How to Target Facebook Users Based on Purchase Behavior

Facebook Ads Purchase Behavior Targeting

During the past couple of weeks, I’ve helped you understand the power of demographic and behavioral targeting with Facebook ads. Amazingly, advertisers are able to target Facebook users based on their actions away from Facebook.

Make sure you brush up on these blog posts:

Today, we’re going to talk about possibly the most amazing behavior targeting at all: Reach users with Facebook ads based on the things they buy away from Facebook.

The Basics

This powerful targeting is found within behavior targeting. Whether you’re creating an ad within Power Editor or the ad create tool, click “Browse” within Behaviors.

Facebook Power Editor Behaviors

That will give you the following categories:

  • Automotive (DLX Auto Powered by Polk)
  • Charitable Donations
  • Digital Activities
  • Financial
  • Mobile Device User
  • Purchase Behavior
  • Residential Profiles
  • Travel

Click on the Purchase Behavior category.

Facebook Power Editor Purchase Behavior

You will then be given the following sub-categories:

  • Business Purchases
  • Buyer Profiles
  • Clothing
  • Food and Drink
  • Health and Beauty
  • Home and Garden
  • Household Products
  • Kids Products
  • Pet Products
  • Purchase Habits
  • Purchase Types
  • Sports and Outdoors
  • Store Types
  • Subscription Services

Looks pretty crazy, right? Let’s dig in!

Business Purchases

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Business Purchases

If you’re a B2B company, you need to check this out. Click on Business Purchases for the following options:

  • Business Marketing
  • Maintenance, Repair and Operations
  • Office and Corporate Gifts
  • Training and Publications

If your ideal customer buys any of these products, make sure you test this out! I know that my target audience buys business marketing products, so I should work this into my targeting!

Facebook gets all of this information from data mining partner Epsilon. In each case, it is “aggregated, multi-sourced offline transaction-based data.”

Buyer Profiles

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Buyer Profiles

A person’s buying history can help Facebook and data mining partners generate buyer profiles to help categorize the types of buyer a person is. Click on Buyer Profiles for the following options:

  • DIYers
  • Fashionistas
  • Foodies
  • Gadget Enthusiast
  • Gamers
  • Green Living
  • Healthy and Fit
  • Luxury Brands and Services
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • Shoppers
  • Skiing, Golfing and Boating
  • Spa Enthusiasts
  • Sportsmen
  • Trendy Homemakers

This information comes from data partners Epsilon and Datalogix. Facebook explains how these profiles were assembled as follows:

U.S consumer data on where consumers shop, how they shop, what products and brands they purchase, the publications they read, and their demographic and psychographic attributes.


Facebook Power Editor Behavior Clothing

If you sell clothing, make sure to target Facebook users based on the types of clothing they have proven to buy!

Click on Clothing for the following options:

  • Children’s
  • Men’s
  • Seasonal
  • Women’s

Each of these are broken down further…


  • Children’s Apparel
  • Infant and Toddler Apparel


  • Accessories
  • Big and Tall Apparel
  • Business Apparel
  • Jeans


  • Fall Seasonal Shoppers
  • Spring Seasonal Shoppers
  • Summer Seasonal Shoppers
  • Winter Seasonal Shoppers


  • Accessories
  • Business Apparel
  • Fine Jewelry
  • High-Ticket Apparel and Accessories
  • Jewelry
  • Low-Ticket Apparel and Accessories
  • Luxury Brand Apparel
  • Mid-Ticket Apparel and Accessories
  • Plus Sizes
  • Women’s Shoes
  • Yount Women’s Apparel

Most of this information comes from actual purchase history through Datalogix and Epsilon.

Food and Drink

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Food and Drink

Click on the Food and Drink category and you can further drill down targeting based on the foods people buy:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Bakery
  • Beverages
  • Cereal
  • Children’s Food
  • Condiments and Dressings
  • Cooking Supplies
  • Dairy and Eggs
  • Frozen Food
  • Grocery Shopper Type
  • Health Food
  • Meat and Seafood
  • Soup
  • Sweets and Snacks

Not detailed enough? Well, click any of the above to break it down further…

Alcoholic Beverages

  • Wine


  • Bakery Products


  • Bottled Water
  • Carbonated Drinks
  • Coffee
  • Coffee (K-Cup)
  • Diet Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Hot Tea
  • Iced Tea and Lemonade
  • Juice
  • Non-Dairy Milk
  • Sports Drinks


  • All Cereal
  • Children’s Cereals
  • Fiber Cereals
  • Hot Cereals

Children’s Food

  • Baby Food and Products
  • Children’s Food
  • Children’s Food and Products

Condiments and Dressings

  • Condiments
  • Salad Dressings

Cooking Supplies

  • Baking
  • Spices

Dairy and Eggs

  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt

Frozen Food

  • Frozen Entrees
  • Frozen Meats and Seafood
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Ice Cream and Novelties

Grocery Shopper Type

  • Premium Brand Groceries
  • Top Spenders

Health Food

  • Diet Foods
  • Fresh Produce
  • Low-Fat Foods
  • Natural and Organics

Meat and Seafood

  • Meat
  • Seafood


  • Soup

Sweets and Snacks

  • Breakfast Bars
  • Chocolate Candy
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Granola Bars
  • Non-Chocolate Candy
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Salty Snacks

Facebook gets all of this information from Datalogix via “loyalty card and transaction-level household purchase data with multi-channel coverage across all product categories.”

