After a successful beta test, Meta launched Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns in August 2022 and have since been proven to be an incredibly effective way to drive traffic to your online store and increase sales with less heavy lifting. Meta’s Advantage+ shopping campaigns can help make your ecommerce store more visible and generate more sales so let’s explore what these campaigns entail, how to set them up, advantages, limitations, and caveats, and how to use them in your advertising.
Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns, often abbreviated and called ASC, are automated shopping campaigns that use machine learning by dynamically serving your ads to audiences most likely to convert while better utilizing your advertising budget.
ASC eliminates manual ad creation steps and according to Meta, “automates up to 150 creative combinations at once.”
Using Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns is relatively straightforward which is an added benefit for those that may be newer to advertising on the platform or are small business owners.
To get started, click the “+Create” button in Meta Ads Manager and select the Sales campaign objective, then “Continue”.
Next, select Advantage+ Shopping Campaign over the manual set up and press “Continue”.
As you’ll see on the next set up screen, there will be some of the targeting options and settings you may be familiar with but most others will be missing as the purpose of this is to leverage Meta’s AI and automation abilities and not give it limitations. Name your campaign accordingly, select a special ad category if applicable, select Website or Website and App (e.g. Shops on FB/IG) for your conversion location, your geotargeting by country only, daily or lifetime budget, start and end dates, and your attribution setting.
When setting this up for the first time, you will notice the “Audience type breakdown” area where you can include existing customers in your account settings and then see audience type breakdowns between your new and existing customers.
In account settings, you can pull from your custom audiences customer lists or create new ones.
There is another field for suggested ads to run where you can review these or import all ads. Meta recommends importing all suggested ads and to start, we also do as well to see how they perform before you begin testing other tactics. You can also go to the ad level to create new ads. Another tactic we often do with ASC is to add your top performing ads from other campaigns and test here to see the results that ASC can deliver in comparison.
Advantages of ASC are that it’s automated, leaving you with more time to focus on other aspects of your work as an advertiser or business owner, it’s streamlined and efficient, and with the noticeable improvements Meta has made on the advertising front in the last year, leveraging their AI should produce more favorable results for you – more so since the iOS14 update that adversely impacted advertising in April 2021.
While ASC is plentiful in benefits, it is a significant change in how we are accustomed to advertising on the platform, but that’s also part of the excitement of being in our line of work – it’s ever evolving and keeps us employed as we grow, learn, and adapt.
One potential downside is that if you enjoyed audience research and selecting who and how to target, ASC limits that as detailed in the aforementioned set up portion. There is also no ad placement control so your ads will serve wherever Meta decides.
Meta only allows up to ASC’s 8 per account. While most brands have one customer list, we’ve seen that you can improve performance by segmenting your customer lists if your brand has multiple product lines (e.g. if you are a shoe brand and you sell boots, sneakers, and sandals). ASC might finds it challenging to convert similar but different customers using one customer list so to better to navigate this is to segment customer audiences the best you are able and split them up instead of bundling all customers together to drive better returns and optimize.
ASC can be used for both prospecting and retargeting, but we’ve seen greater success top of funnel in driving more sales, similarly to non-ASC catalog sales campaigns this year, so you may also want to spend more of your ASC budget top of funnel.
Surprisingly with widespread success as reported by many advertisers, including from our own client accounts, not all accounts have access to ASC yet. If you don’t, keep an eye out, ask your Meta Ads reps, or reach out to chat support to see if requesting can help expedite access.
Overall, Meta Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns offer an effective way for ecommerce brands looking to maximize reach and performance with less manual effort. By leveraging valuable data collected by Meta, businesses can utilize ASC to help them reach the right customers while still staying within budget constraints and maximizing sales. If you haven’t tested yet, consider setting up Meta Advantage+ Shopping campaigns in the new year and see what automation can do for you and if you’re already up and running, continue testing new creatives and scaling.