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Facebook’s latest ad test lets retailers showcase multiple products

November 16, 2016 03:41 PM
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Smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, Facebook Inc. is testing a new ad unit that lets retailers showcase multiple products in a single ad that appears in users’ news feeds.

The ad pairs a large main image or video with smaller, related product images below. Clicking a More button brings up more products that take over a user’s screen. At the bottom of the screen a retailer can add a button that leads a shopper to its website.

Like Facebook’s dynamic ads and dynamic ads for retailers, retailers have to upload their product catalog to Facebook to use the ads, a Facebook spokesman says. Presumably, a retailer would then set rules to enable the social network to automatically target consumers with ads featuring the products that a shopper may be interested in. 

The ads appear aimed at marrying the two main objectives behind retailers’ ads: building brand awareness and driving a direct response.

Among the retailers testing the new ad format are Michael Kors, No. 375 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, and Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (No. 27). In early testing, Michael Kors ran an ad that features its fall “must-haves” from across its product assortment that a consumer can tap to see additional products. To date, the ads have reduced Michael Kors’ cost per conversion 79%, says Lisa Pomerantz, senior vice president, global communications and marketing.

The new Facebook ads are similar to Google’s Showcase Shopping ads that let a retailer pay to select the images Google displays in paid search results for particular search queries or keywords. When a consumer clicks on the image, Google takes her to a page with additional product information. 

 

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