Did you know 90% of retail sales in the US still happen in brick and mortar stores? Having said that, there’s no doubt retail is changing. And one shift that really needs your attention is the evolving way people research – online. From initial searching, to discovery, to deciding on a particular brand or product, consumers globally prefer the ease and speed of online research. One study found that 88% of consumers pre-research their buys online before making a purchase.
And when it comes to social media, the statistics are even more powerful. Trust is stronger on social, with 80% of consumers likely to purchase an item based on friends’ suggestions. And there’s a greater sense of interaction with brands too. In fact, one third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories come from businesses, and one in five of those stories receives a direct message from its viewers.
Also worth noting, 60% of U.S consumers access social media networks on their mobile devices while in-store, which means context and location specific advertising on social can be incredibly powerful.
So how can you get the most out of your social media advertising investment? What are the best social networks and ad formats for retailers to drive sales and business success?
To learn more about this subject, we asked Mélissa Sanchot, Head of Marketing Executive at MakeMeReach to provide us with her expertise on the subject. As a partner of the 6th Lengow Day, MakeMeReach helps brands and agencies around the world manage their ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
With over 2.2 billion users, it’s very likely that whatever audience you are targeting has a presence on Facebook.
Facebook Collection is a shopping oriented ad format, built for retail and e-commerce businesses. The ad format pairs a hero video or image with a row of four products below it to drive a user from inspiration to action within a single experience. Users who tap on the ad unit in the News Feed are taken to a full-screen, fast-loading shopping experience (called Facebook Instant Experience) where they can browse up to 50 products. MakeMeReach client, Hawkers Co., successfully tested this ad format, seeing a 51% increase in ROI compared to their other Facebook advertising, as well as a 30% lower Cost-per-Purchase (CPP).
Dynamic ads is a powerful retargeting product from Facebook, capable of handling different use cases, including retail. This innovative advertising option uses behavioural information to determine which products should be featured in the Facebook ads each user receives on their news feed. They allow advertisers to retarget people who have seen an ad from you, but who haven’t yet been converted. Dynamic ads for retail – a type of dynamic ads designed specifically for brick and mortar retail – was launched in 2016, and has been hugely successful. With dynamic ads for retail, retailers can now dynamically showcase products available in the shop that’s closest to the person seeing the advert.
1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users engage with the messaging service, not only to communicate with friends and family, but also to interact with the businesses and brands they love. Advertising options within Messenger include Click-to-Messenger ads, shown to users on Facebook News Feed and Instagram feed. Once clicked, the ad opens a conversation with your business in the Messenger app. Chatbots integrated with Click-to-Messenger ads can drive significant benefits for retailers, including consistent customer service, lower costs and quicker responses to frequently asked questions.
Stories are the ‘it’ format across many major social networks. The main difference with this format is that is is ephemeral. Everything about Stories is temporary – and brands should take that into account. In retail, ads in Instagram Stories can be very effective in inspiring and raising awareness of the latest ‘cool’ thing you have on offer. They also feature the ability to add a call-to-action, where the user is invited to swipe up to directly access an external website or product landing page, for example.
As a Snapchat partner, we’ve seen first-hand the results of advertising on Snapchat. With a broadly younger audience of die-hard devotees, location is a crucial part of the Snapchat experience, and this should excite retailers with physical stores. Snap notes that a staggering 90% of users have geo-location features enabled, meaning they not only get a better and more contextual experience, but are also open for targeting with location-specific ad formats.
Snap ads, similar to ads in Instagram Stories, enable advertisers to captivate their audiences with a full-screen experience. They also have audio on by default, and are available with objectives including web view, app install and long-form video view.
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