Case study: FBX ads result in more sales when combined with Facebook Ads API

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fbxE-commerce customers who were targeted with Facebook Exchange remarketing ads after first seeing a traditional Facebook ad generated 89 percent more in sales revenue than customers who entered the remarketing pool through non-Facebook channels, according to a study by Nanigans.

In a four-month study of an online retailer that generated $1.2 million in sales revenue from 5,188 customers who were retargeted through the Facebook Exchange, Nanigans found that the combination of FBX ads and native Facebook audience targeting through the Ads API was more effective in generating sales than either tactic alone.


FBX ads are targeted by cookies that are placed on a user’s browser when they visit a third-party website that has hired one of Facebook’s partner platforms (DSPs). When the user returns to Facebook, the social network recognizes the cookie and offers up ad inventory in the right-hand column of the site. DSPs bid to have their retargeting ads appear there. For now, FBX is not integrated with Facebook’s Ads API, which allows advertisements to be targeted by demographic information and interests. However, what is possible is running campaigns that are targeted using the Ads API and which drive to an external website. Once users visit the advertiser’s site, they are eligible to be retargeted through a separate FBX campaign.

Nanigans says this approach led to 39 percent additional purchasing customers than using FBX by itself. Those customers also spent more than users who initially visited the advertiser’s site through non-Facebook channels, such as organic discovery or paid search. In a blog post Nanigans wrote:

“This study makes clear that if you’re not leveraging Facebook Ads API buys alongside FBX retargeting, you’re not only missing out on new customers, you’re missing out on your highest quality customers and significant incremental revenue.”

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