Over the past year, Facebook has been working hard to prove the online to offline relationship with a variety of new product releases, including local awareness ad updates and an offline conversion API that allows advertisers to account for the impact of ad campaigns on transactions that take place in stores, call centers and more.
The latest product, dynamic ads for retail, released September 20, but the Beta is not actually available until the end of October. The new ad type allows advertisers to dynamically showcase products that are available in a store that is geographically close to the consumer viewing the ad.
We know research happens online and largely on mobile devices, and this is one more way Facebook is looking to prove the monetization of mobile.
Dynamic ads for retail are built on the store visits objective and include features designed to drive people in-store. Dynamic ads will feature an availability indicator on the ad which shows a consumer that the product they may be interested in is available at a store near them. Additionally, other ad unit options include:
- Showing a store locator or utilizing a “Get Directions” CTA button to make it easy for consumers to get directions
- Enabling an inventory overlay on the product image to let consumers know that a product is in stock
- Specifying larger or smaller store radius’ depending on population density and the desired audience reach
- If store visits measurement is enabled, advertisers will also have the ability to optimize their campaigns for store visits
Reporting for this new product will include store visits and offline conversions reporting. Store visits is an estimated metric based on data from consumers with location services enabled on their mobile devices while in an advertiser’s store. Store visits measurement is currently still in beta and only available to advertisers who meet certain eligibility criteria. Offline conversion API connects to the advertiser’s CRM/POS database to report on customers who have seen a brand ad and made a purchase. It is also possible to upload a CSV file of transactions after a campaign has ended.
Looking ahead to when the product will be fully released, requirements for advertisers will include:
- Enabled location structure on Facebook
- Store visits reporting enabled and/or offline conversions measurement via API for real-time data
- Product catalog and feed set-up which includes:
- Online product catalog (same as DPA)
- Local product catalog
- Set-up should be identical to online product catalog with product attribute fields optional where data exists in the online product catalog
- Joined to online product catalog by web item ID
- Local inventory feed
- The store-level feed that includes price, inventory, and can support a custom column for offers or similar
If an advertiser already has the ability to “find a store nearest you” enabled on their website then the advertiser can use their native product pages to give potential shoppers the information they need without leaving the Facebook app. In terms of functionality, this is meant to retarget people who visited a product page on the advertiser’s site with a Facebook ad for that product (similar to DPA), and purchase at a location near them.