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2021 In Review - DTC Facebook Ads Benchmarks

We set out to see how DTC companies fared throughout 2021 and compared to 2020, by vertical, in a few key marketing metrics. 

We examined Facebook Ads data for hundreds of companies in the following verticals: Fashion, Pet Goods & Food, Dietary Supplements, Cosmetics, Baby & Children.

The same metrics and more, for all main DTC verticals, can be found in real time via the Varos Dashboard. 


Compared to 2020, CPMs increased dramatically across industries. The only industry that was somewhat spared was Pet Goods, but they still didn’t come out on top. 

As you can see in the chart below, CPMs been on the rise throughout 2021. It’s interesting to see how CPMs started Jan 1st at similar amounts in each industry, branched out throughout most of the year, and then bunched back up at the start of the holiday season.


Compared to 2020, CTRs increased for four out of five industry in our analysis. 

Throughout the year, however, CTRs stayed roughly consistent, except for a spike around the holidays. 

It’s noteworthy that Fashion companies have the highest CTR out of the industries included. (That’s not surprising for us at Varos - many times we’ve been scrolling through our feeds and see a really cool jacket or swimsuit, so we click to see if it’s something we really want.)

Around the start of the school season and right at Black Friday, Baby and Children beat out fashion, however, with the highest CTRs. 


We saw mixed results in conversion rate from Facebook Ads traffic when comparing 2020 to 2021. 

Zooming into each industry, despite fashion’s high CTRs, it consistently comes in at the lowest in terms of conversion. (We’ve all been there - after you click through on that cool jacket in your feed, you then see it costs $500, so you don’t buy.)

Interestingly enough, Beauty & Cosmetics has by far the highest conversion rate and also the highest spike during the holidays (34 cosmetics companies were included in this analysis).

Also noteworthy that Baby & Children has a decrease in conversion between the holidays and March. Our theory: parents have gift burnout after the holidays, and wait a few months to get started again. 

Want more metrics, more industries and to see the data in real time? Sign up to Varos to gain access.