Facebook is trying to be smooth.
The social media giant recently announced that it’s testing an in-app checkout solution for Dynamic Ads that show up in a user’s News Feed. Available to only a limited number of businesses right now, the goal is to give users a seamless shopping experience. These users will have already expressed an interest in the products they’ll be shown. A hassle-free checkout shortens the buyer journey, while making it easier to properly attribute the touchpoints a shopper consults throughout their purchase funnel.
We’ve already seen this feature debut on Instagram, and it’s clear that Facebook aims to reduce latency to purchase, seeing an opportunity to target mid-funnel audiences. People who’ve either browsed, abandoned a cart with a product in it, or are in the consideration phase will be the largest audience for this in-app checkout feature.
Facebook estimates that brands have lost about $213 billion to in-app friction, and this new feature directly addresses that pain point. Users will need to have a payment option set up, but the allure of convenience continues to be the driving force among the biggest tech brands. (Looking at you, Apple Pay.) Direct purchasing, especially ahead of the upcoming holiday season, is a useful feature that retailers can take advantage of to maximize conversions.
Creating a more user-friendly shopping experience within the Facebook ecosystem is a boon to shoppers. Mobile usage continues to rise, and it’s becoming simpler than ever to learn about a product, find pertinent information, shop for differentiators (like price or quality), and then make a purchase. The ease of use that today’s platforms prioritize means we win, making it simple to shop and have brands compete for our conversion.
As for brands, well…
We agree that in-app purchasing is a useful tool to have in Facebook ad solutions, but where does the data go? If someone converts on your site, you get that information. If someone converts through this new in-app checkout, Facebook gets those valuable signals. Of course you’ll see campaign insights related to these Dynamic Ads, it’s just that there’s more that you’d learn (or sell) if the shopper was going to your site to convert. When this data then leads Facebook to offer more targeted ad options, it starts to feel like you’re always playing catch up to chase your high-value customers.
We think this is a great time to test spending or marketing strategies similar to how we approach Amazon: as business development to gain key customer learnings. What are your products that customers are converting on the Facebook app but not your site? Where are your customers in their journey right before they use the in-app checkout? These findings are so helpful since it identifies gaps you want to address. Maybe your product descriptions need more information, or maybe your brand needs more content about the product. That’s the information that’ll ensure the purchase funnel you create for your shoppers is easy, so that Facebook’s in-app conversions supplement your onsite purchases instead of cannibalizing them.