Move over Google, Facebook is coming for you (like we didn’t see this coming). On Tuesday, Facebook announced it has launched a new product – shopping ads within the Facebook interface. While Google has been running its version of shopping ads since 2013, Facebook is slowly closing the gap.

Facebook, which is calling its version “Product Ads,” will offer similar capabilities as Google, but will provide much more in terms of advertiser control. Similar to Google, companies will have the option of uploading their product catalogues (just like Google Merchant Center) and serve ads of specific products to potential purchasers. Unlike Google, targeting options are endless with Facebook’s traditional ad targeting options.

Think of it this way: Google can target an individual based off geographic location and the items they are searching, whereas Facebook can target an individual who is single, living in Ohio, and listens to the Foo Fighters or has an interest in live music. The possibilities of testing various targeting methods are endless with Facebook.

bethany_facebook_ads_shutterfly

Another exciting feature for advertisers is that Facebook product ads will be dynamic in nature, allowing advertisers to retarget individuals on the social network, showing them the exact product they viewed on the retailer’s website. Advertisers know it’s been difficult to access this capability without going through a third-party vendor or through the Facebook Exchange. Now the capability is in the hands of the advertiser and having dynamic retargeting ads in the newsfeed is possible and easy (we hope)! So yes, expect that cute pair of running shoes you looked at earlier this month to follow you around the social network in the near future.

Finally, the last bell and whistle worth highlighting is the ability to create ads that promote several products at once. The ads will be formatted as digital carousels with up to five product images rotating through. Having a huge sale on a certain product category, such as apparel, home décor, or electronics? It is the perfect opportunity to utilize this feature.

The launch of the product ads in Facebook is huge news for retailers, as studies show the masses are still on Facebook. The company just surpassed 1 billion registered accounts in January and is still the dominant social network.

With only two companies known to have implemented the ads, Target and Shutterfly, Facebook shared a few success metrics, including:

  • Target saw a 20-percent increase in conversion rate compared to other Facebook ads and has seen elevated performance with users shopping on mobile devices (two times the conversion rate of desktop).
  • Shutterfly found success with the multi-product unit and saw a 20-percent increase in click-through-rate.

In its announcement, Facebook said the new product is available today in the API through Facebook Marketing Partners and will be introduced incrementally in Power Editor over the next several weeks. DEG will continue to monitor these updates and is excited to test possible opportunities for our clients over the next few months. Shop away!

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