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Facebook’s powerhouse Dynamic Product Ads – why and how to use them

Published: March 21, 2017

Author: Stephanie Bogue

UPDATE: To learn more about Facebook ad types check out our 2017 Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising
One of the most overlooked Facebook features, in our experience with retailers, is Dynamic Product Ads. These ads have been around for roughly two years, but based on the results we’ve seen with our clients, the adoption rate hasn’t been nearly fast enough. In this post, we’ll cover set-up and expectations after we’ve explained why you need to take advantage of DPA – ASAP.
DPA improves up traditional Facebook retargeting, when advertisers would create site segments (e.g. cart abandoners) and manually build out ads showing products users may have viewed. With DPAs, Facebook will dynamically populate the ad with products that the user has definitely viewed. It’s all done dynamically and at scale through the product catalog, vastly improving the old “hunting and pecking” manual approach.
For proof that it works, here are some recent client numbers (note that ROAS went up 71% from a high-value traditional retargeting segment):

Now we’ll walk you through how to set up DPAs, from client expectations to feeds and QA to Power Editor.

Setting client expectations

DPA takes longer to set up than traditional remarketing because of pixel and feed access requirements. With DPA, advertisers only start collecting cookied users from the date of pixel implementation; once it’s implemented, you need to allow time to let the audiences grow and to perform QA.

Setting up the product feed

Product feeds can be rife with issues: missing prices, URL/links that don’t match, missing image links, misidentified product types, etc. We recommend a rigorous feed QA (we upload and QA feeds through ProductsUp).
It’s important to note that a website must use a unique product identifier that matches a product within the product feed. Ideally, this product identifier will follow a purchaser through add to cart and checkout so brands don’t retarget users with items they have already purchased.
You can choose to upload dynamic or static product feeds; static feeds are quicker to upload and let you get DPAs off the ground, but dynamic feeds are updated daily to reflect current sale prices, new/discontinued/out-of-stock products, etc.
To QA your feed, simply check the match rate on your product catalog inside of Facebook to ensure everything is working properly:

  • Go to Ads Manager;
  • Hover over the three lines in top left corner;
  • Select product catalogs;
  • Select your product catalog from the drop-down in the center display top left;
  • Click on product events in the top center;
  • Check the match rate, which should be close to 100%, but can be a bit lower:

Setting up Power Editor

First, you’ll set up your campaign:

  • Select “Promote a product catalog”;
  • Choose your product catalog and continue as normal

Once that’s done, you’ll have some decisions to make on the level of ad sets, bidding, ad type, and ad copy.

Ad sets

Facebook gives you a number of audience options for your ad sets:

For a recent client, it made sense to use a custom combination to separate high price point items from low price point items (accessories). For most e-commerce clients, viewed or added to cart is probably the best starting point.
DPAs are extremely versatile; they offer more advanced options aside from showing users products they’ve already viewed. You can move forward with upselling and cross-selling, showing higher-priced items or related items to products viewed. Additionally, you could go a step further with upselling and cross-selling existing customers by supplying custom audiences of purchasers into your DPA ad sets.

Bid type

oCPM is optimal, but as DPA has enormous potential for e-commerce clients, CPC might be the better starting option to ensure high traffic to get immediate traction.

Ad type

Carousel ads have worked for the client in focus for both viewed and add to cart DPA audiences; they can be used to encourage potential customers to purchase by either featuring similar products or highlighting particular product features of the product originally viewed.

Ad copy

There are numerous options for dynamically pulling in text, headlines, and News Feed link descriptions:

Recently, we had success by starting with the product name in the headline and using product price in the News Feed link description, but you’ll want to test positioning of product name, features, and pricing depending on brand and product (and price point).
No matter the techniques you settle on, DPAs are an important asset in any eCommerce strategy, particularly for brands with a lot of inventory. They take a bit longer to implement than traditional retargeting, but you’ll see good ROI on that time investment very soon.
Good luck!

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