tip: Learn how to use server-side tracking to improve customer loyalty and lifetime value. What are the limitations of using sGTM? You might have been told server-side GTM (sGTM) is the best way to work with CAPI. I disagree. Firstly, you have a complex setup to get all the events triggered from the browser in a way that the GTM server can handle. An analytics agency will typically charge you a few thousand dollars to get this working. Then you have to spin up your own GTM server in Google Cloud. That’s not a big cost - probably a few hundred dollars a month - but it is a maintenance headache. Who is going to check the server is up and running as expected? There are some limitations of where you can add the GTM container on the Shopify storefront. Unless you are using Shopify Plus, you can’t add to the checkout pages - so you can’t capture the checkout steps in the example above. Finally, you have to consider all the many changes Facebook makes to its APIs every year. Typically there is an update every few months that whoever maintains the GTM container would need to work with. With the other integration options this is included in the subscription fee. Yes, sGTM is flexible and will allow you to send similar event data to other destinations - but that’s also something that Segment does at no additional cost. Server-side tracking for Shopify stores Littledata’s solution is to send comprehensive event data from Shopify to Segment, and include event properties that are compatible with Segment’s Facebook CAPI destination. The setup is as easy as: Create a workspace on Segment.comInstall Littledata’s Shopify app for SegmentConfigure Segment’s Facebook destination What this brings you - in addition to the purchase event sent from Shopify’s integration - is complete server-side tracking of Add to Cart and Checkout Step events to Facebook, all linked back to the users on Facebook. These extra events can be used to target users who abandon cart or checkout. You can use Segment’s Facebook audience sync to build even more powerful retargeting audiences - e.g. a lookalike audience of your most valuable customers. Things to note on custom user information Sending the Facebook events direct from server to server allows Littledata to add a number of customer user identifiers, so Facebook can better match the event to which Ad was clicked on. User properties that are automatically mapped to Facebook include: EmailPhone numberCity stateZIPCountryClient IP addressClick ID (fbc)Browser ID (fbp) You can control which properties are passed on to Facebook in Segment Protocols, so better manage customer privacy choices. Conclusion If Facebook Ads is an important part of your store’s marketing strategy then Facebook CAPI is an essential tool to start using. The trends that make it more reliable that Facebook Pixel are ongoing, so if you don’t think you need it now you may well need it in a few months time. Your options to integrate Facebook on a Shopify store include Shopify’s in-built Facebook channel and server-side GTM, but we recommend using Littledata’s Shopify source plus Segment’s Facebook destination for quick setup and easy maintenance. Then you can get: More accurate attribution of AdsBetter retargeting for abandoned cartsBetter audience matching in Facebook. Give it a try and see what better results you can achieve!

2021-10-07

Segment Recipe: Create Facebook lookalike audiences of your top-spending customers

The promotional power of Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads is no secret. All of our customers use them. Smart ecommerce marketers, however, know that beyond their wide reach, the true value of these ads comes in using them to reach specific buyer personas. Targeting those who are most likely to make a purchase is a great way to boost sales, but how do you reach that audience over time? In short: How do you find more customers like your highest LTV customers? Littledata has worked with top DTC brands using Shopify and Segment, such as Rothy's and Sheertex, to enable data that lets you do exactly that. One key way is lookalike audiences. To help you dive into utilizing these audiences for your store, we've created an analytics recipe along with our partner Segment. The recipe is made to help you stop wasting time building audiences manually while still allowing you to reach your highest-value customers — the ones who are ready to buy and more likely to make bigger purchases over time. It explains step by step how to continuously target a similar audience to your top-spenders, so you'll start getting your ads in front of eager potential buyers. Lookalike audiences such as these are a staple in successful ecommerce brands' promotion strategies, as they widen your audience while ensuring you get the most value out of the advertising dollars you spend. Read the full post on Segment's blog to learn how you can start utilizing this recipe in your Facebook Ad strategy.We look at how to: Create an audience in Segment Personas of highest spending customersAutomatically sync that audience with Facebook AdsCreate a lookalike audience in Facebook Ads to find more high-value customers If you've wondered how to use rule-based audiences to increase revenue, this is the recipe for you. Do you know how accurate your ecommerce reporting is? Get a clearer picture with a full data audit from Littledata as part of our 30 day free trial to start owning your data and make decisions off truly accurate data.

