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Facebook Looks to Ramp Up Ad Effectiveness Online, In-store

Leaders from Glossier, Casper, Facebook and Segment spoke on a panel at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Facebook may create new advertising options with the aim of connecting retail online and off-line, according to Doug Weiss, head of product growth at the company.

“We are increasingly realizing that we need a different type of ad product potentially to drive in-store behavior versus driving online behavior,” Weiss said, noting the company already uses GPS data to target customers on the go.

He spoke on a panel hosted by analytics business Segment at Saks Fifth Avenue on Wednesday evening that also featured Jan-Niklas Kokott, head of product and customer insight at beauty start-up Glossier; Any Ng, manager of acquisition at mattress business Casper, and Prashant Sridharan, vice president of marketing at Segment. The group focused on personalization, connecting online with off-line and the importance of mobile.

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According to Weiss, one in four global mobile minutes is spent on a Facebook-owned app (that includes Instagram and Messenger). Shopping is going mobile, too, in different ways. Glossier has seen a jump from 45 to 70 percent of customers shopping via mobile device, Kokott said. While Casper sees action on mobile, customers seem to frequently move over to a computer to make their $900 mattress purchase, Ng said.

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Both businesses are actively working to connect their online origins with their off-line offerings, which include experiential retail. After closing its latest $24 million venture capital round, Glossier announced plans for retail. Right now, the business is operating its showroom (located in the penthouse of its office building) as a shopping destination.

“As a customer, you almost have to know about it,” Kokott said, noting that customers have to take the elevator upstairs past businesses like Soho Vascular Surgery to get to the space. “There’s not a lot of foot traffic obviously, he said, noting that gradually more people are stopping by the store. Off-line marketing has also helped — Glossier saw a huge jump in awareness after it ran a subway-based marketing campaign, he added. For online, where Glossier was born, the business built tools meant to mimic beauty shopping in real life. “One of the things we try to do online is really replicate the experience of trying on product,” Kokott said. That included building a tool for customers to upload a selfie to try on product, and using models of various skin tones to give customers an idea of what a color would look like on them.

Casper is experimenting with offline retail as well, with experiential spaces where prospective customers can sign up for a 30-minute test nap and through a partnership with home store West Elm, Ng said.

On the personalization front, Glossier is doing things like using different home pages for new or returning customers and using information from its content site — Into the Gloss — to determine potential product recommendations for customers.

Weiss noted that while a few years ago the online and off-line customers were different shoppers, that is no longer the case.