Facebook announced that they will start to roll out a new mobile shopping feature called Collections on March 23rd. An attempt to streamline the purchasing experience for (Fashion-) Brands, Facebook focus on creating a seamless, fast-loading purchasing experience.
Brands can use a combination of video and static content to entice the user and bring them into their shop. The mini shop with up to 50 products is readily available within Facebook. Making the view to purchase experience fast and seamless.
Collections tell a more visual product story
Social Media are widely seen a source of inspiration for shoppers. In-feed ads and native ads are amongst the strongest growth drivers for small and larger companies alike. Native Advertising has caught on well in the last year, with over 50% off all US-Mobile adspend using this ad format. With native advertising on the rise, content and ads blend in ever more.
Business Insider already reported the following in december 2016: Facebook’s effort to create Collections comes as it struggles to distinguish between high-quality content from established media outlets and the glut of low-quality, fake news stories that go viral across the social network.
Is Facebooks ecosystem strong enough?
Both Facebook and Google are working hard on trying to make it easier for anyone to purchase anything on mobile. Whereas Google is working on making it generally more enjoyable to surf the web on mobile with its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project, Facebook tries to keep everyone within their own ecosystem.
Both approaches are very different. Facebook has a very high adoption rate, but is struggling to keep its users within the ecosystem. The limited attention span of the users is a clear challenge. Things need to move fast and work seamlessly. Adding Collections to the in-app browsing experience could be a great addition.
Shop integrations on Facebook are not entirely new though, the format has been around for many years. Yet it has never really caught on well. We have found that sales conversion rates are generally higher when linking users directly to an external website. The sales conversion rate uplift can be as high as 20%.
We have found though, that this might be due to the fact that people do not only purchase the product they looked at.
Tracking success should not be forgotten
To make it as “transparent” as possible, Facebook reports that it will help advertizers track their campaign success:
To provide more insight into performance for marketers using ad formats, such as collection and Canvas, that open into full-screen experiences, Facebook will start a test of a new outbound clicks metric over the coming weeks. In this test, outbound clicks will show the number of clicks leading people off of Facebook. We hope this offers marketers a clearer picture of people’s paths through the entire ads experience.
Marketers with ads that appear on Instagram will also see outbound clicks reported. At the beginning of this test, if an Instagram ad directs to a destination on Facebook such as a Page, marketers will see these clicks reported as outbound clicks. As we develop outbound clicks over the coming weeks, we’ll apply the same filtering on Instagram that we do on Facebook to show outbound clicks only for clicks off Facebook-owned properties.
Along with the announcement, Facebook released two short case studies by Tommy Hilfiger (claiming a 2.2x higher ROI on Adspend) and Adidas who saw a 5.3x ROI on ad spend. At first glance solid figures for these mono brands. We will need to see how this ad format holds up against the so far best format Facebook has: Carroussel ads.
Only 50 products per collection
Social media are a source of inspiration and once the user hits your website, you can continue to inspire him/her with even more products and styles. Now Facebook Collections is focussed on a relatively small number of products. Brands and retailers can feature up to 50 products per Collection.
This will mean that the collections are rather limited in size. When launching a new clothing line or season collection, mono brands should not have much of an issue with that. However, most revenue is made with multi brand retailers, who have a significantly larger product portfolio.
We will need to have a look at how collections will work, as it has not been rolled out to our ad accounts just yet. As soon as we have the first real insights and numbers, we will share them here with you.