- E-commerce platform Shopify this week started letting merchants create, manage and launch dynamic ads on Facebook and began rolling out Story Ads on Snapchat to help reach more shoppers. The features are available natively inside Shopify's platform, according to a blog post.
- Shopify now lets merchants synchronize their pricing and product availability information with Facebook's dynamic ads that show items to target customers through the social network. Shopify merchants also can create branded Tiles in Snapchat's Discover section to display a selection of products with Snapchat Story Ads.
- Direct-to-consumer advertising that drives e-commerce transactions has grown 7% to 20% for five consecutive years, according a study that ad analytics firm MediaRadar shared with sister publication Marketing Dive. DTC companies place branded content pieces, also known as native advertising, three times more frequently than traditional brands do, the study found.
Shopify's addition of dynamic ads on Facebook and Story Ads on Snapchat gives marketers more flexibility in DTC campaigns on its shopping platform, which powers the e-commerce operations of more than 800,000 merchants worldwide. Facebook's dynamic ads let markers create an ad template that automatically uses images and information from their data feed to reach consumers who have shown an interest in their products and services. Snapchat's Story Ads let advertisers reach their audiences with a branded tile in the app's Discover section that features professionally produced content from publishers and media outlets.
Shopify aims to give merchants a broader selection of marketing tools to reach consumers who have shifted their viewing habits to social media. The average Facebook user spent about 49 minutes a day on the platform in Q1 2019, down from 53 minutes a year earlier, per a consumer survey from investment bank Cowen cited by Business Insider. The average Snapchat user spent 35 minutes a day on the image-messaging app last quarter, with little changed from 34 minutes a year earlier. Meanwhile, TV viewership declined 36% among people ages 18 to 34 last year from 2014 as audiences spent more time with digital media, video games and streaming services like Netflix, per Nielsen data cited by USA Today. The insights demonstrate that marketers need to have an ad-buying strategy to reach audiences while they're on social media.
"When it comes to DTC advertising on social media, Instagram is the primary partner for this," Todd Krizelman, MediaRadar CEO and co-founder said in a statement. "The platform allows for very specific targeting, and seamless purchasing of product from within the app, which is a feature that few others offer."
While DTC advertising is growing on social media — particularly Facebook-owned Instagram — other media channels like digital, TV and print also are seeing greater ad spend from DTC brands, MediaRadar's research indicates. Many DTC companies that are scaling up their businesses are now buying ads in traditional media to get greater reach. Mattress marketing firm Casper spent more than $30 million a year on TV in the past few years, while prescription glasses retailer Warby Parker returned to TV advertising last year after taking a break in 2017, per MediaRadar.