Right now, one of the most effective ways to grow eCommerce sales is through Facebook advertising.
There are many elements in a high converting Facebook ad strategy, which you can read about here.
But when it comes to sending paid traffic to your eCommerce website, you REALLY want to make sure your website is ready for it.
If your website is NOT set up, ready to receive that paid traffic, you’re likely to find your ad results are expensive, or worse, just don’t work.
So, let me help you avoid flushing your advertising dollars down the toilet!
Here are the top 7 things you MUST have addressed before you start sending paid traffic to your website!
1. Install your Facebook Pixel
I would hope this step goes without saying, but for the sake of stating the obvious, you really MUST have your Facebook Pixel installed on your website.
Every Facebook ad account comes with one unique pixel, which is essentially a bit of tracking code that gets pasted into your website’s source code.
That may sound tricky, but is actually pretty simple on most websites. (Follow this Facebook pixel set-up guide, or this one, or just Google for a video tutorial if you’re not sure how to do it!)
You also want to make sure you’ve set up Standard Event tracking with your Facebook Pixel.
Basically all this means is, you’re asking Facebook to track not just clicks to your website, but also things like viewing products, add to cart, checkouts and more.
By tracking these events, you’ll be able to get very smart with your Facebook ads, and show specific messages to people who have viewed your product pages but not completed a purchase (for instance).
2. Excellent on mobile
When you start sending lots of traffic to your website from paid Facebook ads, you should expect the vast majority of those visitors will be using their mobile to browse your site.
That means, it is IMPERATIVE that your website works really well on mobile!
As business owners, we’re usually looking at our own websites on our desktop computers or laptops.
And quite often, we don’t go all the way through the shopping cart checkout on mobile.
But you need to do these things – look critically at your site on mobile and test how easy it is to navigate and to shop on a mobile.
One of the best examples of an eCommerce website that is very well designed for the mobile experience is Birdsnest. I would even argue, this website works better on mobile than desktop! They have absolutely nailed a mobile-first web design.
3. Great user experience (UX)
It still surprises me when I review eCommerce websites, to find there are quite a number whose website design and navigation is really confusing.
As business owners, we are very familiar with our own websites and our own products. We know exactly what we sell and where to find it.
I want you to take off your business owner hat for a moment, and take a look at your website (on desktop AND mobile!) from the perspective of a brand new customer.
When coming to your website for the first time, is it immediately clear what you sell?
Is the design clear and uncluttered?
Do your images show this clearly and are they inviting to look at?
What about your navigation, is that simple, uncluttered and easy to follow? Your top navigation should be all about shopping. Put things like your blog and about pages down in the footer navigation.
Do you have things like customer reviews to show how awesome your products are?
What are your product pages like? Do you have multiple product images? Is your add-to-cart button easy to spot? (Preferably in a contrasting color, and high-up the page – don’t make people scroll to figure out how to buy!)
Include trust symbols, such as secure payment badges, trusted payment methods and guarantees (if you offer one). For more info about trust symbols, click here.
Great examples of eCommerce stores that have an excellent user experience, include The Iconic and Birdsnest.
4. Check your website’s conversion rate
Your ‘conversion rate’ on an eCommerce website means the percentage of website visitors who place an order.
Obviously, the higher your conversion rate, the higher the rate of purchase.
And on the flip side, if your conversion rate is really low, that means you need to get a LOT more visitors to your website in order to make a sale.
The average conversion rate for eCommerce websites – and this is a benchmark average across product categories, globally – is about 2%. Which sounds quite low I know. (There are many sites that convert at a higher rate than that, but also many that are lower than average…)
If your conversion rate is significantly lower than average, then you probably want to consider working on improving that conversion rate so that you don’t end up wasting a lot of money on sending traffic to a website that doesn’t convert very well. That would be an expensive exercise…
5. Check your website’s bounce rate
A ‘bounce rate’ simply means, the proportion of your website’s visitors who immediately click away after landing on your site.
A high bounce rate is really bad – it means your website visitors aren’t sticking around for more than a split second.
So logically, it would be very wasteful to spend lots of money on Facebook advertising, if a really large portion of those paid visitors are just going to bounce off.
An average bounce rate for eCommerce is about 40%.
To find out what your website bounce rate is, check your analytics. (Some platforms have great inbuilt analytics, otherwise check Google Analytics.)
If your bounce rate is average or below, you have my blessing to start paid advertising.
If your bounce rate is above average, then you need to do some work first.
Often, one of the biggest culprits that causes a high bounce rate, is a very slow page load speed (especially on mobile).
You want to aim for a page load speed of 5 seconds or less.
To test yours, use a free tool like Pingdom or Google Page Speed Tools.
6. Check your website’s cart abandonment rate
Ever heard of the term, ‘shopping cart abandonment’?
It’s a pesky situation that is very common for eCommerce websites, and what it means is shoppers who have added product to their cart and begun the checkout process, but then they jump ship before handing over their cashola.
So, it goes without saying, having a really high cart abandonment rate is bad.
(Actually, it’s not ALL bad – it does mean that you have people who are interested in buying from you. But you gotta work out what’s stopping them from sealing the deal!)
The average cart abandonment rate for eCommerce websites is actually quite high at 68%.
You can find your abandoned cart rate by looking at your analytics, either within your website platform or Google Analytics.
If your abandoned cart rate is average or below, you’re good to go with your paid advertising.
But, if your abandoned cart rate is higher than average, you’ve got some work to do.
There’s no point spending money on ads if the vast majority aren’t gonna check out!
The number one reason shoppers abandon their carts is reaching the checkout and being slugged unexpected (or expensive) shipping costs. (I would also argue – slow shipping.)
And the second most common reason shoppers abandon their carts is being forced to create a new user account.
Both those factors are fairly easy to remedy – make sure you do before you start sending paid traffic to your site.
7. Are you building your email list?
I realise that collecting emails doesn’t sound like it has a lot to do with Facebook ads. But hear me out…
Often, when someone new visits your website for the first time, they’re not going to be ready to buy immediately.
Yes, we can easily retarget those visitors using Facebook ads.
But, you’ll significantly increase your return on investment (ROI) on your paid ads if you also collect emails and follow up with your new visitors on email as well.
We’ve had many clients who have done well with their Facebook ads, but then the minute we set up an email list-building and automated email follow-up strategy, their return on ad spend (ROAS) on their ads increases dramatically.
Bonus #8. Do you have enough stock?
Just wanted to add this one in at the end, because it is important and can have an impact on the success of your ads.
Do you have enough stock, and can you KEEP enough stock, if your sales volume increases dramatically?
We’ve had a couple of clients who have enjoyed significant sales growth as a result of successful Facebook ads, but have run out of stock.
You need to make sure you’re able to ramp up your manufacturing, or ordering new stock in, in response to the increased sales volume and consumer demand created by a successful Facebook ad campaign.
Need some help implementing an effective Facebook Ad strategy?
Facebook Ads is one of the most powerful tools currently available. Get it right and you put your business in front of potentially thousands of new customers.
Get it wrong and you’ll not only waste your advertising dollars, you’ll also lose sales.
If you’re unsure how to get it right, don’t spend months trying to figure it all out for yourself!
Would you love to start seeing sales growth in your business right now? I’d love to help you achieve your goals sooner and grow your business faster.