Do you feel frustrated with the amount of users dropping off from your online shop?
Are you spending a lot of money in remarketing platforms that not always bring the expected results?
Running an eCommerce site is not an easy task: constant product updates, extensive analytics to evaluate performance, lots of automation and for some businesses also an offline process involving packaging and shipping.
No wonder why an abandoned cart could be the most frustrating and annoying experience for those online businesses.
It is understandable that not everyone visiting your website may be interested in your products, however once they have started the shopping process and completed some steps from it, it is fair to expect some sales happening. Why some users abandon the process?
There are some tools in the market that allow you to target those users via display ads that are shown on different websites, however these solutions are usually expensive and some times difficult to configure.
Well, I’ve got good news from you, since there’s an additional way of targeting those users directly on their Facebook News Feed.
It is easy to configure. And it’s FREE!
You just need to use the following tools:
- Google Analytics – or any other website analytics tool.
- MS Excel or any software capable of saving a list of records in CSV format
- Facebook Power Editor
- Facebook Custom Audiences
- Facebook Website Custom Audiences
Let’s get started:
1. IDENTIFY YOUR DROP-OFF PAGE
The first step of your strategy should be understanding in which page(s) you have the largest amount of drop offs.
That is: where the shopping carts get usually abandoned.
If you are running an eCommerce site, quite probably you have some Goals configured on Google Analytics to track your online sales, and all steps (or pages) or the shopping process are identified as a step of a Goal Funnel.
In this case identifying that page should be an easy task.
For example, in the image to the right, you can see the following:
- 46% of users went from step 1 to step 2, thus 54% of them dropped off
- 56% of users went from step 2 to step 3, thus 44% of them dropped off
- 100% went from step 3 to the final page
In this oversimplified scenario, the largest amount of drop offs occurs on the first page of the process.
2. COLLECT CUSTOMER DATA
At a certain point every eCommerce site has one page where buyers are asked to provide their contact details. Among all the data that could be collected in this form, there are two fields that are specially important – so make sure they are compulsory.
- Email address
- Phone number
I’ll explain in a second the reason why you need this information.
For the moment, create two separate Excel ‘csv’ files, one containing only e-mail addresses and another one with phone numbers. Make sure there’s only one column in each of this files (column A) and there are no headings in row one.
There’s something important that needs to be considered: if the user data is collected before the drop off page, your file may also include contact details from people who did not complete the buying process. If this is your case, it is necessary to filter all those records and include in your files ONLY data from those users who completed the purchase.
Save both files with a name easy to remember. You will use them later.
3. CREATE TWO CUSTOM AUDIENCES
It’s finally time to go into Facebook and use the two lists of users completing the transaction to create two Custom Audiences.
To do this, open Power Editor and go to the ‘Ad Tools’ menu located on the top right corner. Select ‘Audiences’ from the drop down menu.
On the left side, click on ‘Create Audience’ and then ‘Custom Audience’ from the new drop down menu
From the new window that pops up, select ‘Data File Custom Audience‘
Another window will be displayed where you need to select the file containing your data; you must also indicate if the contact details you are uploading are e-mails or phone numbers – so make sure you select the correct file. Finally provide a name easy to remember and if you want a brief description about this audience.
Since you can upload only one file each time, you should repeat this process with the other file you saved previously.
Once this step is completed, click on ‘Create Audience’. Facebook will use the information on the files you have provided to find users with any of these contact details on their profiles. After a few minutes or hours – depending on the size of your file – Facebook will have identified those users and created your audience.
IMPORTANT: Remember, these audiences are based on the e-mails and phone numbers provided by those users who completed a transaction on your site. It might be possible that some of them have a different e-mail address and phone number registered on Facebook – or have not registered a phone number at all. This means those users cannot be identified by Facebook and thus won’t included on those Custom Audiences.
The best way of knowing the level of accuracy of your Custom Audiences is comparing the difference between the total number of records on your files, and the number of users found by Facebook. The larger the difference, the less accuracy of the Custom Audiences.
It is paramount to remember this, and I’ll explain why in a moment.
4. CREATE A WEBSITE CUSTOM AUDIENCE
Once you have located the page or pages where the drop offs happen, you need to create a Website Custom Audience with all users going through that page.
Go again into Power Editor and repeat the process explained previously to create a Custom Audience, only this time instead of selecting ‘Data File Custom Audience’ you must choose ‘Website Users Custom Audience‘
After agreeing to Facebook Terms of Service, a window will show where you must configure the parameters for your Website Custom Audience. After providing a name and description to your audience, you must do the following:
- ‘Visited’: select domain and enter the name of the one where your eCommerce is found (e.g.: antoniocalero.com)
- ‘And’: select URL and enter the one from the page where the drop offs happen.
