Coming on the heels of Instagram’s latest shoppable capabilities, Facebook just launched a new mobile shopping feature of its own, and brands are clamoring to partake.
Yesterday, the social platform announced its Collection feature, which allows companies to share video advertisements that users can click on to be directed to a shopping page. On this page, companies can showcase up to 50 items at a time, and users can click on items of interest to be directed to their corresponding brand website for more information or to make a purchase. Ultimately, the goal is to use video, which users have been increasingly viewing on mobile devices, to lure in consumers who will then be prone to browse and shop.
The feature is a response to consumers’ growing propensity to shop on social media platforms, according to Sean Zepps, associate director of digital strategy at Deep Focus. He said three out of four shoppers use social media when planning to make a purchase and that, in many cases, video helps support their decisions.
“The reality is, consumers are very comfortable shopping on social now,” he said. “As our industry evolves and platforms continue to roll out new e-commerce functionalities, social users have adapted, and they are often inspired enough by compelling branded content to make a purchase.”
As part of the effort, Facebook is also launching a metric that tracks how many people go through the entire experience, from viewing the video to browsing the products and making a purchase. This will allow brands to examine the traffic Facebook is driving to their e-commerce sites.
“While I expect that consumers will respond favorably to the new experience, it’s brands who will benefit most from the Collection product,” Zepps said. “It allows marketers to tell a compelling story, while also increasing the likelihood of product discoverability. Also, savvy online shoppers want variety and the sense of choice, and Facebook is giving them just that.”
According to Facebook, several brands have already been using the feature, including Adidas and Tommy Hilfiger. In Facebook’s statement announcing Collection’s official launch, Avery Baker, chief brand officer at Tommy Hilfiger, said that the brand has experienced an ROI of more than 200 percent using the feature, which it first used to promote its fall 2016 collection.
Adidas is one of the first brands using the Facebook Collection feature.
“Our mission was to democratize the runway and make every look immediately available to all consumers worldwide,” Baker said. “We took our video assets to the next level, through integrating the shopping functionality. Collection creates a consumer experience that reflects how current generations of digital natives interact with their favorite brands.”
Facebook noted in its announcement that 45 percent of shopping pathways to purchase include a mobile element, but that oftentimes, the user experience is poor. Collections aims to streamline the process in a social network setting by eliminating nuisances like long load times that interrupt and distract a consumer’s experience.
“For users, it creates an immersive experience that makes product discovery and purchase both intuitive and convenient,” said Emma Zumsen, director of integrated strategy at Gale.