How to Successfully Target E-commerce Store Owners

Cody McLain


The simple answer: Facebook Love it or hate it, Facebook is an entrepreneur's best friend, especially when said entrepreneur wants to target other web-based business owners, e-commerce included.

The simple answer: Facebook

Love it or hate it, Facebook is an entrepreneur’s best friend, especially when said entrepreneur wants to target other web-based business owners, e-commerce included.

Think of it this way; 1 in every 3 people around the world is on Facebook, and through its collaboration with businesses, Facebook was able to generate over $9 billion in ad revenue during Q2 2017. This platform alone makes up half of all the money spent by marketers online.

A business owner that wants to successfully target e-commerce store owners will need this kind of firepower. Facebook alone will allow you to reach a very specific group of people and bypass all the middlemen that your competitors might be running to.

Facebook is amazing in that it records the location and demographic data of its users by collecting their hobbies, occupation, interest etc and translating said data into something that can be useful to business owners and internet marketers looking to target their ads.

Method 1: Re-Targeting your Fans and Customers

If your website is anything like Shopify, the platform will use Facebook Ads (and Google Ads) to help you reach customers, however, you can use Facebook Ads to retarget people who are already interested and invested into your business. As the saying goes, “it’s better to have repeat business than marketing to new customers”.

These people are already familiar with your brand and they understand what your point of difference is. For whatever reason, they’re not quite convinced, so your Facebook Ad strategy has to convert them to become disciples, beyond any more doubt. Facebook Ads reminds them of all the reasons why the visited your site in the first place and “liked” your page.

How does this work?

After installing a “Facebook Pixel” on your website, the data about these customers is sent to Facebook and allows you to know visits your site in the event that you want to target them in the future.

In that case, when you set up your ad, all you have to do is select the ‘Custom Audience’ option and allow Facebook to export your website data.

Method 2: Target Website Visitors

Once Method 1 is done, you’ll still be able to re-target anyone who was converted by the first method, as they’ll have already visited your site and are familiar with your brand.

Website visitors who are not yet customers, but are fans of your website are more likely to click through and purchase your service or products, once they are comfortable with the idea of what you’re selling.

With this method, the point is to become ubiquitous to a select few individuals. It works because you don’t have to introduce yourself to these people.

The following will help you decide which Facebook targeting options are suited to your needs and how to better utilize them.

If you’re selling PPC marketing software specifically designed for e-commerce store owners, and want to promote seasonal offers to this demographic, you have to define:

The audience’s interest, i.e ‘Marketing’

The audience’s job title, ‘eCommerce Entrepreneurs’

By doing the above, you are narrowing down Facebook’s field of reference, and only attracting the relevant audience.

Disclaimer: Over-defining your ad can have the adverse effects of only appealing to an extremely small school of fish, who may not be interested in your offer.

The most successful targeting strategies are able to both increase your sponsored post engagement rates as well as increase your reach while lowering the cost of reaching said customers.

What does that mean? A properly executed ad targeting strategy is cost-effective, successful and can easily be replicated.

Properly executing an ad targeting strategy

You don’t need to run a campaign. You just have to make a very interesting Facebook post.

Interesting to who? Good question.

Instead of the traditional mindset of only targeting one audience with a specific interest (Shopify store owners interested in marketing), it makes more sense to target two completely different — yet specific interests, i.e. Individuals who watch Silicon Valley.

These two audiences are massive in the grand scheme of things, but here’s where things get interesting:

We want to target the tiny part of the Venn diagram where both of these audiences overlap. Something like, “Shopify store owners interested in marketing who watch Silicone Valley“. It sounds like an impossibility, but it has actually been done before.

Larry Kim, the individual who created a viral campaign which demonstrated just how dangerous Fake News that is distributed on Facebook can be, utilized the following method, and since he was a marketing pro, he only needed a budget of $400 to spend on content promotion.

As a Non-Pro Marketer, you can accomplish what he did with a budget of $500. It’s a good amount to start Facebook Ads and you can reach an audience of tens of thousands to millions. The key is overlap.

You have to pick an audience that will find your offer interesting so that they can share it with others on their feed. Enter the Silicon Valley audience.

If you just stayed here, Facebook would tell you that your target is simply too broad, so you have to find a subset of this massive audience that you can target in a specific way.

Enter the description: “Shopify store owner”

Successful targeting is done by requiring that your audience be both a Shopify store owner and a fan of Silicon Valley.

Once you’ve done that, you can make reference to an episode of Silicon Valley in the title image of your post, i.e. “Daily Active Users” which is about how Pied Piper’s sharp rise in active users was due to Jared paying a click farm in Bangladesh to provide daily active users.

A lot of non-watchers will not understand what your joke would have to do with e-commerce, let alone Shopify e-commerce, but a very specific audience will. If you don’t understand the joke, it won’t be shown to you — that’s the beauty of Facebook!

Press publish, give the post 3 hours to do its magic and then come back and observe the engagement!

With the advent of social and search, being able to reach an audience, be they, owners of e-commerce store owners, to managers of conglomerates, we all convene at the same watering holes, and for that reason, we can all be marketed to.