4 Ideas for building Facebook retargeting custom audience

Shopify Partner
36 0 11

It’s well-known that a typical eCommerce site converts less than 3% of visitors into paying customers. However, these remaining 97% already know your website and just need that little nudge towards a purchase which is retargeting.

Recently, I noticed that successful Shopify sellers nearly didn’t install the pixels to create Facebook custom audience. So, I decided to create this free step-by-step guide on how to bring back lost customers and be a boss of retargeting.

Don’t worry — it’s easier than you think!

Here’s this guide’s short table of contents:

  • A bit more on retargeting
  • Creating Website Custom Audience (WCA)
  • 4 Facebook retargeting ideas for your store (custom audience templates)
  • Conclusion

A bit more on retargeting

Google Adwords uses the term Remarketing for its retargeting feature. While Retargeting is the more commonly used term, they both mean pretty much the same.

The biggest advantage of retargeting is that you’re only showing your ad to people who are genuinely interested in your product. You can remarket to people who have visited your website, but haven’t purchased yet; customers who have completed a sale; and people who may not know about your product, but are likely to be interested in it.

Creating Website Custom Audience (WCA)

Building of your retargeting audience will start as soon as you install WCA pixels on your store’s website. It’s very important to do it as soon as possible to allow the audiences to get populated with your store’s visitors.

I divided this task into two: First, you’ll create custom audience and then you’ll install pixels on your Shopify store’s website.

Let’s start:

  1. Go to your Facebook Ads Manager and choose Audience.

2. Click Create a Custom Audience and choose Website Traffic.

3. Give your audience a name, for example ‘All example store visitors’, and click Create Audience.

4. Hover over Get Help and click View Pixel Details.

5. In the new window, you’ll get the pixel itself that need to copy.

Installing pixels to your Shopify store

  • Log in to your Shopify store dashboard
  • Go to Online store > Themes > Edit HTML/CSS

  • Click theme.liquid and paste your pixel after the <head> tag

  • Click Save

Since Shopify uses a different domain for checkout, you should install the same pixel on your thank-you-page and rename this pixel to distinguish visitors from those who already made a purchase.

  • Go to Settings > Checkout
  • In Additional content & scripts, copy your pixel again
  • Change ‘PixelInitialised’ to ‘Thank-you-page’

  • Hit Save

After the pixels have been installed, website custom audience starts to be built and is good to go. However, keep in mind that it may take a few hours for the new audience to have the final user count.

Tip: Install Facebook Pixel Helper to check the installed pixels on your website.

If you can see your installed pixels, that’s it. They are installed on all your online store pages and you can start creating another custom audience.

4 types of custom audience

#1 All website visitors

The most common remarketing tactic is targeting relevant ads at those who have already visited your website.

  • Creating a new ad campaign, you’ll see this audience type in your Ads manager 
  • You can’t start a campaign if your audience is smaller than 20 people

Here are some ad ideas you should try on this audience:

  • New collection release
  • Product updates
  • Discounts
  • Sweepstakes
  • Events

Here is example from Gravity Defyer

#2 Added to cart, but not bought

People rarely buy from you the first time they visit your site or see an offer. They would rather take their time, compare your pricing with competitors’ and visit your site a few more times before completing that valuable sale. 

Here is an example of how Startup Vitamins run their own retargeting with the same audience:

You can use texts like ‘Did you finish your purchase?’ or ‘Still making a decision?’ in your ads to basically steer the user into the action you want them to take. For an eCommerce store, this typically would be making a purchase.

Ads called ‘We’re retargeting you!’ had a lot of social shares (examples here, here and here). Try out different texts and images and disable the low performing ads over time. 

Another example from Redballoon: 


You have already installed pixels to all your store website pages, so now you just need to create new custom audience based on related properties.

  • Create new Website Custom Audience for Website Traffic with one of the two combinations below:

Include all the visitors and exclude those who make a purchase (less targeted)

Include only those who visit a product page and exclude those who make a purchase (more targeted)

#3 Audience segmented by product categories

Your Shopify store must be broken up into collections or categories like these ones:

  • Women’s Clothing
  • Men’s Clothing
  • Children’s Clothing
  • Shoes

You can learn a lot about your users based on the sections they visit. If they previously clicked Women’s Clothing, you’ll advertise products or special deals related to women’s clothing. I recommend that you create WCAs for each of the main categories of your website.

