Is Facebook Good for Retailers?

(This article was originally written by Leanna Kelly for Total Retail).

There are 5 million advertisers on Facebook right now. However, there are still many retailers that hesitate to advertise on the platform. At CPC Strategy, we believe some of this hesitation stems from uncertainty about what users want. Therefore, with our first “2017 Facebook Consumer Survey,” we modeled our questions around two core thoughts:

  • How do Facebook users view ads? Is it positive or negative?
  • How do Facebook users engage with ads?

The answers to both of these questions can shed light on the biggest question on many retailers’ minds: Is Facebook advertising worth it?

We decided to partially answer this with a consumer survey. Using Survata, we surveyed 1,500 online respondents between March 14, 2017 and March 15, 2017.

Here are some of the results from the survey, as well as some key takeaways.

  • Twenty-six percent of users who reported clicking on an ad also reported that they completed a purchase. Users who clicked on an ad were three times more likely to purchase a product they first saw on Facebook than nonclickers. Additionally, women were more likely to make a Facebook-driven purchase than male respondents. This stat may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s reassuring to see that increased clicks can actually result in increased conversions. And for retailers that cater to women, it’s a good indication that this demographic is comfortable shopping and making purchases on the platform.
  • 47.4 percent of respondents were introduced to a new brand or product on Facebook. Nearly 50 percent of respondents reported they were first introduced to a new brand or product via Facebook in the “past 30 days.” The fact that these respondents could recall seeing a new brand on the channel was exemplary, and promising for new brands seeking greater awareness via Facebook.
  • 17.9 percent overall communicated with a brand or retailer via Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger is still in the early phases for direct product sales and overall communication., however, while we don’t recommend retailers invest in Messenger heavily right now as a direct sales channel, this may change. In addition, keep an eye out for opportunities to advertise on the Messenger platform in the next few years as the app continues to add users.
  • Facebook users “like” for customer service and content. What makes a Facebook user “like” your page? While this will vary for every retailer depending on their target market, we discovered that the majority of users ranked “customer service” and “content” as their top two reasons to like a brand or retailer’s page on Facebook. Stay on top of your customer service and curate solid original content and you’ll probably see “likes” rise.
  • 54.6 percent of respondents feel positive or indifferent about ads on Facebook. This was the most surprising statistic of all. Not only do the majority of Facebook users not mind (or actually enjoy) ads, another key segment reported that they “do not notice ads on Facebook.” Unlike banner ads or pop-ups, Facebook ads in the news feed strongly resemble other organic posts. This makes it easier for Facebook users to let their “ad alert” guard down and invest in a brand’s ad that interests them.

Our conclusion after analyzing all of the survey findings? There’s never been a better time for retailers to invest in Facebook ads. The platform will only get more expensive to invest in as time goes on, and those that have a pre-built organic audience, original content and on-point demographic targeting will see the best results right now.