The social network bolsters its dynamic product ads to enable retailers to aim ads at consumers who visited their site or app that highlight items consumers may want.

Facebook Inc. is giving marketers more ways to use its dynamic product ads, which let retailers and other advertisers serve shoppers ads at consumers who visited their site or app.

The social network today added new dynamic product ad features that let marketers cross-sell and upsell related products. For example, if a shopper buys a bike on a retailer’s site, the merchant can show him product ads featuring complementary items, like bike helmets and baskets, since he may be interested in those products too.

Advertisers can define their product categories to determine which products to highlight in those cross-sell and upsell ads. So if a shopper adds a pair of designer shoes to her cart in a merchant’s mobile app, the retailer can choose to show her ads featuring products from its designer shoe category or items from its designer handbag category—or both.

Dynamic product ads work by using Facebook’s conversion pixel or its mobile software development kit to track which items a shopper looked at on a retailer’s site. The retailer can then target that shopper with dynamic product ads.

Throughout the next few weeks Facebook plans to expand the reach of dynamic product ads by enabling marketers to use Audience Network, its mobile ad network.


The idea is to give marketers more ways to highlight products where consumers are already looking, said Matt Idema, Facebook’s global head of ads marketing, today at the ClickZ Live digital marketing conference in San Francisco. “We’re expanding the ability to reach people in apps.” That’s increasingly necessary, he said, because mobile app usage grew 52% last year. 

His point was echoed in a Facebook blog post. “People are now spending more time on mobile than on desktop, and of the time they spend on mobile phones, they’re spending most of it in mobile apps, like Facebook and Instagram, not Internet browsers,” the post says. “In fact, last year during the holidays, 56% of in-store sales were influenced by mobile. As people change how they browse and discover products, advertisers need new ways to showcase products in the places where people are discovering them.”

The social network also plans to let advertisers optimize dynamic product ads for conversions rather than clicks. That means Facebook’s ad delivery system will identify shoppers most likely to buy a product rather than just click on the ads. That dovetails with the social network’s recent revamp of its cost-per-click definition so that advertisers only pay when an ad drives users to a website or app. Facebook previously charged when users clicked to like, share or comment on posts. Optimizing for conversions and the new cost-per-click definition are causing marketers’ costs to rise. However, Facebook argues that the changes mean advertisers receive fewer, but higher-value, impressions and clicks. 

In related news, Facebook today began letting marketers use Audience Network to present consumers with carousel ads, which can showcase up to five images within a single ad, and full-screen interstitials, which deliver click-to-play video ads, off of Facebook.