Facebook launches new Shopping audiences, Instagram Product Tag ads, tests Shops discounts

Facebook continues to expand Shopping capabilities and features across its platforms.

By Ginny Marvin

As we head into the holiday season, Facebook is rolling out several new features for e-commerce marketers and brands. It is also launching promotional support for Black-owned businesses and training and software discounts for small businesses.

Instagram ads with product tags. For more than a year, Instagram has been testing product tags for organic Shopping posts. Marketers can then promote those posts as ads. Now, marketers will be able to create ads with product tags directly in Ads Manager without having to go the organic post route first, Facebook announced Wednesday.

Product tags are indicated by white dots. Product information, including the product name and price show when a user clicks the dot. Now, product tags can be added to photo, video and carousel ad formats.

Shopping engagement custom audiences. This new type of audience targeting is aimed at helping marketers “reach people who’ve already shown interest in their product or brand by doing things like saving a product, viewing a shop or initiating a purchase.”

Shopping lookalike audiences. As the name suggests, advertisers can expand their reach by targeting “shoppers” with similar interests as their existing customers on Facebook and Instagram.

Discounts in Shops. Brands with Shops will be able to promote sales and discounts via the Promotions tab in Commerce Manager. Facebook is testing this in the U.S. only at this point.

For the holidays, for example, you can create offers for specific products — by grouping them in product sets. The discount promotion types available are: sale pricing, minimum purchase requirement and discount with code. Note, it’s not possible to set minimums or offer promotions like free shipping, first-time customer or other discounts at this time.

How to set up discounts for Facebook Shops
Options for setting up discount offers for your Facebook Shop. Image: Facebook.

SMB training and #BuyBlack Friday. Black-owned businesses have been hit especially hard during the pandemic. Facebook says 41% of Black-owned businesses have shut down due to COVID-19 in the U.S. Every Friday through November 27, Facebook will be promoting #BuyBlack Friday on its platforms, and will be publishing a gift guide and business directory of Black-owned businesses among other efforts.

Small businesses is offering training and discounts from several martech partners including, Intuit, Vimeo, ChatFuel, MobileMonkey, BigCommerce and Canva in what it’s calling a Season of Support.

Why we care. The new features, ad formats and audiences for retail announced Wednesday underscore Facebook’s intentional focus on making Instagram and Facebook mobile shopping drivers. The company says it’s seeing 78% of online purchases happening on mobile and expects that number to increase during the holidays. With last week’s Prime Day event, many consumers are now in holiday shopping mode and marketers should be aiming to roll out holiday promotions earlier than ever.

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