Health and Beauty

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Health and Beauty

You can target Facebook users who purchase specific types of health and beauty products by clicking the “Health and Beauty” sub-category. That opens up the following:

  • Allergy Relief
  • Beauty Products and Accessories
  • Cosmetics
  • Cough and Cold Relief
  • Fragrance
  • Hair Care
  • Over-the-Counter Medication
  • Pain Relief
  • Sun Care
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamins and Supplements

Datalogix and Epsilon provide this information, much of it via loyalty card transactions.

Home and Garden

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Home and Garden

Target Facebook users who invest in the area outside of their homes by clicking the Home and Garden sub-category. That brings up the following:

  • Entertaining
  • Home Renovation
  • Organization
  • Tools

This information is provided by Datalogix via “transaction level date (sic) across 1,200 U.S. retailers across catalog, physical store, and online purchases.”

Household Products

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Household Products

Target Facebook users who spend money on products for cleaning and organizing the home by clicking the Household Products sub-category. Click it for these options:

  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Food Storage
  • Green Cleaners and Suppliers
  • Laundry Supplies

This information is provided by Datalogix via loyalty card transactions.

Kids Products

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Kids Products

You can target Facebook users with young kids by targeting those who spend money on products for them. Click the Kids Products sub-category for these options:

  • Baby Care
  • Baby Toys
  • Children’s Products

This is provided by Acxiom and Epsilon via actual purchase history.

Pet Products

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Pet Products

Reach people with pets by targeting those who buy things for them! Click on the Pet Products sub-category for these options:

  • Cat Food and Products
  • Cat Owners
  • Cat Products
  • Dog Food and Products
  • Dog Owners
  • Dog Products
  • Pet Care Products
  • Pet Products

This information is provided by Datalogix via purchase history and many of the methods discussed earlier.

Purchase Habits

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Purchase Habits

Is your product only available offline? Or online? It’s important to target those who typically buy that way.

Click the Purchase Habits sub-category for these options:

  • Above Average Spending
  • Offline Buyers
  • Online Buyers

This information is provided by Epsilon.

Purchase Types

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Purchase Types

What other specific things is your ideal audience buying? Click on Purchase Types to target users who make the following purchases:

  • Appliances
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Beauty Accessories
  • Books
  • Collectibles
  • Cosmetics
  • Electronics
  • Gender Neutral Apparel
  • Gift Products
  • Gifts and Flowers
  • Gifts and Party Supplies
  • High-End Home Decor
  • Home Office
  • Low-End Home Decor
  • Men’s Apparel
  • Music and Videos
  • Senior Products
  • Shoes
  • Small and Home Office Products
  • Software
  • Specialty Foods and Gifts
  • Sports and Outdoors
  • Tools and Electronics
  • Travel Supplies
  • Upscale Travel and Services
  • Women’s Apparel

This information comes from Datalogix, Epsilon and Acxiom via purchase histories.

Sports and Outdoors

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Sports and Outdoors

Target Facebook users you know spend a lot of time outdoors based on the things they buy! Click the Sports and Outdoors sub-category for these options:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Fitness
  • Golf and Tennis
  • Hiking and Camping
  • Hunting
  • Running
  • Winter Sports

This information comes from Datalogix purchase histories.

Store Types

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Store Types

Do your customers shop at specific types of stores? Target them by clicking on Store Types!

  • Furniture Stores
  • High-End Retail
  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Low-End Department Stores
  • Membership Warehouse

Acxiom provides this information via purchase histories.

Subscription Services

Facebook Power Editor Behavior Subscription Services

And finally, you can reach Facebook users who are known to sign up for specific types of subscription services by clicking the Subscription Services sub-category:

  • Auto Insurance Online
  • Higher Education
  • Mortgage Online
  • Prepaid Debit Cards
  • Satellite TV

Datalogix provides this information “based on recent consumer purchases and created to identify consumers likely to respond to offers in this category.”

Where Does Facebook Get This Data?

As discussed in prior posts and above, all of this information comes from Partner Categories. Facebook partners with data mining companies that collect data based on purchases, applications and surveys completed and send it to Facebook for ad targeting purposes.

