[4] Steps To Set Up Winning Facebook Dynamic Ads For Shopify

Last updated May 7, 2019
shopify facebook dynamic ads

Did you ever see the Disney short called Paperman? It’s a cute animated film about a missed connection at a train stop. Of course, it’s Disney, so the two smitten characters find each other, but the story sticks out as a great example of what many in marketing fail to achieve: Finding missed connections. When someone comes to your ecommerce store, browses for a bit, and then leaves, it shouldn’t be a missed connection. It should be an opportunity. 

shopify facebook dynamic ads

Or in other words, it’s a great segue to talk about missed customers, and the opportunities you have to follow up with them. Especially when you combine the power of Facebook’s dynamic ads with a service like Shopify. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at how Facebook dynamic ads can turn your missed connection into a customer, especially with an ecommerce platform like Shopify. But first, let’s look at what dynamic ads are and why you should use them.

What Are Facebook Dynamic Ads?

Facebook dynamic ads are a form of remarketing that promotes relevant products to shoppers who have previously visited your Shopify store.

So when someone comes to your site, looks around, and then clicks away, these ads are a way that you can show your products to them again in hopes of closing a sale.

According to Shopify, there are three primary use cases for this type of ad:

  1. Re-deliver previously viewed content, such as a product page.
  2. Push customers to finish a purchase based on what they previously added to their cart before leaving your site.
  3. Deliver ads of products that are related to an item purchased by a user on your website.

No matter which of these use cases you choose, the products featured in the ad are 100% influenced by what your customer has done on your site. It’s this incredible amount of personalization that makes these ads so unique.

And according to numerous studies, they work pretty well.

In one case, an ecommerce brand was able to lower their cost per acquisition by 20%, while more than doubling their conversion rate. All because they implemented an effective dynamic ad campaign.

careerindex gains new users with similar audiences case studies 01

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It’s also an effective way to help lower shopping cart abandonment rates, which means you’re getting a better bang for your buck with your ad budget.

But let’s get down to brass tacks. What do these look like, and what about them makes them so effective?

To answer that, let’s take a look at an example from Airbnb that Facebook recently shared.

According to their post, this was one of the earliest dynamic ads ever run on Facebook. Airbnb wanted to test the effectiveness of retargeting ads on the platform, so they built a dynamic ad that would display listings that visitors had viewed on their website.

Using a technical mix of browsing history, site behavior, interests, and the customer’s travel history, they were able to determine if someone intended to travel anytime soon.

And here’s the ad that they ended up running:


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Doesn’t look much different, right? That’s because, in the final execution (or the ad that your customer sees), there won’t be any notable difference at all. It will look like any other ad on Facebook.

The only difference is the delivered content, and how you tell Facebook what ad content needs to get delivered.

And it’s wildly effective. When Airbnb ran this campaign, it only lasted five days. In that amount of time, they reached 238 million different people and saw three times their ad spend in ROI.

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So without a doubt, you need to be using Facebook dynamic ads if you’ve got an ecommerce business. If you don’t, you’re missing sales left and right.

Why Should You Use Facebook Dynamic Ads?

It’s one thing to use them with any old ecommerce business, but should you use them if you’re using a service like Shopify?

To answer that, I want to borrow a quote from Optimizepri.me’s Harris Schachter:

“By far the number one thing a Shopify store should focus on is their Facebook ads.”

So the short answer is “yes, absolutely.”

But I want to give you a fuller picture of why they’re an essential tool with Shopify, so let’s look at a longer answer.

One of the first concepts that spell out the importance of dynamic ads is a concept known as banner blindness. This is a proven concept that says that no matter what site they’re on, users are very likely to ignore the left- and right-hand side of the page.

Like in this example, where the user interacts with only the center of the page, with a few exceptions:

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What this proves, pretty much indisputably, is that the sidebar ads of old are no longer effective. We’ve conditioned our brains to only look at what’s in the “primetime window” of our screens, and don’t care for much else.

That’s why these ads are more effective than most remarketing efforts. They’re positioned squarely in your audience’s field of view.

But on a deeper level, these ads also work because of how personalized they are. It’s one thing to see a general ad for a product you may be interested in, but it’s another altogether to show you the exact product you viewed just a day before.

You can attribute this type of personalization of ads to an 84% lead volume increase on average, which is no small success.

You can also think of it like it’s a personalized email. Studies have shown that a single personalized email can lead to six times higher transaction rates than non-personalized emails. Other than just creating better emails, there’s not much more you can do to improve on that.

Dynamic ads are the personalized email of the PPC world. In one case study, a brand saw an impressive 60% more conversions with their remarketing at almost half the cost-per-conversion.

facebook ad creative compare vs non dynamic

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So there’s no reason not to be using these ads in conjunction with your Shopify store and other PPC ads. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can quickly set these up if you’re a Shopify user.

How to Get Started Using Dynamic Ads

While any ad campaign deserves as much time as you can afford to give it, I want to provide you with a brief overview of how you can set this up on your own. If it gets to be too much, you can always contact a professional to help you wade through all of this.

