3 Best Alternatives to Facebook Ads for Shopify Stores
Facebook ads inconsistent and not performing? What are the alternatives to skyrocketing your Shopify sales?
In the past couple of months, there's been chatter on various Facebook groups, Reddit, Youtube, and Quora about how Facebook ads are failing to consistently deliver traffic that converts.
Sure, there are days that you turn a great profit and there are others when there’s hardly any money in it. Yet, if there wasn’t a time when those same ads were helping shops earn enough to grow their business, there would be no issue.
Nowadays, however, Shopify merchants can invest so much of their earnings into ads only to get zero return, which makes their disappointment quite understandable. Even more so, considering that the failures are often due to the inner workings of the ad platforms themselves.
For example, many vendors have pointed out in particular how unstable Facebook's algorithm is.
“Criminals. They could at least give us a warning when our ads may be affected so we can pause or prepare but no. They just take our money, even when they know our ads could be screwed.”
“Has anyone had any troubles with Facebook ads showing extremely inconsistent results lately? A couple of days in a row I had over $1000 in sales for each day and without changing any variables my sales went down to $200-300 days where it loses me significant money!!”
People on Facebook groups are also sharing their screenshots of Shopify dashboards showing inconsistencies of their sales from Facebook ads:
And the worst part is that it’s impossible to fight against it. Facebook can just as easily be testing new features without warning advertisers and messing up their ad results but still charging tons of money for it.
Are you one of those merchants that are experiencing the same issues and are thinking about finding an alternative? Well, in that case, we've made a list of 3 Facebook ad alternatives that you might want to try out.
Facebook Alternative #1: Shopify Apps Dedicated to Bringing in Traffic
The best thing about these apps is that they can be completely free.
For example, Sixads promotes your store by advertising your products on other Shopify stores. You show partner ads on your site, and they show your ads on theirs. You can always opt-out from showing ads on your website.
Sixads pricing is quite different from Facebook ads. With Facebook ads, you set a budget per day and you can’t know how many impressions you will get exactly. With Sixads you purchase an exact amount of impressions you want to get per month.
High purchase intent traffic
In Facebook, if people are scrolling through their feed and they have 0 intent to buy something, you just distract them with your ads.
With Sixads you show your ads on other e-commerce stores. This means that those people who are seeing the ad are already looking for something to buy, so you have a much bigger chance to make a sale.
You can choose which countries you want to advertise in. For example, if you want to advertise only in the U.S, then their algorithm will only show ads for people that are from the U.S. Your ad budget will only be spent on users that meet your targeting criteria.
Helpful and very responsive customer support
With Facebook, you can wait for ages till you get your answer from their support. And you know it as well as I do that it’s usually useless, i.e. it doesn’t even help with the problem at hand.
So Sixads can be a more preferable alternative since it offers a much faster response along with personalized insights on how to improve your ad performance.
It works as an ad exchange
With a free plan, you have to show other stores ads in order to be advertised in their stores. So to avoid this, you'd have to opt for one of the paid plans.
Low scaling potential
Sixads can be not that great for very big shops because scaling potential is much lower. SIXADS has a much lower reach than Facebook ads, that’s why scaling could be tricky.
Facebook Ads Alternative #2: Search Engine Optimization
Your rankings in search engines play a huge part in how easily and how often shoppers are able to find your store. The higher your rank is in search engine results, the more free traffic your eCommerce store is going to get. This naturally leads to an increase in sales.
The traffic is completely free
Have you ever wondered how many searches are made on Google every year? It is estimated that Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day, which translates into at least 2 trillion searches per year.
With SEO you can reach a part of this enormous number of potential customers and grow your business completely free.
SEO delivers targeted traffic
One of the main reasons people are using search engines is to find a solution for their problem or a specific issue they’re having. For example, if you are selling weight loss supplements, then it would be perfect for you to rank for searches such as “How to lose weight fast” or “weight loss supplements”.
Good conversion rates
With SEO you are getting targeted traffic that is already looking for a solution to their problem. If you put your product as an easy and ideal solution for the problem they are facing, then a conversion is guaranteed. With SEO traffic your conversion rates can skyrocket and take your store to a new level.
The results can take a long time
SEO is very slow and it can take months or even years to optimize for certain keywords. If you want or need immediate results from your e-commerce business, then SEO may not be the go-to option for you.
If you are dropshipping, take into consideration that you can’t wait for weeks or months before you see your first results. Other people are constantly copying your products and the market can become saturated quickly. However, if you are private labeling or selling your own unique products, then SEO could be the way to go.
SEO has no guarantee for results
Landing on the first page is what really matters in search results, as 75% of search users will most likely never scroll past this very first page and disregard the rest.
You can spend months trying to get on the first page but there are no guarantees that you will succeed, especially if you are trying to rank in competitive niches.
SEO will require a big investment for a competitive niche
If it takes a long time to start ranking on the first page, then it will also take a long time to achieve a good return on investment from all your efforts. This may not be acceptable for small businesses that need to generate revenues to keep themselves in the game.
Facebook Alternative #3: Google Ads
Another alternative to consider is Google ads. In fact, Google has even bigger U.S ad spend than Facebook.
You can use Google ads to advertise in the search results, their Display Network, and Gmail. Google is trying to make it very easy for all merchants to start out with their ad delivery network. However, it doesn’t have that much traction with Shopify store owners.
Someone who enters a search query in Google tends to be a much more motivated buyer than the one who is just scrolling through a feed. If you can afford it, Google ads could deliver ready-to-convert traffic consistently.
Fast traffic flow
Imagine how many visitors your site could attract while being above the organic search results in Google. By bidding on keywords related to your product or services, you can have your website gaining a steady flow of potential customers very quickly.
High-value keywords are competitive
Since Google lets you and your competitors bid on the same keywords in an auction, clicks can get very competitive (and thus expensive) very quickly. The more businesses there are bidding on the term you’re interested in, the more you’ll have to pay for your ads to show up in front of potential customers.
Steep learning curve
If you’ve never run a pay-per-click advertising campaign before, you may find that this kind of advertising is quite difficult. It’s relatively easy to create a campaign, but you may soon find out that your campaign isn’t performing very well. Unfortunately, you’ll need to do quite a bit of testing to start delivering good results or have someone with substantial experience to guide you through the process.
Which alternative will you choose?
If you are tired of Facebook ads inconsistencies and high prices, there are alternative avenues you can take to help your business grow. You can give Shopify traffic apps, SEO, and Google Ads a go. The first two options could be free whereas with Google Ads you need to allocate a budget.
Let us know in the comments how you deal with Facebook Ads issues. What other alternatives are you using?
The article was written by our partners from Sixads. Sixads is the ad exchange for websites and allows you to easily exchange product ads with other websites and attract more committed shoppers.