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New features for immersive shopping experience on Facebook and Instagram

In this article, we are going to explore some available shopping options on Facebook and Instagram.

· Facebook,News,New features

Let’s start with a brand new option Facebook just launched. They describe it as a ‘native experience from check-it-out to check out’ for your potential customers.

It’s a feature called сollections that lets you pair a video or photo with four product images below it in the News Feed. It is ideal for advertisers who are interested in combining the power of video or imagery and shopping in one space. This feature is truly a mobile-first shopping experience that helps marketers drive sales in a visual and immersive way and can be a great help in the quick and easy conversion of your potential customers from product discovery into sales.

Note that сollections is a paid mobile-only feature available through Ads Manager or Power Editor.

So, how does it work?

Clicking on сollection ad leads potential customers to a multiple products showcase, which loads within the Facebook app for a faster, seamless mobile experience. Then, tapping on a product takes your clients to a product detail page on your mobile site or app.

Video and mobile shopping

You can also include products used in the video and showcase them just below the video so that as someone in it is talking about the products, your customers can simultaneously scroll through the items, and expand to a fast-loading and full-screen experience to shop for even more products.

Image and mobile shopping

You can pair a lifestyle image with the related products up-front, and encourage people to open a fast-loading, full-screen shopping experience featuring up to 50 different products where people can instantly browse and shop for more products.

This is how your collection might look like in your customers’ News Feed.

Creating your collection

You can create a collection from Ads Manager or Power Editor.To get started with a collection, you'll need to:

1. Choose a video or photo that you want to feature in your ad

2. Define a product catalog and product set with eight or more products that relate to your video or photo

3. Create and serve your ad in Power Editor, Ads Manager or via a Facebook Marketing Partner

Creating a collection in Ads Manager

1. Go to Ads Manager.

2. Select an objective that is supported by collection (Traffic or Conversions), then click Continue.

3. Select Website or Messenger or App.

4. If you're using an app, it's recommended that you link people directly to your products within your app.

5. Define your audience, budget, and schedule, then click Continue.

6. At the ad level, select the collection ad format.

Note: You will not see the collection ad format if you don’t already have a product catalog uploaded.

7. Select the hero image, video, or slideshow to display in the News Feed.

Note: For video, 1:1 or 16:9 aspect ratios are recommended. For images, an image size of 1,200 x 628 pixels is recommended.

8. Choose your Facebook Page, a headline (25 characters recommended), and text (90 characters recommended).

9. Select your Product Catalog from the drop-down menu.

10. Select your Product Set, or click + to create a new Product Set.

Note: Your Product Set will need to contain eight or more products related to your main image, slideshow, or video. The deeper the product set, the better.

11. Select Mobile News Feed under Ad Preview to see your collection ad format.

Note: Because this feature is mobile only, you may see a pop-up window asking you to remove all non-mobile placements. Click Remove Placements

12. The Products Featured in News Feed section lets you to control the four product images below your video, slideshow, or image. By default, the four images will be ranked by the likelihood of purchase. Click Change to select 1 - 4 specific images from your Product Set. The product images you select won't be ranked by likelihood of purchase. Click Confirm to finalize selections.

13. Select Preview below Post Click Experience to see what the ad would look like after people tap on it.

14. Then click Place Order to finish.

Creating a collection in Power Editor

1. Go to Power Editor.

2. Select the Ads tab.

3. Click the Create Ad button.

4. Choose the campaign and ad set you want to use for your ad, or click Create New to create a new campaign and ad set for the ad.

5. Enter a name for the ad and click Create.

6. Choose your Facebook Page and Instagram Account you want to represent your business.

7. Select the collection ad format.

Note: You will not see the collection ad format if you don’t already have a product catalog uploaded.

8. Then choose between Image or Video/Slideshow to be featured in the News Feed.

9. Fill out the headline and text you want to be displayed with your ad.

10. Select your Product Catalog from the drop-down menu.

11. Select your Product Set, or click + to create a new Product Set.

Note: Your Product Set will need to contain eight or more products related to your main image, slideshow, or video. The deeper the product set, the better.

12. The Products Featured in News Feed section lets you control the four product images below your video, slideshow, or image. By default, the four images will be ranked by the likelihood of purchase. Click Change to select 1 - 4 specific images from your Product Set. The product images you select won't be ranked by likelihood of purchase. Click Confirm to finalize selections.

13. Click Remove unsupported Collection placements.

14. Select Mobile News Feed under Ad Preview to see your collection ad format.

Note: Because this feature is mobile only, you may see a pop-up window asking you to remove all non-mobile placements. Click Remove Placements.

  1. Select Preview below Post Click Experience to see what the ad would look like after people tap on it.

  2. Then click the Upload Changes button to complete the ad.

    Voila! You’re all set up.