Step #1: Set Up Facebook Pixel

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a Facebook Pixel that can track behavior on your website. You’ll find the option to create a Pixel under the Events Manager section of your Facebook Business Manager.


When you’re setting it up for the first time, you’ll start by giving it a relevant name that applies to your campaign. Something like “remarketing” or “dynamic product ads” is always a safe bet.

From there, you’ll be given a block of code that you’ll need to add to your website:

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To do that, you’ll have to go in and edit the HTML/CSS of your website. Copy and Paste the code from Facebook between the <head> and </head> sections on every page of your site.

It may sound tedious, but it’s a relatively simple and repetitive task. And if you end up running into any errors, the Facebook Pixel Helper can help you pinpoint the problem.

Last but not least, you’ll need to ensure that Facebook is tracking the right actions on your site for your ads. When you hit “Continue” after the code section, you’ll see a menu that looks like this:

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You’ll want to select the Purchase, Add to Cart, and View Content options. These will signal to Facebook any user that completes these actions, which enables you to retarget them with your ads.

Step #2: Create a Product Feed

The next step you’ll need to take is to create a Product Feed or a list of items from your online store.

But this can’t be any old list. Facebook requires very strict formatting for this to work effectively, so you’ll want to make sure that you don’t accidentally get this wrong.

The nice thing about this step is that with Shopify it’s incredibly easy. All you need to do is add a Facebook Product Feed service like Flexify.


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Once Flexify is added, all you have to do is sync the products you want to be in your feed. You can opt to include all of them, or go for a specific collection of items that you want to promote.

When it’s all set up, Flexify will generate a URL that tracks information such as the product name, images, product descriptions, and inventory levels.

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Keep this URL close by, as it’s an essential part of step three.

Step #3: Set Up Product Catalog

Back on your Facebook Business Manager, you’ll need to navigate to the Catalog section under the Assets tab.


To set up your catalog, simply walk through the process of creating your first one. You’ll set up a name, and establish which business is associated with the catalog if you manage more than one site.

Once you create the catalog, it will give you the option to add products.

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From here, select Use Data Feeds.

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Next, you’ll select the Set a Schedule option. This will allow Facebook to regularly update your inventory so that you don’t accidentally promote a product you’re out of.

This option will also bring up a field called “Add a Data Feed URL.” This is where you insert the URL I highlighted for you in step two.

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Once you’ve set everything up and scheduled it, you’re ready to upload your catalog. Facebook will now have a reliable stream of data to pull product info from, which will be used to populate your ads.

Step #4: Set up Ad Campaign

Finally, it’s time to create your new dynamic ad campaign.

To accomplish this, go to your Facebook ad manager and create a new campaign like you normally would. Only this time, you’ll want to select the Catalog Sales option as your campaign objective.

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Once you’ve created the campaign itself, it’s time to drill down and build your ad sets.

In the ad set section, you’ll be able to select the Product Catalog you just uploaded for the campaign. This is how the ad set knows where to pull the correct information from.

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You can also filter this down to specific products if you don’t want to use every product in your catalog.

After you’ve told your ad which products you want to focus on, your next main objective is to specify your audience. Since you want to target customers who have already interacted with your site, you’ll want to choose the Pixel option that creates a retargeting audience.

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You can also choose to upsell or cross-sell products, which can be an excellent way to prompt one-time shoppers to become repeat buyers.

And finally, the rest of your ad set is simply optimizing your budget, deciding if you want to send these ads to Instagram as well, and ensuring which elements you want Facebook to use.

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When you finish, the ad will be based on a template similar to this one:

facebook dynamic product ads

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Of course, your published ad will look more like this:

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But once you’ve hit publish, then you’re done. You’ve created a dynamic ad that will retarget your audience and help you push sales through your Shopify website.


I hope by now you can see that you should never have a missed connection that boils down to a lack of trying on your part. With a tool like Facebook’s dynamic ads at your disposal, you can retarget potential customers and convert them into paying customers.

The results speak for themselves. Brands are already seeing massive increases in conversions and ROI boosts that you can’t ignore.

And even though they’re extremely useful, traditional PPC ads just won’t be enough. If you want to grow your Shopify store, the best choice is to use dynamic ads.

The process is simple. Set up your Pixel, create a Product Feed with an app like Flexify, and then upload that feed to your Product Catalog.

From there, you simply have to create your ad campaign and ad set to display your products and retarget customers.

When done, you’ll be back in front of the people who are most likely to buy. That means growth, revenue, and more happy customers.

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giles thomas


Hi, I’m Giles Thomas. Founder of AcquireConvert, the place where ecommerce entrepreneurs & businesses go to learn how to increase conversions & profits. I’m also the founder of ecommerce growth agency Whole Design Studios. I’m a head marketing mentor at the Google Launchpad Accelerator & Google Marketing Expert. Ps. Check out my new blog RisePro.co


3 Responses or Pingbacks

  1. Sapon says:

    Hello Giles, I know about google add what is responsive add?

  2. neetha says:

    great article

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