Remember the days of catalogue shopping? A slew of catalogues would arrive on your doorstep – JC Penny, Eddie Bauer, Sears, etc. – and you’d flip through hundreds of pages to find the items that you wanted or needed. While a 300-page catalogue full of products could be exciting at first – with seemingly endless possibilities to quench your retail thirst – it was often cumbersome. There’s not a person on earth that could possibly want or need every product in the JC Penny catalogue. Product catalogues worked much like Encyclopedias (remember those?) – you had to physically search for products that matched your desires.
The days of receiving 5-pound catalogues in the mail are largely gone (though the Yellow Pages continues to mysteriously appear on my doorstep). But catalogues aren’t. Have you ever been to Ikea’s website? It features thousands and thousands of products in hundreds of countries. A virtual catalogue. Ikea is a phenomenal business with an international reputation. But what about smaller retailers? Are consumers willing to wade through hundreds of web pages of products to find what they’re looking for? In today’s climate of endless choices, probably not.
I’ve written before about the importance of brands reaching out directly to engage consumers in the virtual spaces they inhabit. With more than 700 million daily users, Facebook is the world’s most populous virtual space. Facebook is an important channel for retailers to engage audiences. And with Facebook’s latest evolution to its advertising service – “Product Ads” – retailers can now promote individual products from their catalogues to consumers. The service, introduced in mid-February, could be a game changer for brands with extensive product lines.
Facebook’s announcement described the new service: “Product ads offer businesses a number of ways to highlight different products on Facebook. Marketers can upload their product catalog and create campaigns targeting certain products to specific audiences, or let Facebook automatically deliver the most relevant products to people. Products can be shown in single- or multi-product ad units.”
The new service should take a lot of the guesswork and tedium out of how to reach the right audience at the right time for brands. However, brands must continue to raise the bar on creative presentation and engaging content. Does your brand’s creative stand out from the crowd? Contact us using the form to the right – we’d love to help!