What are Shopify Audiences & How should I use them?

We have a special issue of the blog for you where we learn about Shopify Audiences and how they are being used for testing ads currently from someone who is in the trenches daily. Dr. Jonathan Snow, Co-Founder of the Snow Agency. Enjoy! 👇

What are Shopify Audiences?

Shopify audiences is essentially equivalent to a Facebook lookalike audience, but the data is coming from Shopify and it's all first-party data.

So as cookies and, and third-party data diminish and interests start diminishing over time on the Facebook platform and lose power.

Shopify audiences theoretically would not be impacted. Cause it's all the first party data coming from Shopify and you'd be targeting these people directly.

How can you get access to Audiences?

Shopify audiences is only available for Shopify Plus merchants and you need to be processing transactions with Shopify payment.

If you're on Shopify plus, but using a third-party processor, like a Braintree or Stripe or whatever other processor you might have, you would need to switch to Shopify payments and you would need to be on the Shopify plus plan in order to get access to the Shopify Audiences app.

How is the audience built?

Let's just say you're selling women's shoes. You would select the SKU of the shoe in the store.

It's very important to label all of your products. If you don't label your products, you won't be able to leverage Shopify audiences because they use the product label to find people throughout the Shopify network of merchants whose customers were in the market for women's shoes.

You would select the SKU, Shopify will then start creating that lookalike to find up to 2 million people that are in the market, essentially for women's shoes.

These are people that might have abandoned carts on other women's shoes, stores. It could be anyone that was browsing, other stores browsing your own store. It's not really clear. Those are my kind of assumptions on how they find these people, but it's only up to 2 million people for now.

And it takes 24 hours for the audience to generate.

What platform integrations are in place?

Facebook is the only integration at the moment, but they're actively working on the TikTok integration. That should be rolled out definitely within 2022. They're also working on the Snapchat integration and Pinterest. So those are the three next in line for access here.

Does the audience refresh automatically, like on platforms like Facebook?

The Shopify audience will update and refresh, but only in Shopify, not in the Facebook ad dashboard.

Every one to two weeks, you should turn it off. Re-export the new refresh Shopify audience into the ad dashboard and start your targeting.

Will introducing a refreshed audience restart learning mode?

That's a weakness of the product, which is still very early, but the last thing you want, if you're getting these great results on, on an ad and it's out of learning, is to turn off that ad.

Cause now if you go to the relearning phase and kind of re-upload this audience and start from scratch again.

But if you leave that audience on forever, you're gonna be targeting the same 2 million people. Over time. So keep that in mind.

🔥 tip → My best practice is always put the date that you exported the audience in your audience title and put it in your ad set title.

So you can really keep track of this easily. Um, and know when it's time to refresh that audience and re-export.

How has this been affecting performance?

CPMs are actually much higher on this audience. I'm talking like significantly higher, like 30 to 50% higher; because it's a finite audience of high intent consumers, obviously.

You know, when you're targeting a finite audience on Facebook, you're gonna have to bid more on the options automatically just to reach those people.

But that premium you're paying is getting paid back through elevated performance because these are higher intent consumers.

We're seeing conversion rates much higher on the Shopify audience-driven funnel. Um, and so that is decreasing CPA.

So the people coming from this audience onto the website are much higher intent than those that are in the Facebook lookalike audiences right now.

What does this mean for performance marketing attribution?

The great backend potential of this is since Shopify is giving you hashed customer info for these audiences you don't know the names, emails, etc and it syncs directly into the Facebook platform.

Since Shopify knows who you were targeting, cuz they gave you that list of emails and they're converting on your Shopify store. That's a potential solution to attribution right there. Because if you know you targeted this. And they bought with that email then. Boom, that's a one-to-one match.

How do you tell if the audiences are working?

Shopify audiences has an attribution dashboard.  So you can compare that to the Facebook attribution. That's been like another source of truth for us.

We've been seeing some great extra attribution that Facebook wasn't reporting on purely from the Shopify audience.

How are the AOV’s with this audience?

Yeah, I would say the AOV’s are a little higher, but nothing significant. I think it's more so the conversion rate that's really, you know, elevating that CPA to, to decrease on the Shopify audience.

What are you excited about for this in the future?

Right now the attribution on Shopify does not communicate with the Facebook attribution. Meaning the pixel and the algorithm are not getting this feedback loop passed back from Shopify.

Once attribution on Shopify gets more reliable on the audience and passes back to Facebook, that should theoretically increase performance on the ads tremendously because now the algorithm and the pixel has a

One-to-one match rate and the attribution solution that kind of went away with iOS 14, that's been solved.

Now that feedback loop is more consistent and the algorithm won't get confused with like all the false negatives when they think Sally from Idaho didn't purchase but she actually did.

That like throws the whole system into disarray. So elevating the actual attribution, and making it more precise will increase performance in turn.

Hacks 🔥🤌 👇

A) To combat CPMs that are really high on the audiences.

One workaround is actually to change the objective to reach to lower those CPMs. If you're targeting these people that are already high intent, and now you're kind of hacking the whole CPM-based model on the conversion event. What you're then optimizing for, then you put lower CPMs and should improve your return on ad spend, and your CPAs should drop.

B) Exclude your Shopify audience from all of your other ad sets in the ad account, so that when you're actually targeting that Shopify audience, you're targeting those people only in that one ad set.

And it's not, you know, in multiple places in the ad account to minimize overlap.

That's all for now! What do you think of this?


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