Create custom audience by including related keywords or links, here is an example:

Your Audiences should be like this:

#4 Facebook Dynamic Product Ads audience

Recently, Facebook released a new feature called “Facebook Dynamic Ads” that lets brands and retailers dynamically promote their products on Facebook, targeting the users who have already visited their website, but haven’t made a purchase.

How it works:

  • A user visits your product page but doesn’t make a purchase
  • He/she goes to Facebook to check out their timeline
  • Facebook campaign re-engages the user with the ad of the product they viewed and encourages them to come back to your website
  • The user returns to your website and makes a purchase

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I wrote step-by-step guide on how to start Facebook Dynamic Ads with the help of Retargetapp. But after 1,5 month I realized that Facebook Dynamic Ads are available to only 40% of those who proceed with my guide.

Eventually, we released a new fully automated Retargetapp, so you can start your campaign right now. No need to go through a boring step-by-step guide or manually create ads for your products.

The updated version of Retargetapp includes the following features:

  • Auto-connecting and updating product catalog (if you change price or add new products, this info will be updated in your ads automatically)
  •  Fully automated process of creating Facebook Dynamic Ads (no need to use a step-by-step guide to start)
  • Bidding algorithm that makes your purchases cheaper and more frequent
  • Simple figures that show campaign results

Stop wasting money on ads sending users to landing pages for products they won’t buy. Test all of the newly available Facebook features to find out what works best for you and your business.

What do you think? Have you retargeted content using Facebook custom audiences? Did you see more conversions? Leave your comments and questions below.

Replies 13 (13)
Shopify Partner
16 0 4

This was very helpful, thanks! Looking forward to signing up once the app lets me connect to FB.

Shop Jeep Apparel perfect for outdoor adventures at http://itsajeepshirt.com/?utm_source=shopify_forums
Shopify Partner
36 0 11


We have some troubles with Facebook login on Retargetapp right now and currently fixing it. I'll keep you updated. Sorry for that :(

Shopify Partner
36 0 11

Hi again, 

Please, try at retargetapp.com. It works!
Feel free to ask any questions and I'm sorry to keep you waiting.


12 0 1


Why do you have "Event" to exclude the thank you page audiences?

I don't see that option, and I'm having trouble excluding my thank you landers..

Any ideas?

Shopify Partner
36 0 11

Hi Jeff

1. Add pxel with "thank_you_page" name to checkout page. (like in this step-by-step guide, #1 step)

2. You need to activate this pixel by visiting your thank-you-page and wait 2-10 min.  

Than you'll see this event.

Let me know if you'll have more questions. 




New Member
1 0 0

Do I only need to add the 2 snippets of code as shown? Or do I need to modify the original snippet like I did with the thank-you-page and embed the code onto each collection page, say the "shoes" collection, and replacing 'PixelInitialised' with 'Shoes'? 

Also my Ads Manager only seems to let me exclude an URL, I don't have the option to choose 'Event' that should let me choose 'Thank-you-page'.

Shopify Partner
36 0 11

Hi Kerry


1)  2 snippet of code like you did, it was Website Custom Audience pixels to tracking your audience.

- do not modify pixels withing this step by step guide (only for thank you page)

Also I recommend you to install Website Conversion Tracking pixel to Thank you Page for tracking conversions.


2) For choose event you need to activate this pixel with Facebook Helper. (Install Facebook Helper and visit your thank you page).

Also you can exclude those who purchased within URL instead of event. See screenshot as example:



Shopify Partner
36 0 11

Hi Kerry

1)  2 snippet of code like you did, it was Website Custom Audience pixels to tracking your audience.

- do not modify pixels withing this step-by-step guide (only for thank you page)

Also I recommend you to install Website Conversion Tracking pixel to "Thank you Page" for tracking conversions.


2) For choosing event you need to activate this pixel with Facebook Helper. (Install Facebook Helper and visit your thank you page).

Also you can exclude those who purchased within URL instead of event. See screenshot as example:


New Member
2 0 0

Can somebody tell me, how to implement new Facebook Pixel codes? I

If I change old conversion tracking pixel with new FB Pixel code, do I have to set up new Audiences?