by Greg
2021-08-27

What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads? [webinar]

Is your FB/Insta ad spend leading to high LTV customers? What happens after a shopper clicks on a link? One thing is clear: you've got to get the tracking right before you can start making data-driven decisions. Join Littledata and Beacon on Thursday, March 4th for a free webinar where we will explore the details of marketing attribution and Facebook campaign ROI. Pretty much all ecommerce brands today are using Facebook and Instagram ads as part of their digital marketing mix. When it comes to Facebook Ads, marketers are drawn to messaging about a strong return on investment. But are you measuring that return correctly? In this free webinar, you'll learn:  Common issues with marketing attribution How to track post-click shopping behavior (what happens after someone clicks an ad) The importance of using external platforms for an unbiased view of marketing channels How to calculate complete ROI for your Facebook and Instagram Ad spend, including repeat purchases, refunds, and customer lifetime value (LTV) How benchmarking your site against similar brands can help make sense of the data Signup for the free webinar >>> About Littledata Littledata automatically fixes tracking for Shopify stores, offering complete marketing attribution, accurate sales data, and custom dimensions for lifetime value reporting. Check out our Shopify app for Google Analytics Learn more about our Shopify source for Segment Try Littledata's Facebook Ads connection free for 30 days Signup for the free webinar >>> About Beacon Beacon is the digital marketing campaign intelligence platform that is easy-to-use and presents real-time information based on data you can trust. It empowers marketers to accurately measure campaign results, take back control of their digital spend, and get a better ROI on their campaigns. Signup for the free webinar >>>

by Ari
2021-03-01

Updated Facebook Ad Costs to Google Analytics connection

As part of Littledata’s focus on Facebook Ads data this year, we have rebuilt our Facebook Ad Costs connection to be more dynamic and more robust. If you've been asking how to track Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads in Google Analytics -- or doing cost imports manually with Google Sheets and other tools -- your life just got a whole lot easier. Littledata's new and improved Facebook Ad Costs connection automatically imports cost and campaign data from Facebook Ads to Google Analytics, giving Shopify merchants an unbiased view of multi-channel marketing attribution, user journeys and real ROI on PPC campaigns. The Facebook Ads to Google Analytics connection now has added functionality including: Handles up to 100,000 active Facebook Ads, imported daily to Google Analytics Interprets dynamic campaign parameters Imports up to 90 days of campaign history on the first import Works for both Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads Import multiple Facebook Ad accounts to one Google Analytics property Import one Facebook Ad account to one multiple Google Analytics properties Recommends improved campaign URL parameters when none are given Of course the core functionality remains the same: easily pull campaign details and cost data into GA from your FB Ad accounts. Thank you to our customers who gave feedback to help improve the connection -- we couldn't have done it without you. The updated Facebook Ad Costs connection is available on all paid plans at no additional cost. Start a free trial today and start analyzing your campaigns more accurately.

