In February, Facebook hit the ground running with the announcement of Facebook Product Ads including their multi-product ad feature, a development that will lead to groundbreaking revenue for both the social network and retailers.
According to Facebook, Product Ads are designed to help businesses promote their entire product catalog across all consumer devices. With Product Ads, retailers have another avenue to promote inventory, while Facebook users can discover more relevant products in a native setting.
From awareness to purchase, advertisers can cater to the user’s journey through a variety of targeting options including:
- Dynamic product serving: Automatically serves product ads based off of the retailer’s most relevant inventory. This automatic targeting is based off of user interests, locations and more.
- Manual product selections: Manually serve product ads based off a chosen product segment. This targeting option allows the retailer to feature, for example, their best selling items.
- Multi-product ads: Enable businesses to showcase three products within a single ad unit, on desktop or mobile. Each product highlighted will have its own image, description and click target. The below image is an example of a multi-product ad on Facebook’s mobile application.
Based off of Facebook’s introduction of Product Ads, Facebook is strategically laying the foundation to become a key player in the ecommerce community and take on marketplace giants like Amazon and Google Shopping.
The social media enterprise is flooding the news with their latest initiatives including:
Last month, Facebook presented 25 new features to more than 2,500 developers in San Francisco at F8, their annual developer conference where they gather a global community to discuss how they can build, grow and monetize their apps.
If you’re having trouble keeping up with the buzz surrounding Facebook’s recent ecommerce initiatives, you are not alone.
Below we’ve highlighted Facebook’s biggest ecommerce announcements:
Facebook Acquires TheFind To Enhance Product Ads:
Purchase of the shopping app, TheFind – By mid-March, Facebook announced the purchase of The Find, a personalized ecommerce search app with comparison shopping technology to rival Google Shopping.
Founded nine years ago, TheFind’s price comparison website allowed users to search 500 million products from 500,000 stores using their various mobile shopping apps to find the cheapest and best offers.
According to TheFind, “We are now starting our next chapter by combining forces with Facebook to do even more for consumers. Facebook’s resources and platform give us the opportunity to scale our expertise in product sourcing to the over 1 billion people that use the platform.”
Acquisition of TheFind has the potential to not only expand Facebook into the ecommerce community but provide their users with specifically targeted advertisements an increase revenue.
Facebook Launches New Payments Program:
Friend-to-Friend Payments – Facebook secured another brick in their ecommerce foundation with the introduction of Payments, a convenient way to send or receive money between friends.
Soon Facebook will be stepping into the same circle as Venmo, Google Wallet, Square Cash and Paypal. The advantage Facebook has is that so many of their users are already linked to the website on a daily basis.
- The first time users send or receive money in the Messenger, they will need to add a Visa or MasterCard debit card issued by a US bank to their account.
- Once they enter a debit card, users can create a PIN to provide additional security the next time they send money.
- On iOS devices you can also enable Touch ID and offers another layer of authentication to secure the account at any time.
Facebook Establishes New Training Material for Advertisers:
Blueprint– In late March, Facebook followed up with Blueprint, a new free educational resource for marketers on its platform with 34 courses including Facebook Terminology, Direct Response Marketing and A/B Testing.
The program designed to help businesses “Master the tools for success on Facebook” is available to anyone with a Facebook account.
Learn How– Facebook also launched several training services including ‘Learn How’ a beginner program for frequently asked questions with videos, photos and step-by-step instructional guides on how to create a Page or Custom Audience.
Facebook Acquirers LiveRail Video Ad Platform:
LiveRail, an advertising technology company, was acquired by Facebook to provide retailers with better ads in the videos that appear on their websites and apps. LiveRail helps marketers by providing them with access to premium video inventory and information they need to decide where to show their ads. Ultimately, LiveRail offers an advertising solution for video publishers.
According to Facebook , “We believe that LiveRail, Facebook and the premium publishers it serves have an opportunity to make video ads better and more relevant for the hundreds of millions of people who watch digital video every month. More relevant ads will be more interesting and engaging to people watching online video, and more effective for marketers too. Publishers will benefit as well because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad.”
Facebook Enhances Analytics
Facebook Analytics for Apps is a free tool that brings the power of Facebook demographics to cross-device analysis and measurement. It’s designed to help developers and marketers understand their app’s audience, measure how people use their app, and grow their businesses by running better ads.
