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What Facebook’s Dynamic Ads Update Means for Retailers

I’m an avid online shopper.  I may or may not even know my credit card number by heart.  (Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting that in a public forum?) While visual reviews and customer photos have flipped the online shopping experience on its head, I still enjoy the in-store experience – the opportunity to hold something in my hands, feel fabrics, and get a closer look at quality. And, as an aspiring-yet-frustrated interior designer, I frequent stores like Anthropologie, West Elm, ABC Home, and Club Monaco to admire the displays and get some design inspiration – though I rarely leave empty-handed.

But alas, I’m not an interior designer.  Instead, I spend my days taking in the fast-paced and dynamic marketing and advertising technology world. I’ve worked in the industry for years, so I’d like to believe I’m immune to the power of ads, but I’m not.  And I’m certainly not immune to the frustration of ads that are irrelevant.  So, reading Facebook’s recent announcement about the release of their Dynamic Product Ads for Brick-and-Mortar Retail, my eyes perked up.

According to the Facebook’s post, in summary, Dynamic Ads for Retail provide:

  • Local availability: An availability indicator on the ad shows people that a product is available at a store near them, and the store locator makes it easy for people to get directions.
  • Product summaries: Advertisers can use Facebook-hosted product summaries to give potential shoppers the information they need without leaving the Facebook app.
  • Different actions: Product summaries include ways for people to take actions like contacting the nearest store, buying online, or saving the product for future reference.
  • Similar products: Similar products available at the nearest store are featured so people can browse the aisles right from their phone.

Nearly half of in-store purchases are influenced by online behavior. Through this solution, Facebook is removing some of the barriers that retail marketers face in resolving the disconnect between online behavior and in-store purchases.  It poses a tremendous opportunity for brands to inspire a specific action through localization – and measure its impact, while also creating a more relevant experience for consumers tailored to their specific interests and location.