Facebook

Facebook sees the future of shopping as mobile and in apps.

The social network on Wednesday shared a study that looked at advertisers that encouraged Facebook users to shop within an app.

Jet.com, which was bought by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. last month, used Facebook’s dynamic ads to “re-market” to customers who browsed products on Jet’s app. Dynamic ads on Facebook automatically show products that users have browsed or added to a cart but didn’t purchase (in the advertiser’s app). In other words, if a Jet.com app user looked at a black dress on the Jet app, and then logged onto the Facebook on Instagram app, she might have see an ad that promoted that dress or a similar product.

According to Jet.com associate director of marketing Lauren Picasso, these ads have been an effective “native acquisition tool,” increasing click-through rate by 63 percent and decreasing cost-per-acquisition by 56 percent in Jet’s Facebook app campaigns.

“Dynamic ads allow us to automatically show highly relevant creative to people who have demonstrated intent while using our app,” Picasso said.

Indian shopping site Snapdeal found that by showing relevant content, the e-tailer has seen a six- to eight-times return on ad spend.

According to recent research from Criteo, conversion rates in apps are three times that of mobile web browsers and for fashion and luxury retailers, more than 40 percent of e-commerce transactions take place on mobile devices. In July, Facebook introduced a tool called “App Event Optimization,” which helps advertisers identify people who are more likely to take action once they’ve installed an app.

Mobile apps have traditionally dominated the mobile shopping process compared with the mobile web, partly because the user interface and checkout process are designed to be simple and convenient to use.

That might change with the introduction of Apple Pay this fall, which allows for a retailer’s mobile desktop site (accessed through Safari on iPhones and iPads) to use the simple payment and checkout process that has been available on mobile apps.

Transactions on Apple Pay can be authenticated using Touch ID on an iPhone or Apple Watch, which automatically inputs payment and address information from the user’s account. Although Apple Pay has previously been available within mobile apps, adding it to Safari on mobile devices greatly expands its potential.

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