Facebook makes its dynamic ads more friendly to brick-and-mortar retailers

Facebook just announced some new features for its dynamic ads, aimed at making the format more appealing to businesses with brick-and-mortar stores.

Facebook’s dynamic ads show you different products based on your activity and interests. Now, the company says it can incorporate data about local product availability, pricing and special offers into these ads. So instead of just showing you the product, the ad can direct you to a specific store where the product is available at a specific price. Then if the product sells out at local stores, the campaign can start featuring something else from the catalog.

Maz Sharafi, a director of monetization product marketing at Facebook, described this as a way to “take [the dynamic ads] product and make it relevant for brick-and-mortar retailers.” He suggested this could be particularly useful for big companies that want to run national ad campaigns driving shoppers into local stores — advertisers including Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s and Target are already testing the new unit.

More broadly, Sharafi said this is part of Facebook’s efforts to make its ads more useful businesses with real-world storefronts — in the same vein, the company already introduced location-based ad copy and directions to the nearest store.

To further those efforts, the company is also announcing the ability to optimize an ad campaign for store visits — in the same way that Facebook started letting advertisers target people who are likely to use an app, it’s now letting them target users who are likely to actually go to a store.

“This is one of the most important end-to-end challenges and opportunities that exists in this space,” Sharafi said. “People are spending majority of their time on mobile, but the majority of sales are happening offline, in stores. How do you connect the two?”