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The Power of Creative Combinations: An eCommerce Case Study

Written by: Juliana Casale, Director of Marketing

The transition between one season to the next is a retailer’s time to shine when it comes to eCommerce. The Facebook News Feed and Right Hand Side are valuable real estate to promote new product lines and drive increased traffic to stores as well as virtual shopping carts. In Q4 2013, Nanigans partnered with a leading retailer for a seven-week campaign that achieved a 73X return on ad spend — 20% higher than their target goal — based on view through.


A leading retail company wanted to test revenue optimization using the Nanigans Ad Engine. They allocated a $130K budget and set 15X return on ad spend as a goal. A secondary goal was to test out custom audiences, keyword targeting, ad placement, bid amounts, and creative combinations to drive the best possible results and inform the focus of future campaigns.


  • Targeting:  The retailer marketed to men and women in the US, ages 25-44, leveraging custom audiences while tracking impression data, giving credit for both view and click purchases. They also used lookalikes layered with keyword targeting around fashion, media and travel as well as competitive keywords focused on similar retail sellers.
  • Creative: The retailer experimented with link and photo ads in the News Feed as well as in the Right Hand Side. They tried out different headlines, images and calls to action, highlighting seasonally appropriate clothing, accessories and jewelry. Testing was performed on logo placement/visibility, individual items vs. collections, focus on lifestyle photography vs. product focus, and varying CTAs.
  • Bidding & Optimization: The retailer selected 50% yield, set a bid limit and made adjustments accordingly, rotating in new targeting segments as needed. Conversion rate consistently increased with each post since switching to product sort URLs.


Overall, through the direct response campaign the retailer achieved a 73X return on ad spend — four times more than their original target. In the News Feed, females drove 73% of revenue with 62% of spend. Lookalikes (similarity) was the top performing target type. The Right Hand Side delivered 88% of the orders and revenue, and the campaign return on ad spend was $92 (229% more efficient than News Feed). Males delivered higher average order value (AOV). A well-placed/highly visible logo, focus on accessories and collections (highest CTR), strong CTAs (“GET THE LOOK”), and product-specific imagery were creative combinations that performed best.

Leveraging custom audiences and consistently refreshing creative (at least 2x a week) were two tactics that especially paid off – and something eCommerce companies would do well to incorporate as a best practice.


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