2020-06-11

Littledata acquires Facebook Feed and Pixel Perfect apps for Shopify

Littledata is pleased to announce the acquisition of two Shopify apps focused on Facebook advertising: Facebook Feed and Pixel Perfect. As customers increasingly turn to Facebook and Instagram for a seamless shopping experience, we're here to help stores give customers what they want: the right product at just the right time, no matter which marketing channel brought them in. Pixel Perfect automatically sets up an accurate Facebook Pixel for Shopify stores, along with numerous features to support dynamic product ads -- including a product catalog feed. If you're only looking to sync the Shopify product catalog, Facebook Feed is a smart product feed that supports unlimited products without timeouts or delays. Our expert analytics team is already providing customer support for both apps, and our product team is working to improve functionality for Facebook Pixel and Facebook catalog feeds, which are essential parts of running dynamic product ads across the Facebook network -- in other words, the keys to automated personalization. To quote Littledata's CEO, Edward Upton: "We believe stores investing tens of thousands in Facebook Ads need more reliable tools to target that spend. Littledata is able to improve upon the integration announced with Facebook and Instagram this week, and enable enterprise-scale stores to track their customer journey on Facebook." Shopify and Facebook Shopping Facebook and Shopify made major announcements recently about the many ways that customers find (and now purchase) products on Facebook and Instagram. They've emphasized that these new features will help small businesses succeed, and that's definitely a potential benefit. But let's be honest -- we all knew this was coming, COVID-19 or otherwise. There's just too much ad spend at stake. These updates and new features include: Facebook Shops: a new, complete storefront experience, integrated with Shopify (among other platforms, such as BigCommerce and Woo, Shopify is clearly the most significant: Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke was on the video call with Mark Zuckerberg) Instagram Checkout: a previously closed beta experience for direct shopping and checkout, now slowly rolling out for everyone At Littledata we're most excited about Instagram Shopping. It's not just a little experiment. Instagram's Vishal Shah told TechCrunch that almost 1 million stores are already signed up and ready to implement Instagram Checkout, so it's much more than its previous incarnation as a beta test with large brands like Zara and Adidas. Shopify is deprecating the Facebook Shop channel and will be pushing merchants to create these new Facebook shopping experiences (either ad campaigns or the full FB storefront). Stores that had product tagging set up through the Instagram channel before the announcement can already access Facebook Shops (the new feature -- different from the previous Facebook Shop channel, ahem...this is starting to get confusing). But like many Shopify announcements of the past, the overall timelines are unclear. And while they have improved the setup for their default Pixel implementation, we still see the same common issues like Product ID and revenue mismatches. Either way, these new features aren't necessarily a great fit for larger DTC brands by default -- they'll need something more reliable and customizable. That said, why not just go direct to the source? Facebook Dynamic Ads are already open to everyone, and they're a proven model for high-ROI retargeting and engagement. What do you need to run Dynamic Ads on Facebook for a Shopify store? Actually just a few things, which don't take long to set up if you haven't already: Facebook Business manager account Facebook Pixel (or SDK) on your site Product catalog feed That's where the new apps come in. Pixel Perfect Pixel Perfect is a popular Shopify app for automatically configuring a Facebook Pixel on your Shopify store. Facebook Pixel allows you to measure the impact of Facebook Ads on revenue, and calculate Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). It also allows you to build website custom audiences based on what users have seen or added to their shopping carts. Shopify has a native Facebook Pixel integration, but as noted it has numerous known issues, in areas such as product and revenue matching. Pixel Perfect fixes this automatically. Key benefits include: Send data to up to three Pixels (e.g. to use a backup pixel) Includes a matching catalog feed to serve Facebook Dynamic Ads 'Niche' product tags for building custom Facebook Audiences Order logs for comparative attribution Questions about Pixel Perfect features or how Shopify works with Facebook Ads? Read the Facebook Pixel Perfect FAQ in our help center. Facebook Feed If you're looking for a free product feed that works automatically with your Shopify product catalog, check out Facebook Feed. There are a number of Facebook catalog feed apps out there, but we were drawn to Facebook Feed because it is extensible and reliable. The app makes it easy to launch dynamic retargeting ads for Facebook users who engaged with your Shopify store. It works for product ads and catalog ads and it can support huge catalogs for Shopify Plus stores. Key benefits include: Up-to-date XML product catalog in the exact format recognized by Facebook Unlimited numbers of products and SKUs (no timeouts for large product sets!) Sync many products with Facebook and avoid pagination Compatible with Facebook page shops and Instagram Shopping Questions about setup or features? Read the Facebook Feed FAQ in our help center. What's next Littledata purchased Facebook Feed and Pixel Perfect from Tony Redfearn, an entrepreneur based in the UK. Tony is excited to see where we take the apps: "I am delighted to hand over the reigns to ensure success in this increasingly complex area. Littledata was the natural partner to take this tech to the next level!" As Littledata's Shopify customer base continues to grow, we are always looking at new connections and integrations. Our plan has always been to integrate Facebook Ads and Facebook Pixel more deeply into the Littledata ecosystem, and these popular apps turned out to be a great starting point. Our immediate plans are to improve both apps to make them even more powerful and extensible. Over time, we plan to fold this functionality into our core analytics app for Shopify merchants. For now, we are working closely with a broad range of merchants to understand their needs and how Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics can work in tandem for better ecommerce analytics, segmentation, remarketing and personalization. Audience building is one of our focuses, but we're also looking into the improved shopping experiences announced (ie Instagram Checkout), to see where events from our server-side Shopify tracking might best improve ROAS, AOV and customer LTV on these new channels and checkout experiences. Is there something you just can't wait to do with Shopify and Facebook? Let us know.  

