Council Post: How Misleading E-Commerce Experiences On Facebook Can Hurt Your Business And How To Avoid Them


Now, Facebook is taking things a step further. Last month, it announced it would be rolling out tighter rules for advertisers that receive negative feedback from customers, most of which come from misleading e-commerce experiences. Advertisers who consistently receive negative feedback could have their customer feedback score and ad delivery reduced and, in worst-case scenarios, their ability to advertise revoked.

In order for your business to stay in the clear, be wary of misleading e-commerce experiences your ads might be delivering on Facebook. But what exactly consists of a misleading e-commerce experience? In my experience, misleading e-commerce experiences typically fall within three categories:

• Product quality is not as expected. When a customer is unsatisfied with the product they receive, they feel duped.

• Item isn’t received or has shipping delays. If you don’t set proper expectations around delivery time for your product or service, you’ll get disgruntled customers. 

• Customer service is poor. If your business was unable to properly handle post-transaction issues like returns or refunds in a timely and fair manner in the eyes of the customer, don’t be surprised if they provide negative feedback to Facebook.

To keep its finger on the pulse of customer satisfaction on its platform and improve user experience, Facebook’s approach to tackling misleading e-commerce experiences is a three-step process, as outlined to me by my internal Facebook agency rep.

• Collecting customer feedback: Facebook surveys users who make purchases after clicking on ads to see if the products or services they received were accurately represented and if user expectations were fairly set. Facebook asks users to let them know if they were satisfied with their purchase experience or not and to specifically mention what they liked or didn’t like about it. You can see this for yourself on Facebook if you’ve recently made a purchase after clicking on an ad.

• Enforcement: The data Facebook collects from users who complete the survey after making a purchase from an ad is then used to give Facebook Business Pages a score of 0-5. If your business receives enough negative feedback to bring your score between a 1 or 2, you’ll see reduced delivery for your ads. And if you fall below a 1, odds are your ads will be disabled until you can improve your score.

• Continuous monitoring: Facebook will monitor impacted Pages’ customer feedback on a continuous basis. If your business doesn’t take action every month to improve its score, your page’s ads will reach fewer people. If your score improves above a 2, ad delivery restrictions will be removed.

All of this can be pretty alarming if your business relies on Facebook ads to drive sales, and Facebook understands this. It wants to help businesses deliver the best possible experience for users and built tools to help advertisers understand their feedback and improve. In my work with brands advertising on the platform, I’ve seen firsthand that advertisers have access to a customer feedback dashboard that shows their customer feedback score and insights.

• Customer feedback score: This 0-5 score summarizes your overall customer feedback. If your score is at or below the target threshold, you will see reduced ad delivery.

• Feedback insights: This section highlights key areas of improvement. You can also view actual customer feedback that has been shared with Facebook.

The dashboard updates weekly, which is when Facebook reassesses your customer feedback. Many users provide additional context for their feedback, which businesses can capitalize on to improve customer satisfaction. Paired with your own customer satisfaction data, the data Facebook provides can help your business figure out how to improve its purchase experience overall.

To ensure you keep your customer feedback score high and your Facebook ads working optimally, focus on the basics: Be clear, honest and prepared when it comes to serving your customer. Here are four best practices to keep in mind for advertising and selling on Facebook.

• Be clear about what you’re selling or offering. Use video, images and ad copy that accurately represent what you’re selling. On the nitty-gritty side, making sure things like dimensions, size charts and other aspects of the product are accurately shown goes a long way. For example, if you’re selling apparel, ensure your size charts work for other countries.

• Set clear expectations for shipping. If you’re doing door-to-door shipping, you need to show the shipping time accurately. The shipping information should include processing times, item availability, additional shipping costs and anything else that could impact delivery. A great way to deal with this is to provide the shipment’s tracking information so that the customer is in the know.

• Set clear expectations for customer service. If you’re upfront from the get-go, customers won’t have any surprises later. If you have return or exchange policies on your website, you need to honor them. If you’re operating in a different time zone than your customers, be clear about how long it’ll take you to reply to them.

• Make sure you can meet customer demand. This is a big one. If you ramp up your ad spend to increase your sales but don’t have the infrastructure in place to meet demand, this will hurt you. If you have limited inventory, run fewer ads for a while, or make it clear before a customer purchases about when products are expected to be back in stock and ship.

Creating a great experience for Facebook users after they click on your call to action and make a purchase is just as important as creating a good ad experience, as I discuss in a recent article. As Facebook continues to double-down on user experience and satisfaction, so must businesses advertising on the platform if they want to win with Facebook.