Shoppable advertisements are not brand new, but unfortunately are not talked about enough. Moreover, use of these ads has exploded and will likely be a game changer in 2023 as more and more brands opt to try them out. If you have not considered shoppable ads in your advertising strategy, it might be time to start. From social media platforms to streaming services, shoppable ads are making a name in the marketing world. Not only that, but with many platforms now having fully released shoppable content, businesses now have a unique opportunity to reach customers where they are. So, what exactly are shoppable ads and why should your business start thinking about them? Well, let’s find out!
Shoppable Ads: The Nitty Gritty
If you use social media or streaming services, you have probably seen a shoppable ad, or at least shoppable content. The idea behind these ads is to close the distance between users viewing an ad and making a purchase decision. This is usually how it goes – potential customers see an ad, file away the brand or product in their head for later, and then forget. Shoppable ads deliver a new experience where users can easily engage with the ad and make their decision in the moment. More importantly, while delivering them a streamlined experience.
Time to get down to the basics. You might be thinking, “I have seen shopping advertisements for years in the form of clickable sponsored ads.” Specifically on eCommerce sites such as Amazon and Walmart. Yet, we are not referring to those advertisements when we use this term. Shoppable Ads is a specific phrase used to reference advertising on platforms that are not inherently geared towards shopping.
Unique Features Means A Unique Experience
These ads have features that allow users to directly engage with and purchase products. Sometimes without even leaving the platform they are using or the ad itself. This can effectively close the distance between impression and conversion. Some of these features include:
- Scroll through other similar products within the ad
- Check out directly from the ad
- Directly link to product or checkout cart on the brand’s app or website
- AR capabilities so users can “try on” products
- Ads during Live Streaming
We imagine that these ads will only get more personalized and engaging as technology continues to advance. Therefore, it will definitely be something to keep an eye out for.
Different Platforms Offer Slightly Different Styles
Shoppable ads are used across almost all major social media platforms. This is good news for your business because this means you can set up campaigns that target the right audience. So, what do different platforms offer in regards to these ads?
Facebook & Instagram
Meta uses Collection Ads for both Facebook and Instagram. They have multiple layouts depending on your business’s goals and are shown in the user’s feed. Create a storefront directly in the app your customer is using, or lead them to your app or website. Facebook and Instagram were some of the first platforms in the US to implement live shopping. A.K.A. selling directly through live streams. Instagram also has Shopping Ads. By using shopping tags these will appear in both user’s feeds and the “Explore” section. They show images and descriptions, and when set up correctly, brands can even have customers purchase and checkout directly from Instagram.
With YouTube being a video platform, it stands to reason that they will have a multitude of options for shoppable ads. By using Video Action Campaigns, you can set up advertisements to show across the YouTube Home feed, watch pages, connected TV, search, YouTube Shorts, and more. You can even add a Product Feed that acts as a virtual catalog where customers can browse through products directly on YouTube, and you can add CTAs that direct customers to your website or more. YouTube joined the competition by offering Live Shopping as well, all in an effort to create a long-term monetization strategy for its partners and creators.
Following with its style of posts, it is no surprise that Pinterest also uses a form of Collection Ads which acts like a mini catalog for products. They start with what they call a hero asset and then 24 more related assets can be attached. Once fully opened customers can scroll though it like a storefront. Additionally, the platform offers Product Pins which lets customers know your pin is shoppable. It can display pricing info, availability, product title, and a description.
Arguably the newest addition to shoppable ads, TV streaming services have picked up and are implementing them in their own ways. QR codes are being used in ads to get customers to interact and take action. There are still more steps involved as users need to engage with their phone, but it is a start. All in all, it could completely usher in a new way of advertising on TV.
We want to note that Walmart and Roku have partnered to offer shoppable ads directly on customers’ TVs. While it is still in beta testing, it will be interesting to see how it plays out overtime. It is hard to imagine a seamless experience through the TV, needing to keep the remote close by, etc…. For customers who stream TV through mobile devices and computers though? That’s much more manageable.
Shoppable Ads: Yay or Nay for Businesses?
It is no secret that social media is a large part of consumer lives. So, it only makes sense to create strategies that get your brand in front of potential customers where they are spending their time. The big question is “should my business start using shoppable ads”? Shoppable ads definitely offer a unique experience to customers and we are here to help you make good marketing decisions. Let’s look at the pros and cons our Cyberlicious® experts have to say about these ads:
- Offers a seamless ad-to-purchase experience for users with less disruptions in the purchasing decision.
- Shortens the sales funnel, which hopefully leads to more conversions.
- Builds brand identity and loyalty. Stories allow for greater connection with your customers, but you must build content and media that draws consumers in.
- Easy to track data!
- If you do not have a firm grasp on your audience then you could waste time and resources, or not reach your audience at all.
- Shopping directly from ads limits the user experience with product selection and your website.
- With more and more brands expanding onto platforms via shoppable ads, competition may be high and creativity will be a must.
Consult a Cyberlicious® Ads Expert
Our experts agree that shoppable ads are a great opportunity for businesses, especially ecommerce and retail! They offer a creative way to target your customers and deliver high-quality images and video content with product information. Not to mention they conveniently allow for quick access to said products and checkout, and people love when things are easy and convenient. Even if users are not making purchase decisions right away, they can still decide to go to your website or app later. Worst case scenario you are building brand awareness as your ads circulate through feeds.
As more businesses enter into the shoppable ad world, your brand should be there with them. Between multiple platforms, different types of ads, content creation, product promotion, and more, take advantage of digital marketing experts who know the ins and outs. Contact us to find out how we can generate your business sweet results.