Virtual Learning Series
Webinar Wrap Up: The Future of Commerce

Read Time: 4 mins

Our fourth webinar featured special guest Sophie Ellis from Facebook, as we take a look at some of the intricacies of paid social, and the future of commerce. As retail and commerce adapt to our current situation, this session provides some very valuable insights to help retailers prepare.

Tracing back to 2014 and the launch of dynamic ads, commerce has played an important role for Facebook in the way they’ve grown the business. From the C2C Marketplace to Instagram Checkout, this development is a reflection of how user behaviour was changing – and how the company adapted to accommodate.

It’s become increasingly clear that the way consumers find their content and places to shop has changed. Shopping has almost become this “always-on” activity, where we’re almost constantly window-shopping. With this in mind, it has become Facebook’s goal to make shopping more curated, convenient, accessible and secure. In practice, this means Driving Curated Discovery, and Enabling Convenient Purchases. 

Driving Curated Discovery

Whether users are scrolling through their feed or actively searching for a product, Facebook has created solutions that seek to link consumers to the right product or vice versa. Many will already be familiar with dynamic ads, but dynamic ads with checkout are currently in a closed beta and highlight ways in which the company is seeking to reduce friction within purchasing. 

Facebook’s Marketplace has played a huge role in commerce on the platform since its introduction, and now millions of interactions take place between buyers and sellers every single day. This has led to the introduction of product ads within the marketplace and within search itself to create a set of comprehensive placements within the marketplace environment. 

Turning to Instagram, the visual nature of the platform offers huge opportunity for driving curated discovery. From Influencers to Story Ads, the visual nature of the channel makes it a perfect fit as part of a wider, cross-channel campaign. 

Enabling Convenient Purchases

To make it easier and more convenient for customers to complete their purchases, Facebook are currently working on both Facebook Checkout and Instagram Checkout. This would allow users to buy products directly from the feed, rather than having to go to a different app or page to finish the transaction. It’s not only quicker, but also more secure; making this a huge win for advertisers and customers alike. 

The overall vision is to allow users to make purchases, donate to causes they care about, buy tickets for events, and otherwise transfer their money across the whole Facebook family of apps in a seamless and secure way. With Facebook Pay, currently only available in the US, this can become more of a reality. Naturally, the end goal here is to not only roll it out across more territories, but more importantly across more of Facebook’s apps as well.

What can you do today?

Sophie offers five key tips that you can take away and apply to your campaigns today:

  • With 85% of UK purchasers abandoning carts due to loading delays, reducing friction when purchasing should be your first priority. 
  • Personalisation has been a hot topic for marketers over the last couple of years, and it’s no different for your paid social campaigns. Tools like the Facebook Pixel provide lots of opportunities to leverage customer behaviour and gain a better understanding of your audience’s wants and needs, which in turn will allow you to make shopping more of a personalised experience. 
  • Automation plays a huge role in your paid search and display campaigns, so your Facebook ones shouldn’t be any different. Here, Sophie highlights Facebooks’s  “Power5” approach which covers 5 essential aspects of a successful campaign: auto advanced matching, account simplification, campaign budget optimisation, automatic placements and dynamic ads. 
  • Don’t overlook the importance of breaking down siloes between your internal teams. Your product teams, loyalty teams and your marketing teams, for example, should all be as integrated as possible. This once again helps you to reduce friction; enabling a more seamless approach to your advertising. 
  • Finally, perhaps the most pertinent advice for our current situation is to embrace experimentation. The last month has seen consumer behaviour change at a much faster rate, and so experimentation is key to finding the most effective way of running your campaigns. Ingraining a test-and-learn mentality into your teams should form another of your main priorities.

With 2.9 billion people (and 140 million businesses) using any of Facebook’s main holdings every month, getting to grips with its’ advertising offerings is crucial to your success. Explore the different placements available, and take advantage of Sophie’s advice as you work on your current campaigns.

If you want to learn more about making the most of paid advertising on Facebook and other social channels, our Paid Social experts are delivering an in-depth, online training session dedicated to Raising Your Social Strategy. Find out more about the course and book your spot here.