Product Catalogs and Dynamic Retargeting

GETTING STARTED: Human behavioral studies have shown that people’s eyes are naturally drawn to things that are familiar. We don’t fully understand why yet, but we what we do know is that we can leverage that simple psychological hack to our advantage by retargeting with Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads.

So what are Dynamic Product Ads and how are they better at selling my widgets? The best definition comes from the source, so let’s hear what Facebook has to say about DPAs.

“Dynamic ads look similar to other ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and the Audience Network. However, instead of individually creating an ad for each of your products, you create an ad template that automatically uses images and details from your data feed for things you’d like to advertise. Dynamic ads use your Facebook pixel or SDK to show ads to people who have already shown interest in your business by taking actions you care about on your site.” – Facebook Blueprint

Create a Dynamic Retargeting Campaign

With retargeting for dynamic ads, you can remind people about the products they’ve browsed but didn’t purchase. When you retarget people with dynamic ads, your audience will automatically see the same (or similar) products to what they saw previously.

So how does it work?
First, you’ll create a catalog of all the items you want to promote. This catalog contains a list of items and related info such as price, location and availability. These details appear in your dynamic ad.

Next, you’ll create a dynamic ad for the items you want to promote using Ads Manager. Multiple formats are available, (single image, carousel or collection ad format), so experiment with options.

Finally, the audience you target will see an ad containing the items they viewed on your website.

Requirements: Facebook provides the following requirement for retargeting with DPAs.

  • Facebook pixel / app events: You need a Facebook pixel implemented on your website, and use standard events to report which product IDs from your catalog are being viewed, added to cart and purchased.
  • Catalog: You need a catalog to use dynamic ads. If supported, you can use an existing data feed from one of Facebook’s integrations (for example, Shopify). If you don’t have a catalog, learn how to create a catalog.
  • Set up the Facebook pixel on your website and Facebook SDK in your mobile app. These tools provide details about how people view and interact with your items.

Retarget an audience

Although the process can seem intimidating at first, it’s really very intuitive once you see the steps laid out. So here’s a simple guide with the steps to retarget an audience with dynamic ads:

  1. First, go to “ad creation” and start building your dynamic ad.
  2. Next, select your audience and choose “Use info from your pixel or app to create a retargeting audience.” Then you will choose from the following retargeting options:
    • Viewed or Added to Cart But Not Purchased: Promote products from your catalog to people who viewed or added those products to their cart.
    • Added to Cart But Not Purchased: Promote products from your catalog to people who added those products their cart.
    • Upsell Products: Upsell products from your catalog to people who viewed products from your product set.
    • Cross-Sell Products: Cross-sell products from your catalog to people who viewed products from your product set.
    • Custom Combination: Promote products from your catalog to a Custom Audience based on how people interacted with your products. If you choose this option, you can select the audience interactions taken by selecting inclusions and exclusions. For example, you could include people who added products to their cart in the last 45 days and exclude people who purchased products in the last 45 days.
  3. Time frame: Here you’ll enter the time frame where the action occurred for your retargeting.
  4. (Optional) If you want to add a Custom Audience or Lookalike Audience to your targeting, select “Show Advanced Options.”

*(PRO TIP: Here’s how to manually upload your product catalog step-by-step if needed:

  • Step 1: Go to your Facebook Ads account.
  • Step 2: Click on the menu (three horizontal lines) to expand the menu.
  • Step 3: Under ”Assets” find ”Product Catalogue.” Then click, ”Create a Catalog.”
  • Step 4: Once you’ve created your catalog, click ”Add Products” and download the “.csv” template.
  • Step 5: Fill out the template and then upload it to Facebook.
  • Step 6: Wait for the template to upload.
  • Step 7: Once it has completed, you’ll be all set for your first dynamic ad campaign.

WHAT OPTION SHOULD I START WITH? – The best way to find out what’s working for your unique product or service is to test, test, and test some more! But one option that has proven highly effective is retargeting visitors who have visited or even added products to their cart and then left your site without buying. These are called “cart abandonment” campaigns.

LET’S MAKE A DEAL! – Let’s talk a little more about “Cart Abandonment” campaigns and why they are so effective. This objective here is retargeting those “almost” buyers that added items to their shopping cart but never clicked “buy.” They’ve shown they are not only interested in the product, but ready to pull out their wallet, so this group of buyers is red hot on the cold-to-warm thermometer. They often only need a tiny motivational push to take them from tire-kicker to customer.


(Interesting Fact #2: Kissmetrics found that 54% of potential customers will come back and complete their purchase if offered a coupon for something already in their cart!)

Winning back these “almost” buyers is exponentially easier than the process of converting brand new visitors! Offering these visitors a “carrot” in the ad – such as a discount code, free shipping, loyalty rewards points, etc. – is a proven strategy to drastically cut the cost of conversions!

*(PRO TIP: Don’t forget to set up your campaigns to STOP showing ads to individuals who have already converted! You don’t want to accidentally waste your ad spend visitors that have already clicked “buy”!)

What are some of the benefits of setting up a campaign with Dynamic Product Retargeting Ads?

  • Close the sale: Retargeting shoppers can remind them of items they viewed but didn’t buy.
  • Find new shoppers: Reach people who’ve expressed an interest in your products (or products similar to yours) using broad audience targeting, even if they haven’t visited your website yet.
  • Reach people anywhere: Using DPA ads you can sell to audiences on mobile or desktop, across the entire Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network user base.
  • Scale up: With DPAs you can advertise all of your items with unique ad creative without having to manually configure each individual ad.

Dynamic Product retargeting campaigns typically represent easy wins and are an essential part of any paid traffic plan. It will be well worth your time to dig into learning a little more about the process in Facebook’s Blueprint training and work to become a master of retargeting strategies!

Links: For additional reading and in-depth strategies, check out Facebook’s Blueprint course on Dynamic Ads here: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/dynamic-ads

*Research – Via FB – https://www.facebook.com/business/help/144576119557578?id=1913105122334058