It will undoubtedly sound creepy to some that you can target based on some of this information. But if you get past the creepiness, this data can be used to generate incredibly relevant — and useful — advertising.

As always, advertisers have no access to the names associated with this data. For more on how this data is used, make sure you read this message from Facebook.

How Can Advertisers Use This Data?

The possibilities are endless, but here are a few examples of how advertisers can use this information…

Fitness Gym: Target Healthy and Fit, Vitamins, Vitamins and Supplements, Fitness, Running

Online Upscale Women’s Clothing Retail: Target Fashionistas, High-Ticket Apparel and Accessories, High-End Retail, Above Average Spending, Online Buyers

Offline Dog Toy Product: Target Offline Buyers, Dog Products, Dog Owners, Dog Food and Products

Online Marketing Product: Target Business Marketing, Training and Publications, Online Buyers, Small and Home Office Products

Your Turn

Have you started using this information in your targeting? What have you done, or what ideas do you have?

Let me know in the comments below!

  • Mrs D

    Are Purchase Habits available on the drop down menu yet?

    • Scott Linklater

      They are if you have them. I’ve noticed that even some US based accounts didn’t have the features when released and some still don’t.

  • David

    Looks like this feature is only available to US advertisers. Any word when this feature will be available worldwide?

    • Iain MacGillivray

      second that, why can’t UK Advertisers targeting US Audiences have access to this data, does not make any sense..

      • Scott Linklater

        It’s a joke but has been that way for over a year with partner categories so don’t hold your breath.

  • James

    Hey Jon, we only have 3 behaviours available to us, even though we are trying to target US businesses. Any idea on why this is? Is it location based? Thanks – great article.

    • Ian Bowland

      Hi James the data is supplied by US data aggregators and this is currently only available for US accounts (it’s really annoying as we are in the same boat and want to target US potential customers too!)

  • Kaushal Shah

    I am not able to see all “Purchae Behaviour” mentioned in this blog post. Only few are available! Is it due to geographic targeting? How do I get all categories under Purchase Behavious?

    • Jon Loomer

      Not fully rolled out outside of the US yet.

      • Emmanuel DotMe

        Hey Jon

        I know you dont work for facebook but would you know when it should be rolled out for the rest NON – US residents?

        Canada is always behind man…facebook really knows how to get to us

  • Ian Bowland

    Hi Jon, Weve only got very limited versions of this in UK. However, still doing some smart stuff using > Digital Activities > Small Business Owners (by location) and excluding people already on email list. Works like a charm (but would still like allthe options open to you)

  • marcus jakbo

    Hi Jon ! Great stuff! One question what do you think is the best way to go, create one campainge based on purchase behavior and another for intrests within the same target audience or should i combine the both ?

    • Jon Loomer

      Separate ad sets, Marcus.

      • Nicole

        Quick question Jon: Marcus asks if he should target Behaviors and Interests separately. Isn’t it an “and” situation as opposed to an “or”. For example, I’m in the automotive industry, and I want to serve an ad to those who have owned their vehicle for 10-20+ years, those who are near/in market for a used vehicle (say a BMW), and more specifically, those who have been actively searching, liking, commenting, etc. for a specific model of BMW (which would be an Interest-based selection) so I can serve them an ad highlighting, say, a 2011 BMW 740i. Now, those who are owners of vehicles 10-20+ yrs old, and in/near market for a BMW both come out of Behaviors (offline purchases), but If I combine them with an Interests category (action across facebook) indicating “used 740i’s” or “2011 BMW’s” or “2011 BMW 740i’s”, wouldn’t I be targeting one OR other of the behaviors, but requiring the Interest’s based selection? I was told with Behaviors, its OR, with Interests, its AND. So in other words, I believe Marcus SHOULD be utilizing both within the same ad set to more specifically target. Please let me know if I’m wrong in this thinking!

    • marcus jakbo

      Thx !

  • Tim_Judge


  • Lucy Parsons


  • Roy Leib

    Amazing post. I’m going to start using it ASAP. Thanks

  • Jaan Kruusma

    Haven’t tested yet, but i bet it wont work in small countries.

    • Scott Linklater

      It works for the U.S. only at this stage

    • Tuan Anh Ta

      Right. I’m from Vietnam, I’ve tested but this function is not work in my country.

  • Helgi Viggosson

    Hey Jon,
    good piece as usually from you. But do
    you have any idea about the quality of the information Facebook possesses via
    their data mining partners? For
    example, do you think they get personally identifiable data from the loyalty
    programs, to be able to connect to the corresponding Facebook accounts?

    • Jon Loomer

      Good question, Helgi. I don’t have specifics on how this is done, but one can imagine that Facebook matches up email addresses, phone numbers and possibly physical addresses since those would potentially be provided to both places.

