Just in Time for the Holidays: Facebook Launches Retail Capabilities to its Ads

29 November 2016

Holiday decorations are up, the streets are lined with twinkle lights of every imaginable colour, and It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas suddenly is playing every in every mall across North America. If it wasn’t already apparent by the pervasiveness of Starbucks holiday cups, Christmas is right around the corner. So if don’t already have your holiday ad strategy in place, you need to get on it yesterday.


Successful holiday and end-of-year marketing starts with early preparation – sometimes as early as September.


As more consumers turn to mobile to learn and shop, brands need to rethink how they optimize and present product details in what essentially is a shrinking screen real estate. 49% of in-store purchases are influenced by digital interactions, over half of which take place on mobile. Mobile is blurring the line between the physical and digital worlds from how people discover things to how they find places to shop.


Just in time, Facebook has two new types of ads specifically designed for bricks and mortar retail stores to drive in-store purchases through Facebook advertising: Local Awareness Ads and Dynamic Facebook Ads. And we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t break down these two newest additions to Facebook advertising for you.


Local Awareness Ads

Whether you have one location or thousands, Facebook Local Awareness Ads aim to bring people to your business by showing them the stores nearest to them. The ad also offers relevant call-to-actions, such as get directions or check store hours.


Last year, Facebook launched the ability for businesses with multiple locations to create ads for every store dynamically within a single campaign. This year, they’ve launched a native store locator to help customers find and navigate to the nearest retail location – all within the ad. This feature displays a map of all the locations a business has nearby. Customers can even view the address, website, and estimated time of arrival for each store. The store locater app is a seamless process that can be added to any local awareness ad.

Traditionally, it has been difficult to effectively measure the impact of advertising on store visits and in-store sales. With the launch of store visits—a new metric in Ads Reporting—advertisers can better decipher their store traffic after running local awareness ads, which compliments current ad reporting and provides a more comprehensive understanding of the overall picture.


An integrated solution for brick-and-mortar businesses, Facebook has implemented a branch of the Local Awareness ad set, a new tool built specifically for advertisers to drive more people to their physical stores.


Store Visits reporting is an estimated metric based on information from people with location services enabled on their phone. It builds on the geo-targeting and ad format features of the Local Awareness ad solution. It also introduces a primary reporting metric and new optimization model, which helps advertisers reach those that are more likely to visit their stores, effectively helping to decrease the reported cost-per-store-visit.


Advertisers can also use the new Store Visits reporting to understand how many people come to their store after viewing a Facebook campaign. No, it’s not magic. It’s just technology. This new feature also allows advertisers to optimize ad creative, delivery, and targeting and analyzes results across stores and regions to strategize and optimize future campaigns.




This new objective includes improved geo-targeting, allowing advertisers to define a targeting radius based on population density and desired reach.


Facebook Dynamic Ads

Facebook’s launch of their Dynamic Ad capabilities for retail is just another fancy tool in your digital toolbox that you can use to enhance your mobile ads to drive in-store sales. Dynamic Ads works by extending the power to brick-and-mortar retail stores to produce more relevant product ads, leveraging targeting and messaging to their customers based on availability and product relevancy.


Today’s modern retailer promotes their in-store products through Facebook ads. When you own and run a business, Facebook Ads becomes your go-to for getting your product in front of your customer. But until now, it wasn’t feasible to custom create content for every store location based on product availability, not to mention the prices or promotions unique to that location. What this often translated into was out-of-stock products being promoted through ads or inaccurate pricing throughout different geographic locations.


Enter: Dynamic Ads, a campaign tool that can dynamically showcase actual products and accurate pricing available in the physical store that’s closest to the person seeing that ad.

For instance, Dynamic Ads will only showcase products that are in-stock at a nearby store. They will also only display the price found at that location. If a product sells out in one store, the campaign will automatically adjust so that people in that area will no longer see it advertised.


You can also target your ads that specifically reach users who are likely to visit physical stores as well as making sure the content of these ads reflects an enticing reason to visit and buy from the store. It’s decisive targeting that uses the data of mobile users that are close to a physical store and give customers the information they need to act on the inspiration from the ad.

Dynamic Ad targeting works by taking data based on the availability of a product in a store near the customer, generating product summaries, creating different actions for the customer (i.e. phone the store or buy online, etc.), and providing similar products available at the nearest store.


Technology, right?


Did we just make your holiday ad season merry and bright? Looking for more innovative and effective ways to optimize your brand? Look no further.


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