Facebook has launched a competitor to Google’s shopping advertising service. Facebook product ads allow marketers to show users some of, or all of their entire product catalogues.
With product ads Facebook is challenging one of Google’s most successful new businesses in recent years. Originally called product-listing ads, Google started offering the ads which typically include pictures and prices in 2012 in order to compete with Amazon.com. While Google displays the ads based on a user’s search for products, Facebook has announced it will show product ads, also with pictures and prices, to Facebook users who visited the advertiser’s website or mobile app, or based on a user’s interests or location.
Product ads will allow businesses to showcase more products, and in turn, people on Facebook can discover products which are more relevant to them. Product ads offer businesses a number of ways to highlight different products on Facebook. Marketers can upload their product catalogue and create campaigns targeting certain products to specific audiences, or let Facebook automatically deliver the most relevant products to people. Products can be shown in single- or multi product ad units.
While advertisers have been able to piece together product ads for Facebook for a while, it was complicated and few retailers did it. The new service automates the process, helping advertisers to make the ads more relevant and it places them on Facebook’s mobile news feed, which was not possible before.
“The multi-product ad unit allowed us to display a variety of products we offer at Shutterfly in a clean, engaging way. The ability to control product order placement offered gifting inspiration for our current customers and created a natural introduction of products for our new customers, resulting in a 20%+ increase in click through rate.” — John Boris, Chief Marketing Officer, Shutterfly.com
“With dynamic product ads, Target has been able to more easily engage consumers with highly relevant creative. The early results have exceeded expectations, with a 20% increase in conversion compared to other Facebook ads. Performance has also been especially strong with people shopping on mobile devices — an important and fast-growing area for Target — where we’re seeing two times the conversion rate.” — Kristi Argyilan, Senior Vice President, Target.