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In 2001, I started my first e-commerce site.  We sold DVDs and I used software called MIVA Merchant.  Back then, Google had just unleashed Adwords a year earlier and I am proud to say I was one of the early adopters.  Adwords was very new and was an unbelievably cheap way to get traffic and sales.  Back then we spent around 5 cents a click for Adwords.  Over the past 15 years, I have used Adwords extensively in 2 more successful e-commerce ventures, one of them having close to a million digital products.

Times have changed of course, and now Adwords is up to $2 to $50+ a click depending upon the vertical.  In the past, if I was starting a new e-commerce site, Adwords would be my go to traffic building method.  I can pretty confidently say that today, and in most cases, Adwords would NOT be my first stop.  I am not discounting Adwords or saying I would NOT use it.  Adwords definitely still has it’s place, but Facebook, in my humble opinion, is a more affordable choice to get things off the ground.

However, Facebook is DEFINITELY a different animal than Adwords and many have been completely turned away from Facebook as an advertising tool because they tried to use it like it was Adwords.  Facebook definitely requires a level of finesses that Adwords does NOT.  However, this also gives you an advantage as it is a bit more complicated to be successful with Facebook and your competition are less likely to be using it correctly than Adwords.


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While many people still depend on Adwords for traffic and sales, the advertising opportunity provided by Facebook has barely been touched by a huge portion of the internet.  I believe this is because Facebook’s ad platform started out poorly and therefore, many people have an incorrect understanding of what Facebook can do for their business, especially their e-commerce business.

SO much has changed with Facebook’s advertising system in the past few years, that it is almost critical to have Facebook’s targeting as a tool in your marketing and advertising quiver!!  So, let’s get to the 5 reasons we think so!



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So, let’s get to the nitty gritty folks.  What are the 5 reasons your e-commerce site should be on Facebook now?

Targeting, Targeting, Targeting

Never before has it been so easy to target your EXACT clientele.  Whether you need to target based on income, gender, interests, job type, employer and on and on….  Facebook has done something no one else has.  They have allowed you to reach the exact person you want to reach and they have made it so darn granular!  I am constantly amazed at how deeply you are able to target and when you start mixing targeting methods it just gets crazier.  I was working with a client recently who sells “Maintenance, Repair and Operations” products.  He literally said, “I don’t think our customers are on Facebook.”  So, I did my own search and not only was it possible to find people interested in Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) it was possible to target people who actually had PURCHASED MRO products!

MRO-AudienceIn fact, there are 418,600 people that buy MRO related products!!  This is a huge audience!  So, yes indeedy we targeted that exact audience with a few other location based tweaks and saw a stellar 4% click through rate on a very vanilla test branding campaign.


Images and Photos

Facebook has made it easy for you to engage your target audience with video and photos.  While Google has display ads, they are nothing like the sponsored post format that Facebook offers allowing you to ENGAGE with your target audience with not just images, but video, comments, shares and likes.  Plus Facebook is constantly innovating with NEW ways to display content and ads that are unique and give you the opportunity to be different and stand out from your competition.  Once example of this is the new Canvas option which is a mobile specific ad platform that allows for a unique swiping experience.



Low Prices 

Because Facebook’s ad system is relatively new, prices are still so darn low.  If your ad is relevant, you can see prices around 10 cents a click or even all the way down to 1 cent!  Facebook provides the BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!  PLUS the more relevant your ad is to your audience, the lower the cost will be.

HOWEVER, this simply won’t last forever.  Currently, Facebook’s ad system is quite unused comparatively.  Adwords on the other hand is quite overused and inflation & competition over the years has driven Adwords prices up.  (Way up…)  Facebook is still ground floor which is a beautiful place to be.


Re-Marketing & The Facebook Pixel  

Facebook’s re-marketing system allows you to connect with people that have taken certain actions on your website, from adding products to a cart (but not buying them) to viewing a specific product.  Then, based on these actions, you can market the ideal ad copy to those interested consumers.  The Facebook “Pixel” (a piece of code you put on various pages on your site) allows you to track and then re-market to those interested in your products.  Love it…


Lack of Competition 

The final reason you need to be utilizing Facebook ads is the simple lack of competition.  It’s one of the reasons Google’s Adwords was so amazing in the early years.  Low prices were great, but low prices PLUS lack of competition was even better.  While pricing was low Consistently, I talk to people who are in business, but have no clue what Facebook’s targeting system is or what it can do.  There is SO MUCH opportunity out there and very few are utilizing it.  (And, by the way, if you are reading this, you have proven that Facebook ads work.)  You see, to me, Facebook ads are NOW in the same position Google Ads were in 2001.  NEW and very unused.  That won’t last forever, but be assured, it was a beautiful time then and it’s a beautiful time now.


So, I wrote this post because I am excited about the possibilities for e-commerce.  I love E-commerce. As someone who has built multiple digital and tangible product e-commerce sites and grown them almost exclusively with digital traffic, I love finding new, better, unique and more affordable ways to grow businesses.

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