Facebook Collection: Making the most of an unfair advantage

What do you do if your platform is used by roughly one in four people on this planet and reaches half the world’s smartphone users each day?

If you’re Facebook, you release a new mobile-only ad format that makes the most of your ability to deliver product views to a likely-to-buy public.

Collection is just that: a new and engaging ad format that combines video, slideshow or image and allows brands to showcase their products. And all within a Facebook feed.

The ads start with a video or image, with four product images below. When clicked, the ad reveals a catalogue of up to 50 different products.

facebook collection ad format

Because the product catalogue is hosted within Facebook, page load time should be next to instantaneous. Along with product photos, Facebook will display product names and prices.

Consumers who tap on a product or click the “See more…” button are then directed to the advertiser’s mobile website or app. But, importantly, right up to that point they’re still on the Facebook app, and just a click away from returning to the cat videos and baby photos that were the reason they came to Facebook in the first place.

Now available globally, Facebook reports Collection has already been tested (and approved) by retailers such as Adidas, Lowe’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Sport Chek and Michael Kors.

Why should you care?

Collection could prove an early Christmas present for ecommerce brands wanting to show their products where people are most likely to be looking.

Advertisers will need to set up a product feed in order to participate. While they can choose the initial four product images (or leave the selection to Facebook), Facebook will create the product catalogue from the advertiser’s feed, showing the most popular products and those it thinks a person most likely to want to buy.

Similar to other Facebook ads, Collection ads are bought based on campaign objectives. If an advertiser wants traffic, Facebook will charge for each click on the initial ad to open the product catalogue. If they want conversions, they’ll pay based on the number of times the ad is shown in news feeds, with Facebook targeting the ad to those people it thinks most likely to click through to the advertiser’s site or app.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he develops search strategies for SureFire clients and helps them make sense of their website data.