Facebook Analytics for Apps can help developers understand and improve the ads they’re already running, and figure out how to run better ads in the future. Analytics helps you measure the lifetime value of your Facebook ads, and re-engage people who have dropped off using re-marketing.
The latest tool offers several features including:
- Cross-Device -People now use multiple devices to interact with businesses across apps and websites, and Facebook Analytics for Apps can help developers and marketers understand their traffic across these devices, which in turn can help them improve performance.
- Segments -You can look at segments, or groups of people who have certain characteristics, like women or people using Android phones. You can then look at metrics for these groups to see how they use your app differently than the overall population.
- Cohorts -You can now also look at cohorts, or groups of people who took a set of actions in your app. Then you can review specific metrics for that group, like what percentage of them launched your app, completed a registration, or made a purchase.
- Funnels – Creating funnels lets you look at how people move through a series of steps in your app, like a purchase flow. This can help you see where people drop off, which can help you figure out where to devote resources to improving performance.
For example: If you’re a game developer and your game is only available in Spanish, you might want to know if translating your game into other languages would result in more purchases. You can build a funnel for your purchase flow, and then look at that funnel broken down by language. If non-Spanish speakers are dropping off at the purchase point more often, you might be able to increase your revenue by localizing your app into additional languages. (See graph below)
Facebook Builds Consumer / Business Platform:
Businesses on Messenger will encourage free-form conversations and quick responses from retailers. Bridging the gap between Facebook users and businesses, they’ve also previewed the first steps to enhance how customers and businesses communicate.
Businesses on Messenger allows a customer to start a conversation with a business, receive updates from that business on things like order confirmations and shipping status updates, and ask the business free-form questions about the order, receiving quick responses. (See below)
Experts Chime in on Facebook’s Ecommerce Growth:
Marketing professionals are already talking about the latest shakeups Facebook could have within the online shopping industry. Check out exclusive interviews with the following retail professionals on Facebook Product Ads including:
- Social Media Keynote Speaker and 18-year digital marketer, Brian Carter
- Gagan Jain|CEO at RangRage.in
- Scott Perry |Director of Ecommerce / Omni-Channel at Jeromes.com
- Greg Finney | CEO / Founder at 2modern.com
- Tony Santelli | Social Media Coordinator at TaylorMade-adidasGolf.com
- Ian Sells | CEO / Founder at StrongVolt.com
Tools and Platforms for Facebook Advertising:
AdEspresso, a start up program offering ad tools to make Facebook Advertising easy and profitable for small and medium businesses is extremely excited to offer their services in wake of Facebook’s recent changes. AdEspresso’s goal is to help retailers sell more products, grow their fan base and increase engagement within their community.
“We can help you the most if you’re an agency, an e-commerce, a start up or a small / medium brand,” said Armando Biondi, co-founder at AdEspresso.
“Instead of creating every single version by yourself you insert 5 titles, 5 pictures and 5 demographic targets on AdEspresso and we create the 125 versions for you in a matter of seconds instead of hours of work. Then we push the version to Facebook and Facebook Analytics, packaging them in a way that’s more comprehensible and more actionable for you.”
While upcoming retargeting platforms like AdEspresso are eager to capitalize on the new Facebook, others third party services like AdRoll brace themselves for possible extinction.
At the time, it remains unclear the future of AdRoll and like-minded platforms, but as Facebook continues to gain momentum in the advertising world – it becomes more apparent that retargeting platforms will be forced to evolve to keep pace with the ever growing social media giant.
Facebook Product Ad Resources:
- Facebook Product Ads: What the New Program Means for Retailers
- Facebook Dynamic Product Ads Live in Power Editor
- Facebook Friend-To-Friend Payments Paves the Way for Ecommerce Platform
- Facebook on the Forefront of Retail Advertising with TheFind Buyout
- Q&A with Brian Carter Bestselling Author of ‘Facebook Marketing’
- 5 Retail Experts Weigh in on Facebook Product Ads
- How to Get a Higher ROI on Facebook Ads Using AdEspresso
- Will Retargeting Platform AdRoll Brave the Launch of Facebook Product Ads?
- How to Install Facebook Conversion Pixel & Track Your Ads Across Devices
- Facebook Shopping Feed: New Testing For Retailers