#PlaceConf: Facebook — Online-to-Offline Solutions

At the Place Conference London on June 15, Facebook’s Abishek Varadarajan walked through how forward thinking businesses are combining their marketing and technology teams and working with Facebook to increase in-store sales. Varadarajan reviews three principles around which Facebook is helping retailers: 1. Personalizing marketing at scale, 2. With ad products that drive in-store sales, and 3. Creating rich, immersive experiences that tell a brand’s story.

We’ve all heard that while e-commerce is growing rapidly, 90% of sales globally still happen in stores. And we also know that people are spending more time on their phones and that ads on phones are influencing in-store purchases. But did you know that our mobile phones aren’t only influencing people before they go into a store, but also while they are in the store shopping too? A recent study from Facebook found that of people in the US who were recently found in a retail store, more than one in 10 used Facebook and those people spent an average of five minutes on Facebook.

Personalizing Marketing at Scale

Don’t wait for your people to search for your products. Facebook can help your products find the right people and your business find new customers.

Facebook recently launched two new solutions that help personalize your marketing at scale. Tabs for Canvas is a new way to tell your brand’s story while also driving sales. With Tabs for Canvas, retailers can create a personalized catalog for each person.

Dynamic ads is Facebook’s solution for automatically reaching people who may be interested in products from your product catalog. Facebook recently launched Dynamic ads for categories which provide a new way to highlight product categories, not just products, to drive additional discovery and purchase of new categories from interested shoppers.

Driving In-store Sales

For businesses with physical stores, getting people into stores to make a purchase is often a key objective. That’s why Facebook built the store visits objective, a collection of tools to help businesses reach customers near their stores with customized messaging and unique calls to action like Get Directions.

But you also want to know if your ads worked. Facebook offers two solutions to help businesses determine the impact of their ads — offline conversions and store visits. Thousands of businesses are using offline conversions to understand their ad’s impact on in-store sales, and many are eligible to use Store Visits to see when someone visits a store after seeing an ad. Facebook is working on new tools to help businesses automatically optimize their ads for more sales with Store Sales Optimization, currently in limited beta.

Immersive Ad Creative and Experiences

Instagram Stories help brands inspire their audiences. Varadarajan also highlighted new experimental ad formats like augmented commerce and 360 videos that helps brands capture and maintain the attention of their audiences.

Driving Success Offline

Brands like Nordstrom, Ikea, and Michael Kors are leaning into these new ways of driving sales and seeing great results. Nordstrom recently ran a 2018 winter sale campaign that incorporated Store Sales Optimization for the first time. They tested different creative ad formats to see how their performance compared, including a still image, carousel and a collection of ad formats. They saw a 2.1% lift in omnichannel conversions with the Collection format, and a 5.6% lift in online sales with the carousel format.

Michael Kors recently tested store sales optimization for a new video campaign on Facebook and found, “When we used store sales optimization for our holiday video campaign on Facebook and Instagram, we saw an 11% lift in incremental store sales.”

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