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Facebook has been making some changes again, announcing a new update to their mobile advertising capabilities.

Back in June, the company introduced new ways for businesses to drive more foot traffic into their stores from their ads, additionally providing a way to determine the impact of their mobile advertising campaigns in relation to in store visits and in store sales.

These ad capabilities have shown over one million store visits per day in 100,000 locations.

In a Facebook post last week, the company announced even more new opportunities for businesses to run campaigns that achieve in-store results.

49% of in-store purchase are influenced by digital interactions, half of which take place on a mobile device. As this becomes more prevalent, brick-and-mortar businesses will need to evolve their campaigns to reach people on mobile. They will need to showcase their products in a way that will actually sell those products.

Dynamic Ads for Retail

Dynamic ads are a way for retail operations to upload their inventories directly into Facebook, which will then automatically update their advertising campaigns based both product availability as well as user location.

Facebook explained the new feature in a blog post last week:

Many retailers already use Facebook ads to promote their in-store products, but until now it wasn’t feasible to customize creative for every store location based on local product availability, pricing or promotions. Marketing out-of-stock products or inaccurate local prices can lead to a bad customer experience and wasted impressions. Now, with dynamic ads for retail, campaigns can dynamically showcase products available in the store that’s closest to the person seeing the ad.

As an example, a retailer with nationwide locations now has the ability to launch an advertising campaign and allow products that are in-stock at a store nearest the user, as well as display the price for that location. If the product sells out in a particular store location the campaign will automatically adjust the campaign so people in that location will no longer see the ad for the out-of-stock product.

These new ad features allow the businesses to give users more information in order to inspire them to make the final purchase, including:

  • 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.

Extending the power of Facebook’s dynamic ads to in-store inventory opens up exciting new possibilities for Macy’s as an omni-channel retailer. We were excited to be the first up and running with Facebook’s dynamic ads for retail as it truly allows us to personalize product ads based on online behavior and inventory at the nearest Macy’s store. This bridges our online and offline channels to deliver a more engaging, relevant, and useful experience to shoppers.” — Serena Potter, Group Vice President Digital Media Strategy, Macy’s

Currently, this option is being tested by Abercrombie & Fitch, Argos, Macy’s, Pottery Barn and Target. The new feature will be available to all eligible companies in the “coming weeks.”

Store Visit Optimization Also Launched

In addition to the dynamic ads, Facebook also announced an objective that was specifically created for businesses to drive even more people their physical locations. This new objective uses the geo-targeting and ad format features of local awareness ads with store visits as the primary reporting metric.

This new feature will help businesses reach even more people and get them to visit their locations in person.

Albertsons, a US-based grocery store, used this new feature and they were able to reach even more people and they have announced decreasing their cost-per-store visit by up to 40% in a recent test.

The new store visit optimization feature will roll out to all businesses over the next month, though eligibility will be determined by specific eligibility criteria.

For businesses with a physical location and inventory these new features will help enhance their advertising capabilities even more, making Facebook an even more desirable source to spend an advertising budget for businesses of any size.

Dynamic ads for retail allows us to take our product assortment and not only personalize it based on a customer’s online shopping behaviors, but localize the assortment in real time. Facebook is helping us build a solid foundation to understand the impact digital marketing has on store traffic and sales by taking the results and tying them back to our customers who were not only exposed to a dynamic ads for retail campaign, but took further action and crossed our lease line. This is another step in putting our customer first by providing them with a seamless experience, which is at the core of our marketing strategy at Abercrombie & Fitch.” — Billy May, SVP – Marketing, Direct-to-Consumer, & Corporate Development, Abercrombie & Fitch

See more information and examples on the Facebook Business Blog.