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Meta is frequently mentioned in the list of firms most-impacted by privacy moves such as Apple’s App Tracking Transparency, but the company’s advertising business remains a go-to source for ecommerce brands seeking to drive customer discovery.
As the Facebook and Instagram parent focuses on developing new ways to employ AI within its tools, it is also continuing to upgrade its advertising offerings.
In particular, Meta is honing in on personalization, especially as the consumer economy faces headwinds from inflation. According to the company’s research, 52% of shoppers want to find brands or products that they haven’t yet learned about, but line up with their shopping preferences.
At Shoptalk, Meta talked about a pair of new ad formats that are designed specifically for retail and ecommerce brands. Here’s a look at areas of retail that Meta ads are powering in the latest wave of advertising:
The aforementioned privacy measures have in part ushered in the growth of retail media networks, which offer the ability to advertise on the same platform where shoppers browse and ultimately buy products.
While this form of advertising originates outside of social media platforms, Meta is testing new tools to power discovery across channels ranging from social media to other ecommerce sites. These include Managed Partner Ads Lite, which use data from a retailer’s CRM to help CPG brands drive demand for products on Meta’s social media platforms.
Early testing is showing “incremental, omnichannel performance for brands,” according to Meta.
The results: Walgreens Advertising Group partnered with Meta and a large national CPG brand on a campaign across 75 SKUs. It drove a 3.9% lift in health remedies, and a 2.5% lift in skincare products sold.
Meta said these ads can dynamically target users near stores with both relevant pricing and product availability. It’s part of a push to marry digital tools with in-person shopping experiences. Increasingly, the boundary between the store and ecommerce is blurring, and advertising will begin to account for this.
The results: The data coming back is showing that advertising online can drive offline sales. Meta said that retail advertisers recently ran a test of 502 Conversion Lift studies. In these studies, 57% of Meta ads optimized for online conversions drove incremental in-store sales.
Among Gen Z, creators have outsize influence. Meta shared that almost four out of five members of the 18-25 generation have taken a shopping action as a result of creator content.
To reach them more effectively, Meta created Branded Content Ads. These allow businesses seeking to advertise and creators on Meta to partner on an ad. Through this product, the creator content is used as the creative in an ad campaign.
The results: During the spring 2022 fashion season, Meta said Kate Spade New York tapped into Meta’s creator network, leading 78% of content to reach a net-new target audience in May and June of 2022.
These are a few of the latest shopping-focused ads to roll out from Meta. For more, check out our recent feature on promising early results from Advantage+ shopping campaigns.
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Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”