by Ari
2020-05-27

Introducing our new Facebook Ads connection

We're excited to announce a new Facebook Ads connection in the Littledata app! The integration automatically pulls ad costs and campaign data into Google Analytics, and it's available for Littledata users on all plans. How do you know if you're getting the highest possible ROI on your Facebook Ads? For ecommerce sites, it's a difficult question. By their very nature, PPC platforms can provide only a limited amount of reporting, tied to their own network and performance data. Ecommerce sites need an outside view of marketing channels, and a way to connect that ad performance with shopping behaviour and product performance. But where should you start? You can trudge through Facebook's limited reporting, make endless spreadsheets and play guessing games. Or you can take advantage of the latest data tech for automated reporting in Google Analytics.     New Facebook connection We built a robust Facebook integration to automate everything so you can get back to business. Our goal is to show you the real ROI on your Facebook Ads. And to do so as painlessly as possible. It's an easy connection in the Littledata app, with numerous core benefits: Fix your campaign tracking Automatically pull ad cost data into Google Analytics Complete view of how your ad spend contributes to product and subscription revenue This new Facebook connection gives you unlimited access to accurate Facebook campaign data directly in Google Analytics. Data geeks can drill down into PPC details and build models of their own as well. [subscribe] Fix your campaign tracking The Facebook Ads connection has its own succinct set of audit checks to make sure you're tracking things correctly. It's a natural extension of our popular analytics audit tool. Once you connect your Facebook Business account, the app automatically checks for accurate campaign tagging and ecommerce event tracking. Sites change and new campaigns are added or adjusted on a regular basis, so our app takes care of the busy work to monitor your campaigns and keep everything up to date. Not a Littledata user yet? Find the plan that's right for you, whether you're on Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento or any other platform. Every subscription plan includes at least two free report packs, and enterprise plans include custom tracking and reporting. Plus, integrations like ReCharge, CartHook and Shopify are included at no extra cost. Try the new Facebook Ads connection today and let us know what you think! We're confident that this powerful new integration will help you get a higher ROI on your ad spend, with more sales from your best types of customers.

by Ari
2018-11-06

What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads?

