Facebook’s New Video Ad Format Aims to Make Ecommerce Easier

Includes a metric to track sales

Adidas, Lowe's and Michael Kors have tested Facebook's new video ads. Facebook
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Facebook wants to use video to drive retail sales.

Today the site is launching a new ad format called Collection. A video sits on the top half of the ad unit with four recommended products below. Retailers either select the products they want to feature manually or Facebook pulls popular products from a retailer’s site.

Once someone clicks though on a promo from the newsfeed, they are taken to a fast-loading landing page (similar to Facebook’s website-like Canvas ads) where people can browse through up to 50 products. From there, people can buy the items by clicking on specific products to visit the retailer’s mobile site or app.

According to Facebook, Adidas, Lowe’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Sport Chek and Michael Kors are a handful of retailers that have tested Collection. During the holidays, Sport Chek ran a campaign using GIFs that the sporting goods retailer claims doubled conversions and increased online sales by 28 percent.

Adidas’ campaign pitched a hoodie and similar products like shoes and a bag, resulting in a 1.8X decrease in cost-per-conversion, according to the brand. “This new ad format has everything we need to introduce a new product and drive sales,” explained Rebecca Watts, Adidas’ performance marketing senior specialist in a statement. “Collection has outstanding cross-selling capabilities, and we’ll certainly explore this new format again to inspire and increase sales.”

As part of the rollout, Facebook is also testing a new metric for Collection and Canvas campaigns called Outbound Clicks to give advertisers stats on how many people clicked through to the brand’s website or app. Advertisers already receive a stat that measures how many clicked on an ad from the newsfeed and now they’ll also receive a number that tracks how many people looked at the interstitial page and then clicked again to visit the retailer’s own site.

Meanwhile, ecommerce appears to be a growing focus for Facebook. On Monday, its photo-sharing app Instagram added a free feature that lets apparel, jewelry and beauty brands tag their posts with shoppable links.

@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.