  • Sherri-Lee

    Hey Jon, GREAT article. Do you recommend only using one bit of information per ad or is it better to layer multiple types of choices into an ad? Thanks!

    • Jon Loomer

      Always split test, Sherri! Try one at a time or multiple and see what works. I wouldn’t recommend adding a bunch out of the gates.

  • TriciaJamesUSA

    OK this is great! Will start using this information to do my next AD on Facebook. I am assuming that targeting this way will also help the conversions on my website right? On a side note, so excited to have participated in a Facebook interactive survey last week using Power Editor in real time. The survey was for an hour and I got paid for it too! Sweet……… Thanks Jon you gave me the confident to take this Facebook survey because of the useful and valuable information you provide on your blog. I did tell Facebook about you being one of my mentors when it comes to marketing on Facebook. I absolutely promote you all the time:)

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks Tricia! I think Facebook finally knows who I am. ;)

      As far as increasing conversions, sure, if used properly we can assume that targeting relevant people who have shown to buy are more likely to buy from you. But always split test!

  • Lauren Jane

    Frothing. This is amazing!!! Can’t wait to try it. Now hurry up Australian roll out!

    • Dan

      I’m going to test out a VPN to show my IP as American and see if we can get it here as well. I’ll post results in a few days

      • Scott Linklater

        Unless you have a US Ad account it’s not likely to work.

  • Dan

    Hey I wonder if using a VPN could give everyone all the features geographically? I’ll try and test it out over the next few days and post back my results. I wouldn’t mind being able watch Netflix anyway

    • CreativeFlowTV

      How did you get on Dan? I’m based in the UK so would love this feature too…

  • Jessica Smith

    This is a very interesting article, Jon. User behavior can really guide you in targeting leads. Efforts can guarantee better results if marketers will be able to focus on a carefully selected group of people. It’s good to know that there are already tools that make client-targeting simpler in the worldwide web.

  • angeljulie3

    It is very effective way to increase the sales on facebook. i will definetly try this for my online store’s Facebok account.

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  • junaid ahmed

    Great information! This is really interesting and helpful to bring specific targeted social media marketing that let you reach the most specific and real audience. The marketers must be very careful in selecting the target audience. Thank you fro sharing such great post here.

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  • Chris

    hey Jon, how would you target a local business owner, namely one that are in a specific niche like roofers. I see they have a construction category but didnt see how I can drill deeper. Thanks

  • Ernest Dempsey

    I’m a fiction author. How would I use this information to target new readers for my science fiction series or my mystery thriller series?

  • Barry Paul Price

    Love these and I’m JUST starting to play with these. Specifically, as I target powerful women who give their power away to men (that’s whom I coach) I have been looking at a couple specific categories.

    So far I will say two things:

    1) In some ways, our FB numbers may drop in terms of raw conversions to something like signups to a webinar… BUT

    2) Despite lower initial conversion, a higher number of these qualified prospects have the means to pursue coaching and become actual purchasers and clients… which is the TRUE conversion stat that matters in terms of ad dollars.

  • Devin Mason

    Wine buyers but no beer buyers….or better yet, craft beer buyers. Huge category missed by FB there.

  • Scott Benson

    Jon, any way or any clue when we can exclude certain behaviors from our audiences? For example, I was approached about a strategy for promoting ‘coffee capsules’ on Facebook. If I found out coffee drinkers were the last people in the world who wanted/needed coffee capsules, it’d be nice to set them aside.

  • Kumar Sharma

    Hi, I found your blog through google, really impressive work. Also this article is great and helpful.
    (Kalyan Matka at

  • Travis Chambers

    Fantastic breakdown, thanks Jon.

  • julien cartiaux

    Awesome, but not available in Canada as usual … What makes a US account : US IP address ? or US credit card ?

  • Hakim

    Purchase habits, behaviors… are NOT available outside US, very frustrating !

  • Savannah Brentnall

    I’m curious what kind of results you’ve had with the partner data based on purchase behaviors. I have an ad set for a musician that’s based on political affinity and the potential audience is 30m. Just by adding a purchase behavior of “Music & Videos,” the potential audience drops to 46k! That seems like a very small number, which make me question the validity of the partner data. Would love to know your thoughts.

  • Mitchell Robert

    hey, VPN is not working properly sometimes how Hexder need to use it but, VPN is denied to help it…

  • JF

    Any way to target tall women?

  • Robert Balkovec

    Hey. Why we here in EU don`t have this options?

  • Wahid Ur Rahman Saadi

    i dont think the purchase behavior is available now……

  • Ian Harmon

    Only just come across this, looks really useful. Any ideas when it will be available in the UK? thanks

  • Stinson Leathers

    Nice information Keep it up