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Facebook is connecting brands to people on Mobile

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | October 14, 2015
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The social networking platform claims that people are actively looking for products and brands on News Feed, Pages and Groups.

Facebook has announced in its blog post that people are shifting to mobile-based apps for shopping purposes and that marketers are yet to effectively reach their customers on mobile. The blog hails mobile adoption as the fastest for a communication technology in history, which is changing how we connect with each other and discover new things.

According to the blog, marketers have been challenged to reach their customers and drive sales on mobile. The majority of time spent on mobile is on apps - just a handful of them including Facebook and Instagram (US comScore data August, 2015). For people, the mobile shopping experience is often difficult to navigate. Customers can experience slow load times and too many steps on the way to check-out, which is bad for people and marketers.

Facebook

The blog notes that on Facebook it has been seen that people are coming to the platform not only to connect with friends and family, but also with products and brands. In fact, a survey suggested that nearly half of the people come to Facebook to actively look for products, with a majority of them discovering new products in News Feed, Pages and Groups. This behaviour - that's already happening on Facebook - gives the social networking site a chance to make people and marketers' experiences better. The blog says that it wants to build native experiences that make it easier for both people to discover products on mobile and businesses to drive more sales. Some of these efforts have been launched and are already creating value for people and businesses; others are in early test phases.

Below are some of the new products launched by Facebook:

Product Ads for News Feed

Last year, Facebook introduced the carousel format for Facebook ads, which lets advertisers showcase multiple product images and links in one ad. Based on its preliminary testing, advertisers have seen carousel link ads drive 30-50 per cent lower cost-per-conversion. It has also introduced carousel to Instagram ads and has recently made video available for this format.

Facebook informs that retailers are seeing strong results when using carousel format to bring their creative to life in dynamic product ads. Marketers can upload their product catalogue and let Facebook automatically deliver the most relevant products to people. They can showcase multiple products with the carousel format, enabling people to easily browse and discover on mobile.

Canvas: A new native way to browse from ads

When people click on products from ads in their News Feed, the mobile websites they're directed to often take a while to load and aren't optimised, increasing the chance that people will drop off. That's why testing is being done on a new ad experience called Canvas that helps businesses drive any advertising objective, from brand building to driving sales. Canvas has been tested with a number of businesses since it was first unveiled in June. Over the coming weeks, Facebook will begin testing a new experience on Canvas. After clicking on an ad, people will see a fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products, before going to the retailer's website to purchase.

'Buy' call-to-action button

Facebook has been testing this feature for marketers to ensure a more seamless way to drive sales with people interested in their products. People on desktop or mobile can click the 'Buy' button in ads in News Feed to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook.

Pages as a retailer's mobile solution: Shop section

With over one billion people visiting Pages every month, people are already turning to Pages to learn more about businesses. That's why Facebook is adding more ways for Page owners to showcase their products to people, including a recently announced Shop section. Businesses can choose to have this section linked to their own retail websites, or they can test a way for people to buy directly on their Pages.

New shopping feature in Favourites

It has also been seen that people discover new products across multiple areas on Facebook - News Feed, Pages and Groups. In the coming weeks the social networking platform will begin testing a single place for people to more easily discover, share and purchase products. Moreover, it is also testing this with a limited set of small businesses in the US. Over time, the platform will explore incorporating additional content into this experience, such as items listed for sale in Facebook Groups.

Matt Idema, VP, Monetisation, product marketing, Facebook, says, "People are increasingly discovering products on mobile and Facebook, yet the shopping experience could be better. What we're doing - with proven products like carousel ads and new products we're testing - is making it easier for people to discover products on mobile and businesses to drive sales."

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