Retailers Can Now Buy Facebook Ads That Only Run If the Right Products Are in Stock

With the help of better location targeting

New Facebook Ad Options Aimed at Sparking Retailers’ In-Store Sales

s an ongoing challenge for retail CMOs to justify to their CFOs that digital ads drive in-store sales. So one can imagine the teeth-gnashing that must take place whenever brick-and-mortar players realize the products in their digital ads were out of stock for a significant time during a campaign. Talk about a waste, and not to mention it’s a bad brand experience for the consumer to run into a store for something only to find it cannot be immediately purchased.

Facebook today is debuting a system called “dynamic ads for retail” that will, in theory, eliminate the above pain point. These new ads are designed to allow merchants to only serve Facebook promos of products that are actually available in a chain brand’s location. They come just in time for the holidays, as brands finalize their fourth-quarter ad budgets.

“We are basically plugging into the bricks-and-mortar inventory and showcasing products that are available at a location close to the person seeing the ad,” said Maz Sharafi, director of monetization at Facebook.

The ads, which are priced on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) rate, are currently being tested by Abercrombie & Fitch, Argos, Macy’s, Target and Pottery Barn. They’ll become more widely available to brands in the coming weeks.

“This bridges our online and offline channels to deliver a more engaging, relevant and useful experience to shoppers,” Serena Potter, group vp of digital media strategy at Macy’s, said in a statement.

Facebook provided more details on dynamic ads for retail in a Facebook for Business post, adding that the ad units are currently being tested with retailers including Abercrombie & Fitch, Argos,Macy’s, Pottery Barn and Target, with plans to make them “more widely available to eligible clients in the coming weeks”:

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.

For example, if a fashion retailer wishes to advertise a nationwide sales event happening at every store, dynamic ads for retail will only showcase products that are in-stock at a nearby store and display the price found at that location. As the ads are linked to the local product catalog, if a product sells out in one store, the campaign automatically adjusts so that people in that region will no longer see it advertised. Product selection for each ad can be optimized based on people’s online and mobile shopping behavior.


The social network also listed the benefits of dynamic ads for retail:

  • 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 application.
  • 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.


Finally, Facebook provided more details on its new store visits optimization option, saying that it will be made available to all advertisers over the next month, and adding that eligibility criteria include store size and location:

We’re also introducing our first marketing objective built specifically for advertisers to drive more people to their stores or business locations. The store visits objective builds on the geotargeting and ad format features of the local awareness ad solution and introduces store visits as the primary reporting metric and a new optimization model.

Store visit optimization helps advertisers reach people more likely to visit their stores, in order to decrease the reported cost per store visit. For example, U.S. grocer Albertsons was able to reach people more likely to visit its stores and decrease cost per store visit by up to 40 percent in a recent test.

This new objective also includes improved geotargeting, allowing advertisers to define a targeting radius based on population density and desired reach. Dynamic ads for retail leverage the store visits objective to take advantage of this new optimization model and more powerful geotargeting features. Store visits reporting is an estimated metric based on information from people with location services enabled on their phone.

Readers: What do you think of these new advertising options from Facebook? Source: ,


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