Facebook Shop (Beta Testing) vs Facebook Website Ads Comparison

Recently, one of my clients was offered a testing budget of $25,000 from Facebook team to test campaigns of which one will send the traffic to FB website & Shop and another to the website. The test was run for two weeks and each campaign was allocated the equal budget. Below are some of the snippets from FB team about the program

Shops Ads is a new ads solution, driven by a machine learning model, where businesses can run ad campaigns that automatically send people to either the Business’s Shop on Facebook or Instagram or their website once they click on the ad. The model determines the most likely sales channel to drive a conversion. For people sent to your Shop, they can checkout there. By offering, multiple sales channels, we can help you to maximize business outcomes by enabling you to meet people where they are most likely to shop.

About the Shop vs Website Beta Testing

This closed beta will be a 2-cell split test comparing the performance of business-as-usual (BAU) click-to-website ads against our
Shops Ads product which will either send the customer directly to your external website, or directly to your Shop, depending on their previous usage behavior and likelihood to buy from either destination.

FB Ads Result & Observations

Hard Metrics Performance & Observations

  • Performance of both of the campaigns were similar
  • Shop campaigns drove more funnel events than the website campaigns but the conversion rate was higher on the website campaign
  • Since the shop campaign drove higher funnel events, I would prefer it over website traffic campaign because it helps in bringing more qualified and high intent audience

Soft Metrics Performance & Observations

  • In terms of soft metrics, performance of both of the campaigns were similar.
  • I have considered metrics such as frequency, CPM, CPC, CTR etc.

My personal Observation

  • Initially, the shop campaign started strong but it took some time for the other campaign to pick up.
  • For the first 7 days, the shop campaign was definitely the winner but in the last 7 days, the other campaign sending traffic to the website gradually picked up and started outperforming the shop ads campaign
  • On some days, I would notice that Website campaign or BAU campaign starts the day very strong. But later in the day or towards evening, the performance drops and the performance picks up for the shop ads campaign.
  • I know FB is trying to promote the Shop ads campaign but I also feel that FB starts redirecting the traffic from the winning campaign to the Shop ads campaign and that’s exactly what happened in the first 7 days.
  • During the first 7 days when the FB Shop ads campaign were doing well, Other old campaigns performance declined drastically over time as Shop Ads campaign picked up.

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