$416k at a 6.5x return in 60 days with Facebook & Instagram ads
Fashion eCommerce is a tough market. It’s not just about finding a winning product or finding winning creative. In fashion seasons change, products change, fashion in general changes and most difficult of all, products sell out when you find winning products.
To be successful in fashion eCommerce you need an overall strategy that complements Facebook and in this post I’m going to break down the system we use to scale the fashion brands we work with.
We’re going to cover:
Besides that we’re going to cover some Facebook specific points:
Let’s dive into it.
Something we noticed is that when fashion store owners launch a new collection, they most of the time just put their entire new collection on the website, throw up some ads saying ‘new fall collection launched’ and send people to the new-in page.
This works, if your new collection is good, but you can get so much more out of this.
By splitting up your collection into multiple parts you can drip feed your audience with several new styles every week or 2 weeks and especially keep your warm audiences engaged and coming back.
We’ve seen this do wonders and the screenshots below shows a new item launches where we split up the collection in smaller batches launching in different weeks. We found Wednesdays were a good day to launch and you can see the uplift on those days.
Besides new items as brand owner you always have to deal with items that are not selling or slower weeks when you don’t have any new item launches. So instead of marking down everything at the end of a season or hoping it will sell out at full price, introduce flash sales in the weeks that you don’t have any new item launches or when you anticipate slow sales.
By using flash sales we were able to generate one week of over $200k in sales at a ROAS of over 20x. Even though we were giving discounts on products, this still brought in more than enough profit and a ton of new customers.
The trick to running successful flash sales and product launches
Like I said, just putting your new products on the website and creating an ad saying ‘new products in’ or ‘sale this week’ is not the best action plan. Something we found very successful is ‘signalling’ of these events.
The way we do this is we build anticipation for new item launches and flash sales by notifying everyone in the warm audiences (and some cold) what will happen in the next week.
We run ads building up anticipation for new products or for the upcoming sale and what we see is that people engage with these ads much easier. We run a mix of video views, engagement and conversion ads in this stage depending if it’s a new product or a flash-sale.
When the sale starts or the new items come in, we’ve built up big audiences to target and this way we generated a $100k day for a sale and a $25k day for a new product launch.
Something to keep in mind in fashion overall from an ad and strategy perspective is that you want to try and focus on selling the collection/brand instead of selling single product. Unless you have massive volume behind the products. (1000+ units)
When you focus on products it’s easy to get people to buy that product, but if you don’t have the volume to back the sales you will quickly have to stop scaling. Also, selling people not 1 product but a collection or the brand will typically lead to a higher AOV because people buy more items.
Before we dive into the Facebook specifics we used on this account, I want to talk about how to influence your CPM in a positive way. What we noticed on this account is that when we started posting multiple times a day, the CPM came down a lot.
We compared this client (posting multiple times a day) to clients posting 3-5 times a week and the CPM compared to them selling in the same niche, same audiences and similar price range was up to 50% lower.
The good thing about posting multiple times a day is as well that you’re engaging a much bigger part of your audience organically. People engage on Facebook and Instagram which feeds the warm audiences in your funnel.
So best practice in fashion is to post multiple times a day. Don’t make this all about sales, focus around delivering value. Style guides, how to wear (or how not to wear lol), behind the scenes, ask for feedback/opinions/product ideas etc. This will engage your audience and help your ads in a big way.
The importance of creative and our Creative Testing Method
The most important element to being successful on Facebook at the moment is the creative. We see it all the time, the difference in running an account at a 2x return or a 5x return has most of the time nothing to do with audiences, ‘hacking’ the algorithm, manual bidding or anything like that.
It’s just, how well does your creative perform and resonate with your audience.
For this account we had a lot of good creative to work with. A mix of videos and images that we could use throughout the funnel in different ad formats.
With the content we had from the client we created different videos for different steps of the funnel. We also set up a system where we got new creative every 2 weeks so we could refresh different steps of the funnel.
If you don’t focus on this creative part, you’re not going to be successful with Facebook ads at scale. You NEED creative, and you need A LOT!
So how did we test this?
Since dynamic creative appeared we’ve been working on a system of using this in all our creative testing.
The system we used to use was as follows:
Campaign with 4 ad sets – all ad sets had 1x CPA as minimum budget (around 10% of the account spend for the campaign total)
The ad set targeted the best performing audience, most of the time a 1% LLA.
Every ad set had 3-5 ads and we would split out, videos, images, carousels and collections ads.
With dynamic creative, we have tried to simplify this process a bit. We now use the following process:
We create a dynamic creative campaign with again the best performing audience (1% LLA or Customer List)
In the dynamic creative we put the following:
We test this again at minimum 1x CPA and let it run to 3x CPA so we can see what the winning combination is. We then take the winning post ID from the dynamic creative and see how this performs on it’s own. We also turn this winning combination into a collection ad to see how this performs.
At the same time we create a dynamic creative version around the best product or best image/video combination to see if we can optimise this one further.
The winners out of this test we move into the scaling campaign.
If we don’t need new creative in that campaign because performance is good, we put the creative in a PPE campaign for engagement and build out the creative library.
Don’t stop this process, just rinse and repeat.
The type of creative that worked best on this account were video ads (both normal and collection) and carousel ads. We didn’t have much success with normal image ads for this fashion brand.
There are a couple of other things we’ve tested on this account and have been very successful with, especially at the scaling stage.
We ran a simple CBO structure in this account to the cold audiences. We put different products/collections in different CBO’s and used a mix of audiences in each CBO.
When we found a clear winning audience within a campaign we would put this into its own campaign with 6 duplicates to see how it performed on its own.
We saw that big audiences performed better and created a structure where we would spend 40% of our budget on small lookalikes, 40% of budget on bigger lookalikes of up to 10% and audiences up to around 20M people and 20% of budget on broad audiences.
Again, the most important thing was to keep cycling in new creatives from the testing phase.
For retargeting something we were really successful with in this account is targeting the email list in a separate campaign, split into different segments. We used a similar layout to what our email flows looked like and were getting returns of up to 16x in some of the segments.
The other thing we did for retargeting is target the bottom of funnel audience twice. We created 2 campaigns targeting the same audience of people that added to cart. We were getting around $2 add to carts so these audiences were massive.
Campaign 1 – Conversion Campaign with DPA ad targeting the add to carts, we kept the segments big enough (3 day and 4-10 days) as we saw performance was best in bigger audiences.
Campaign 2 – Reach Campaign with video ads, targeting the exact same audiences as above with a 100% overlap to hit them with a different piece of content.
This strategy worked extremely well and delivered a 10x+ on both campaigns.
One last important note is that the budget splits are important to look at. We normally use 60 to 70% of our budget for cold audiences, 20-30% for middle and bottom of funnel and 10% for loyalty/retention.
When we had a flash sale or new collection launch, we focused on building audiences up in the week(s) before and then during the launch or sale period shift budget over to the bottom of the funnel and retention stage. The split was more like 50/50 or even 40/60 cold/warm during these days/weeks.
These were the insights and strategy we used to scale a fashion brand to $416k at a 65x ROAS in 60 days.
Hope they are of help and let us know if you have any questions.
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