3 metrics you need to know before you start running Facebook ads for your eCommerce store

by | Jan 4, 2020 | Facebook Ads: Prepping for success | 0 comments

Thinking of running Facebook/Instagram ads for your ecommerce store?

Before I start working with any client, I ask them a lot of questions about their business and their customers. Among these questions I ask them for three key statistics that it’s really important we’re both clear on before running any ads – their average order value, online store conversion rate and abandon cart rate.

Why? Because ads are not a magic answer. And you won’t get the best return on your ad spend if your website traffic is not converting, or people are not spending enough.

So, if you are thinking of running ads, I recommend you get to grips with these three stats for your store, and if necessary, improve them, before dropping any ad spend.

1. Your average order value

It’s important to get to grips with your average order value before running Facebook ads because this will impact how much warming up your audience will need before they buy and how much return you are likely to make on your investment.

If you are a Shopify user you’ll find your AOV on your Shopify dashboard. I recommend noting down your AOV for different time periods – for example take a look at the last year, quarter, month and week as well as what it was during any recent sales and season highs and lows.

Generally speaking, the higher your AOV the better when it comes to Facebook ads because each sale will generate more return on ad spend. If your AOV is low (under £50*), consider whether there are ways in which you can increase this, such as bundling products, cross-selling at checkout, offering free delivery above a certain purchase value, or increasing your prices where appropriate.

*Ads can, and do, work with AOVs lower than this (see my Cheeky Zebra case study as an example (AOV here was approx. £4-5!) but it is much more challenging.

2. Your online store conversion rate

Your online store conversion rate is the number of purchases divided by the number of sessions. Again, if you are a Shopify user, you’ll find this on your dashboard.

This statistic shows you two things:

  1. If the people you are directing to your online store are the right type of people for your products
  2. How well your website converts those people into paying customers (which is what we’ll be focusing on here).

The average conversion rate for an E-commerce store is around 1.75%, with those seeing a conversion rate of over 2.8% being in the top quartile.

When it comes to Facebook Ads you want your online store conversion rate to be as high as possible. There is no point in paying money to send potential customers to your store if your website isn’t converting them.

If your conversion rate is on the low side, some of the things you should consider improving include:

  1. Your website speed
  2. Mobile friendliness
  3. Customer experience and ease of navigation around the site
  4. Product photography
  5. Product descriptions
  6. The number of product reviews / their visibility on your site
  7. Your abandon cart rate (which brings us nicely onto the next statistic you need to know…)
3. Your abandon cart rate

You can calculate your abandoned cart rate by taking the number of sales in a given period and dividing it by the number of add to carts in the same period. Subtract the result from 1 and multiply by 100 to get your abandoned cart rate.

The average cart abandon rate is approximately 69% – so you want to be aiming for yours to be lower than this so that you have a better chance of the people landing on your website buying your products!

If yours is above average here are some things you should look at:

  1. Currency conversion – if you sell abroad, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy for your customers to see the prices and checkout in their own currency.
  1. Delivery charge – many retailers are now opting to wrap up their delivery charge in the price of the product to keep things simple. If you do charge for delivery make your delivery charges are clear at the outset. Customers faced with an unexpected delivery charge at checkout are more likely to abandon their cart.
  1. Checkout process – Is your checkout process quick and easy? Things you can do to make the process more user-friendly include an option to checkout as a guest and accepting a variety of payment options, including PayPal.
How does your store fair?

If you need further support with your Facebook advertising I can help. Drop me an email and we’ll arrange a chat over a virtual cuppa!


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I’m Carly. I offer a range of services and loads of free content to help independent retailers do more with Facebook and Instagram ads. Whether you’re just getting started or trying to advance, I’ve got you covered. Learn more about me or explore the blog for practical tips and insights.

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