In yet another assault on Google’s search ad business, Facebook has launched ‘Product Ads’, offering a new way for retailers to upload and advertise their product listings on the social network
Facebook claims the new ad format sets it apart from rivals like Google because it can harness the social network’s popularity and behavioural and location data on consumers.
Target and Shutterfly are among the first merchants testing Facebook product ads.
Businesses can upload their product catalogues and let Facebook generate ads for items while targeting them to users.
These product ads could rival Google’s shopping ads, which have performed well for retailers in search.
In a blog post, Facebook said the new ads are “a solution designed to help businesses promote multiple products, or their entire catalogs, across all the devices their customers use: phones, tablets and desktop computers.”
In a blog post, Facebook explained further: “Advertisers can curate ads as they see fit. For instance, they can highlight products that were viewed on their website/mobile app or showcase best-selling products. Or they can create a multi-product ad that highlights the different benefits of a single product.”
Like Google, Facebook’s system will also recognise when products are out of stock and stop advertising them.
Kristi Argyilan, Senior Vice President at Target, said: “With dynamic product ads, Target has been able to more easily engage consumers with highly relevant creative. The early results have exceeded expectations, with a 20% increase in conversion compared to other Facebook ads. Performance has also been especially strong with people shopping on mobile devices — an important and fast-growing area for Target — where we’re seeing two times the conversion rate.”