Meta's new ads cross social with retail media

The Facebook and Instagram parent also has new ad products geared toward in-store shopping and creators.

a white and blue square with a blue and white facebook logo
Photo by Dima Solomin on Unsplash

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:

Retail media

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.

Offline shopping

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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