I’ve spoken to several online store owners recently who are feeling upset and frustrated by their change in results from last year to this year.
These are some of the comments I’ve heard:
- “I just chucked up an ad and got 10x ROAS but now nothing is working”
- “Our sales last year were double what they are now”
- “I didn’t really know what I was doing with ads and they were doing way better than they are now with a proper strategy in place”
There are a couple of things that you need to understand with the state of eCommerce and specifically Facebook ads right now, and they are:
- Facebook isn’t reporting (and can’t) as accurately as it once could
- The peak of Covid shouldn’t be a benchmark for your sales
Let’s break that down…
Facebook isn’t – and can’t – report as accurately as it once could
You’ve probably heard about the iOS updates and know that the update affects how Facebook can report on user behaviour as they won’t have all the data they had previously.
But this is hard to consider when you’re looking at your Facebook dashboard and only a few measly sales are being reported.
We’ve had some students say “My ROAS has plummeted… but my ad spend and sales are the sale” in which we reply “Your REPORTED ROAS has plummeted… not your actual ROAS”.
When you have historical (pre-iOS14 update) data on your account it is easier to estimate the amount of sales being attributed to Facebook ads, but when you don’t it is really hard to see what’s working and what’s not.
Any user that opts out as part of the iOS 14.5 update won’t be reflected in your reporting. So if they click on your ad, go through, and make a purchase, that purchase won’t be reflected in your reporting.
This is one of the biggest challenges we now face. It’s like going back to the old days of TV and radio where we knew 50% of our advertising was working, we just didn’t know which 50%. What I have always loved about Facebook ads is you could account for every cent spent and know exactly how much it was bringing you back in sales.
So what do we do?
The principles of successful marketing haven’t changed; the right message, to the right people, at the right time, with the right offer. And when I say offer, I don’t mean discount… I mean a great product that is positioned correctly in the market.
So, what happens if your ads aren’t driving sales at all? Well, you need to look at your website conversion rate, your messaging, the audience you’re targeting and is your product positioned correctly? For example, if you have a high-end product, does the rest of your marketing reflect this?
Get curious and test, test, test! If you have a good product, Facebook ads are simply going to let your audience know that you exist and educate them through the purchase funnel to a sale. It’s as simple… and as complex… as that.
The peak of Covid shouldn’t be a benchmark for your sales
Imagine there is a totally unexpected storm that hits the city at lunch time when office workers are out on their lunch break and it brings with it super heavy rain. The umbrella shop on the corner has a record day of sales… it totally sells out of umbrellas. And it didn’t need to do any clever or targeted advertising… it just needed to say “we are here, we sell umbrellas”!
Selling umbrellas on a rainy day is easy… but what about when the sun is shining?
Comparing your sales to where they were in the peak of Covid is like the umbrella shop wanting to achieve the same amount of sales… with the same amount of advertising they did that day… every day. It’s just not going to happen.
I’m not saying you can’t grow and scale your business. But I am saying that if you compare your sales vs ad spend to the peak of Covid you will leave yourself open to disappointment and closed to creative ideas to move forward.
Not only is it really hard to navigate forward when you’re focused on the past, it’s also counterproductive.
Stop looking in the rearview mirror… you’re not going that way!
Megan is an inspiring, brilliant and fun digital marketer and has worked with some of the fastest-growing eCommerce brands in the world.
Megan loves helping purpose-driven online store owners to make more income and achieve more impact.