For the past decade Facebook’s revenue growth has been relentless, driven by a switch from TV advertising and online banners to a platform seen as more targetable and measurable. When it comes to Facebook Ads, marketers are drawn to messaging about a strong return on investment. But are you measuring that return correctly? Facebook has spent heavily on its own analytics over the last three years, with the aim of making you -- the marketer -- fully immersed in the Facebook platform…and perhaps also to gloss over one important fact about Facebook’s reporting on its own Ads: most companies spend money with Facebook 'acquiring' users who would have bought from them anyway. Could that be you? Here are a few ways to think about tracking Facebook Ads beyond simple clicks and impressions as reported by FB themselves. The scenario Imagine a shopper named Fiona, a customer for your online fashion retail store. Fiona has browsed through the newsfeed on her Facebook mobile app, and clicks on your ad. Let’s also imagine that your site -- like most -- spends only a portion of their budget with Facebook, and is using a mix of email, paid search, affiliates and social to promote the brand. The likelihood that Fiona has interacted with more than one campaign before she buys is high. Now Fiona buys a $100 shirt from your store, and in Facebook (assuming you have ecommerce tracking with Pixel set up) the sale is linked to the original ad spend. Facebook's view of ROI The return on investment in the above scenario, as calculated by Facebook, is deceptively simple: Right, brilliant! So clear and simple. Actually, not that brilliant. You see Fiona had previously clicked on a Google Shopping ad (which is itself powered by two platforms, Google AdWords and the Google Merchant Center) -- how she found your brand -- and after Facebook, she was influenced by a friend who mentioned the product on Twitter, then finally converted by an abandoned cart email. So in reality Fiona’s full list of interactions with your ecommerce site looks like this: Google Shopping ad > browsed products Facebook Ad > viewed product Twitter post > viewed same product Link in abandoned cart email > purchase So from a multi-channel perspective, how should we attribute the benefit from the Facebook Ad? How do we track the full customer journey and attribute it to sales in your store? With enough data you might look at the probability that a similar customer would have purchased without seeing that Facebook Ad in the mix. In fact, that’s what the data-driven model in Google Marketing Platform 360 does. But without that level of data crunching we can still agree that Facebook shouldn’t be credited with 100% of the sale. It wasn’t the way the customer found your brand, or the campaign which finally convinced them to buy. Under the most generous attribution model we would attribute a quarter of the sale. So now the calculation looks like this: It cost us $2 of ad spend to bring $1 of revenue -- we should kill the campaign. But there's a catch Hang on, says Facebook. You forgot about Mark. Mark also bought the same shirt at your store, and he viewed the same ad on his phone before going on to buy it on his work computer. You marked the source of that purchase as Direct -- but it was due to the same Facebook campaign. Well yes, Facebook does have an advantage there in using its wide net of signed-in customers to link ad engagement across multiple devices for the same user. But take a step back. Mark, like Fiona, might have interacted with other marketing channels on his phone. If we can’t track cross-device for these other channels (and with Google Marketing Platform we cannot), then we should not give Facebook an unfair advantage in the attribution. So, back to multi-channel attribution from a single device. This is the best you have to work with right now, so how do you get a simple view of the Return on Advertising Spend, the real ROI on your ads? Our solution At Littledata we believe that Google Analytics is the best multi-channel attribution tool out there. All it misses is an integration with Facebook Ads to pull the ad spend by campaign, and some help to set up the campaign tagging (UTM parameters) to see which campaign in Facebook brought the user to your site. And we believe in smart automation. Littledata's Facebook Ads connection  audits your Facebook campaign tagging and pulls ad cost daily into Google Analytics. This automated Facebook-Ads-to-Google-Analytics integration is a seamless way to pull Facebook Ads data into your overall ecommerce tracking -- something that would otherwise be a headache for marketers and developers. The integration checks Facebook Ads for accurate tagging and automatically pulls ad cost data into GA. The new integration is included with all paid plans. You can activate the connection from the Connections tab in your Littledata dashboard. It's that easy! (Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for a free trial on any plan today.) We believe in a world of equal marketing attribution. Facebook may be big, but they’re not the only platform in town, and any traffic they're sending your way should be analysed in context. Connecting your Facebook Ads account takes just a few minutes, and once the data has collected you’ll be able to activate reports to show the same kind of ROI calculation we did above. Will you join us on the journey to better data?

2018-09-20

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment