Facebook product catalogue: optimization for more performance

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Facebook product catalogue: optimization for more performance

The Facebook product catalogue forms the basis for two ad formats that are among the most effective on Facebook. On the one hand, it is used for dynamic retargeting and on the other side in the formats collection and dynamic product carousel to present your products to existing or new customers in an appealing way.

The basics: Creating and setting up a catalogue
The product catalogue is created in the Business Manager using the Catalog Manager. To ensure that the ads are displayed optimally, you have the option of selecting your industry. The catalogue is presented in a suitable format via this industry selection, as the sectors differ in the columns in the feed and available pixel events. In this example, we will deal with the e-commerce category.

If you call up the catalogue, it is possible to upload an export feed from your shop via the menu item Product data sources.

Facebook already offers its solutions for Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. Other shop systems often have inexpensive solutions in the respective plugin store.

If you select event data sources, you can store the Facebook pixel (and an app if available) so that the events that the pixel sends are assigned to the appropriate products from the catalogue.

Tip: check the correct display of pictures
Under Settings, there is an important point that is often forgotten: cropping images. The standard-setting “Fill ads with image” often leads to a distorted display, especially with individual advertisements, so you should carefully consider which setting is useful based on your catalogue.

The heart: The match rate and the Facebook pixel
The most important thing for successful campaigns with the product catalogue is accurate tracking. The Facebook pixel used should send at least the following events:

ViewContent (including parameter content_id)
AddToCart (including parameter content_id)
Purchase (including parameter content_id)
The parameter content_id is relevant to identify precisely the product that the user has viewed or bought. This, in turn, enables more targeted cross- and/or upselling campaigns.

The menu item “Event data sources” in the catalogue should be checked regularly. Here it is possible to see how many of the pixel’s events correspond to products in the description.


A common cause for a too low match rate is that the pixel sends a separate ID for each product variant, but the Facebook catalogue only contains the main product. In this case, it is helpful to work with the Pixel Helper (Google Chrome Plugin) and manually compare the sent product IDs with the products contained in the Facebook product catalogue on a random sample basis.

More than just re-targeting: product ranges and cross-selling
The complete setup of the catalogue also includes the creation of product pallets. These are very helpful if you do not want to advertise your entire product range in dynamic advertisements.

The products can be narrowed down by Content ID, name, category and other product characteristics.

For exclusive promotions, it is useful to create such pallets so that these products are advertised in a targeted manner.

For example, a differentiation based on price can be used to advertise only high-priced products with which a high ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is achieved.

Product pallets are also the basis for cross-selling. The campaign target for this is product catalogue sales. Two pallets must be defined (or you can use the entire catalogue). Example: If a customer buys from pallet A, he is automatically shown a product from the matching pallet B.

Note: For cross-selling to work, the Facebook pixel must send the Content ID when a customer triggers the purchase event. This is the only way Facebook can determine whether the customer has purchased something from the selected palette.

Get even more out of it: Optimizing the product feed

  1. feed rules
    Under the item Settings, you will find the option to create standards for the feed, so you can define mandatory fields that do not exist. For example, if the brand is missing because it is a private label, a fixed value can be selected here.
  2. several product pictures
    Additional column additional_image_link
    At least one image is required to create a catalogue. More images will, of course, improve the performance. With dynamic catalogue displays, you have the option to automatically create a slideshow in which the individual images are combined into a video. This usually leads to much more attention.

To bring some variety to the otherwise quite similar remarketing with clipping images, it is recommended to use a different one in the feed than the first product image as the main image. Experience shows that “mood pictures” are often used to indicate the product in use. Many plugins offer the possibility to define which of the product images should be used as the main image.

  1. summarize variant articles
    Additional column item_group_id
    If the catalogue contains articles with variants, e.g. several colours, it makes sense to transfer only one ID for the article group. This prevents customers from seeing very similar items if they have already purchased a colour variant. In addition, dynamic displays show a wider selection of the assortment.
  2. offer prices
    Additional column sales_price
    In order to communicate offer prices via dynamic catalogue ads, it is necessary to add an extra column in the feed that contains the sales price. This way, the appropriate placeholders can now be used in the text.

Or an overlay can be inserted, which contains the sales price:

  1. optimization through the custom label
    Additional column custom_label_0-4
    Custom labels offer the option to implement many things according to your own taste. Some approaches are, for example:

A. Dynamic free texts

Own texts or prices can be inserted via custom label columns. For example, a custom label “from” could be conceivable, which is automatically displayed for products with a price scale or contains further product information that you would like to communicate in the ads (publication date, author, etc.)

B. Seasonal products

Products that are only relevant in summer or winter can be marked with a custom label. In this way, product ranges can be created, and it can be ensured that only seasonal products are advertised.

C. Product Reviews

Positive evaluations are one of the best buying arguments. If product ratings are available, they can be displayed in the text or used as a dynamic overlay for the product images.

D. Improve Tracking

With custom labels, granular tracking can be set up. Assuming you use a discount as a custom label in the ads, you add this label as a parameter in the deep-link to the website and can thus track the performance of this label precisely.

With an optimally set up product catalogue, the performance of the advertisements can be significantly improved, and customers can be shown exactly the product they are most likely to be interested in. Not only the CTR (click-through rate) benefits from this measure but also all the key figures in the sales funnel, as this enables the appropriate products to be displayed to the appropriate target group.