Facebook’s new dynamic ad for retail highlights available inventory at nearby stores, and can be targeted to consumers who are most likely to visit, reports Marketing Land.
Facebook has been trying to help boost retailers’ online sales for a few years, but with brick-and-mortar stores still being the present, and in-store sales accounting for 92.5% of total US retail sales in Q2 2016, Facebook has been putting a lot of emphasis towards how it can aid the in-store front, converting people from phones to the checkout counter.
“For us solving for this mobile-to-store challenge is one of the biggest and most important opportunities for us to be spending mind share on,” said Facebook director of monetization product marketing, Maz Sharafi.
To help offline stores push more sales, and gain more ad budget, Facebook is introducing a new ad format that highlights available products at nearby stores, and targeting users who are most likely to go inside those stores.
Abercrombie & Fitch, Target, Macy’s and Williams-Sonoma are among the first brands that tested the new ad format. Facebook is calling the ads “dynamic ads for retail”.
How do Facebook dynamic ads for retail work?
Retailers can use the real-world version of the product to showcase, within a slideshow-like product carousel, what’s available in their nearby stores, as well as the distance to the nearest store and store-specific prices, which can change from one location to another.
To ensure product availability is accurate, Facebook is requiring participating retailers to update their store-specific inventory catalogs at least once every 24 hours.
The new ad-targeting option is the latest addition to Facebook’s push away from brands aiming their ads at specific audience profiles and towards satisfying businesses. Instead of a retailer telling Facebook the types of people it thinks should see its ads, Facebook will do the decision making and the execution.
Facebook’s store visit targeting ads will become available in the next month, but not to all retail brands. Retailers with stores in dense urban areas and multi-level malls will not be able to use the function, as Facebook would have a hard time tracking whether people in those areas are visiting a specific store, or just walking around in the area.
A version of this appeared in Marketing Land on September 20. Read the rest of the version here.