You could include additional pages if this was required. For example: you may be interested in creating a Website Custom Audience with all those users who dropped off during your buying process AND who started this process on a specific product page.
Once you have configured your desired parameters, it’s time to click on ‘View Remarketing Pixel’, Facebook will display a bunch of code that you’ll need to copy and paste into the HTML code of ALL the pages of your website right before the </head> tag. The way you do this depends a lot on your CMS and how your website is built, but don’t stress out: there are hundreds of different plugins that will allow you to do this without the need of coding your site.
Wait a few days until this audience populates and has a big number.
Remember that all people who passed through that page will be tracked and included on that Website Custom Audience – even those who completed the transaction. However as your campaign goal is abandoned cart recovery, you don’t want to target these users with your ad, since they finalised the buying process.
This is where the next step becomes important.
5. RUN AN ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
Using Power Editor, run an advertising campaign using as your target audience the previously created Website Custom Audience, and excluding both of the two Custom Audiences you have previously created.
In other words, you will be targeting only those users who went through your process, but did not complete it.
To do this, when you are selecting the target audience of your ad do the following:
- Use your Website Custom Audience as your targeting group.
- Use both of your Custom Audiences as ‘Excluded Audiences’
Remember that some people who have completed the process may not be included on the Custom Audience, whilst they could be on your Website Custom Audience. This means they would be targeted by your advertising campaign. This is a risk you need to evaluate, especially if the difference between you Custom Audience and the lists with user data is large.
6. CREATE A PERSONALISED AD
Successful sales people know that being friendly with potential customer is an important factor that helps making sales. That is the reason why they keep repeating your name and ask you so many personal questions.
Use this same technique in the ad you will create and surprise your audience. Make them wonder ‘how the hell do they know I was on their site and didn’t complete the process’… but don’t be too pushy. The idea is to generate some surprise and curiosity, so they will click on your ad and return to your site.
A good idea would be to offer some incentive for them to come back and complete the buying process. For example ‘Complete your purchase and get a 5% off‘
If the Website Custom Audience you created includes multiple criteria such as users who visited also a specific product page, you could also create a more personalised ad showing the product they didn’t purchase. That will get their attention even more!
Remember to do A/B testing: try different versions of the same ad and focus on the ones that give you better results.
Do not launch the campaign yet, wait a bit more.
7. CREATE A LANDING PAGE
Whether you have decided to include an offer as part of your strategy or not, it is always good to create a Landing Page that welcomes back those users who clicked on your ad. This will maintain the effect of surprise and increase the chances of completing the buying process.
Remember we are playing on emotions here, so you want to to use that to your advantage.
People need to feel that ‘personal’ touch on your actions, so use this Landing Page with that purpose. The worst thing you could do is sending them straight to your eCommerce site after they have clicked on your ad, as people will feel you only care about the money they may give you.
You don’t want them to think this. Remember: they already abandoned your shop once and this is your second chance to get them as clients.
A welcoming message like ‘We’re glad to see you back’ and a short note from you could be an idea.
8. TRACK CAMPAIGN SUCCESS
Last but not least, you want to know the ROI of this campaign, and how many people returned to complete their purchase from you.
To do this you need to install an off-site pixel for your campaign, so Facebook will track on your website how many people from those completing the buying process came from your campaign.
In Power Editor, go into ‘Ad Tools’ from the top menu, and then select ‘Conversion Tracking’
Provide a name for the pixel / goal, and select the category, which quite likely will be a ‘Checkouts’. Then, click on ‘Create Pixel’
Facebook will display some code that you need to copy and paste into your eCommerce checkout page, that is: the one that is shown once a transaction is completed. Do this in the same way you previously included the code to create your Website Custom Audience.
Once the code has been uploaded, refresh the page that contains it. Facebook should show the Pixel Status from Unverified to Active. This may take some minutes in some cases.
Now it’s time to go back to your ads on Power Editor and select ‘Track Conversion on my website for this ad’ from the Creative step. If you have created more than one off-site pixel (e.g.: for more than one campaign), you should select the one related to this particular one.
Finally, you can now upload all the changes done on Power Editor. Wait until Facebook approves your ad and…that’s it!
From this moment your ad will be shown to the right audience, and you’ll be able to understand how many from those users are coming back to your site any how many are completing the purchase. Good luck!
In which other ways do you think Website Custom Audiences could be useful?