If you want to learn more about collections, you can look up the Facebook Additional resources:

Creative Specs and Help Center.

Instagram shopping

Recently, Facebook also announced an Instagram shopping feature. The feature is long-awaited, both by Instagram users and by Instagram businesses. The first wanted more tools and a more seamless way to do product discovery and purchase. The second needed more compelling and useful ways to get information about their products to customers, the moment users express interest in their posts.

Now the feature is available only for retail and e-commerce businesses who sell in the US and have US-English language accounts. Eligible businesses will have the ability to tag up to five products in a photo via a self-serve creation tool within the Instagram iOS app. It is also an organic feature with no access through an API, so businesses will not be able to promote posts that tag products in them for now.

To be eligible, businesses must:

  • sell apparel/jewelry/beauty products online in the US;

  • have US-English-language account, which doesn’t mean you have to be headquartered in the US because only US consumers can see shopping features;

  • have converted to a business profile.

You can sign up on an eligible businesses waitlist here.

To tag products in your Instagram photos, you must have access to Shop Section on Facebook or the product catalog within the Facebook Business Manager with an offsite link connected to an Instagram account. However, having a catalog set up is not a requirement for eligibility, and you can set it up later.

For now, you can only tag products in a single static photo. In the future, this feature will be available for videos and the carousel format.

So, how would it look in your Instagram feed?

An icon will appear on the content to indicate that the post has a shopping layer. When users tap on an image or a tag, they will enter the product details view, which will showcase the image of the product from the post, a description, its price, and a purchase link that takes consumers to the business’s website. If a business tags multiple products in a post, the product details view will have a slider that will allow users easily to swipe through the pictures to see the products featured in the initial post.

Insights on these posts will also be available soon so that businesses can understand better how people tap on content to learn more about a product and the conversion rates of this tool.

You can learn more about it here. In April, this feature will be gradually rolled out for approved businesses.

Product tagging

Another Facebook shopping feature is product tagging. It is completely organic in contrast to the Сollections feature.

Let us explain the process of tagging products on Facebook. You can tag them in both photos AND videos. Tagging is available through your shop section or product catalog.

[Image credit: Business Insider]

Here's how it works: When a product is tagged in a page's post, anyone can tap it to open a dedicated page, where they can learn more about the product.

It is an organic feature, which means it's a free way for companies to advertise their goods and make them more visible to potential buyers. Also, the ability to tag products is only available on the brand side, so your consumers can’t tag your products on their photos.

So, how do I tag products in my Page posts?

This can be done in two ways: from your shop section or via your product catalog within Facebook Business Manager.

Let’s explore the first option. You first have to set up a shop section. (Note that having a shop section on your Page is a new feature that is currently being tested. It may not be available to everyone.)

Setting up a Shop Section

Facebook's shop section is a free feature, and it can differ depending on where you live: in the U.S. or outside the U.S. If you live outside the U.S., you don’t have access to direct selling from your Page, and you will not be able to divide your products into different collections in your shop section.

For now, only physical products are available through the shop section. You can add it via the Facebook native interface or via Shopify and BigCommerce.

The shop section if you are in the U.S.

If you live in the U.S., you can choose from two shop types to add to your Page. You can add a shop section that either allows your customers to check-out right from your Facebook Page, or you can add a shop section that will send your customers to another website to complete their purchases.

The shop section if you are outside the U.S.

If you live outside the U.S., you can choose from two other shop types to add to your Page. You can add a shop section to your Page that lets your customers message you to learn more about your products, or you can add a shop that sends your customers to another website to complete their purchase.

Read this guide to learn how to add a shop section to your Page regardless of your location.

After the shop section is set up, you can start adding products. People will only see your shop after you have added at least one product and your product has been reviewed and approved by Facebook.

You can list as many products as you want in the shop section on your page. Here are the requirements and recommendations for adding product images, descriptions, etc.

Finally, you can start tagging your Page posts.

If you want to tag a product, it has to be listed in your shop. You can tag up to 30 products and links. When people see your products tagged in your posts, they can click those tags to shop your products.

Be sure to only tag products that are clearly shown in your photos and videos, so your posts stay relevant to your customers.

You have two options for product tagging:

  • Tag products before publishing

If your post includes multiple photos or you have created a slideshow, click on the "tag products" icon before you publish. Add products one at a time, and they will appear under your post linking to your shop.

[Image credit: Creative Web Ideas]

  • Tag products after publishing

If your post is just one photo showing multiple products, publish your post, then click on the photo and click the "tag products" icon. You can click items in the photo and add the appropriate products (just like tagging people).

[Image credit: Creative Web Ideas]

This is how your tagged products might look like in your customers’ News Feed and after they click on the product details.

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