- Snapchat announced a new advertising product called Dynamic Ads. It brings automated customization to ads and is designed to make it easy for brands to set up their e-commerce business on Snapchat.
- Snap first introduced Dynamic Ads in 2019 to e-commerce retailers in the U.S and began testing the ad unit last October.
- The stock was down 1% after the company launched Dynamic Ads in the U.K, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East after being offered only in the U.S.
- Google and Facebook both offer brands Dynamic Ads.
Snapchat Dynamic Ads or Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) allow a brand to automatically create ads in real-time based on their own product catalogs which may contain hundreds of items. This means if a price or availability changes, ads will be updated automatically with less human intervention. Dynamic ads will make selling products easier for retailers and brands and can serve Snapchat’s 229 million daily active users based on their interests. Snap offers five templates to advertisers to showcase their products in a way that they look native.
Here is the example of the template after a product is populated:
Brands like Adidas, FarFetch, and Topshop were amongst the first brands to test Snapchat Dynamic Product Ads and all reported positive sales results from showcasing their products and services through customized ad formats.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Adidas has further accelerated its digital business and eCommerce is their key focus in 2020. Adidas test in Europe elicited positive feedback:
“We’re excited to beta test Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads in the U.K., Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Within weeks we saw a 52% growth in ROAS (return on advertising spend) and we have subsequently grown our investment.”
“The launch of DPAs allows us a route to reach our target Gen Z and Millennial audiences with relevant product creative throughout the consumer journey.”
– Rob Seidu, Sr. Director of Media Activation, Europe
FarFetch chief marketing officer Gareth Jones said that there is a shift in consumer interaction with eCommerce as consumers are increasingly shopping on their mobile phones during the COVID-19 lockdown which is expected to continue. Jones added that Snapchat Dynamic Ads have transformed the brand’s activity across the entire sales funnel.
“We lent heavily into DPAs during the testing period and we have seen significant success that has translated into high-quality customers and ultimately transactions. We plan to continue to build on our relationship with Snapchat and we see them as an always-on partner.”
Topshop was the first brand to do a beta test and it achieved four times the UK benchmarks for ROAS within two weeks. According to Topshop,
“DPAs have allowed Topshop to reach Snapchatters with high-quality, and relevant ads throughout the consumer journey, and based on such strong results, the activity will be scaled and launched into further markets over the coming weeks.”
Implications on Business
Lockdown has forced many businesses to shift their focus to eCommerce and keep up with consumer demands. According to Interactive Media in Retail Group, online sales reached a 10-year high in April, marking a year-over-year increase of 23.8%.
Snap reported revenue of $462 million in the first quarter, up more than 44% over the first quarter of 2019 and ad revenue grew as they relied on big-spending large advertisers.
According to Ed Couchman, general manager of Snapchat U.K,
“The coronavirus has accelerated the need for businesses to look at their digital sales channels and encouraged them to be more innovative in how they do that.”
“Since we opened up the beta testing I was impressed at the number of businesses who wanted to get involved – far above what we expected – which really shows the appetite for brands to get on board with e-commerce.”
“We are seeing strong results from advertisers in multiple sectors from high street clothing stores to food delivery who have been testing the product.”
- Facebook announced 50-person video chat rooms called Messenger rooms.
- Regardless of whether participants have a Facebook account, they can participate in the calls.
- Messenger Rooms are an answer to Zoom and Houseparty for Pandemic.
- Messenger Rooms will roll out this week in a few countries and the rest of the world next week including the U.S.
Video calling services have seen a sharp rise during the coronavirus crisis and the use of video calling on Facebook Messenger has doubled in the coronavirus affected areas. On Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered a live stream to announce the company’s retooled video products for users to connect while at home under quarantine. The video update perfectly fits Facebook advertising plans that focus on e-commerce.
As many countries issued stay-at-home orders, rival apps Zoom witnessed a drastic growth in the active users to 300 million in April, and Houseparty, owned by Fortnite-maker Epic Games, was downloaded more than 2 million times in the start of March. Facebook has seen the success of Zoom, the video conferencing sites popular among the companies that have sent employees to work-from-home. The biggest product launch ‘Rooms’ will be created via Facebook Messenger which allows 50 people to hang out at a time. The company plans to add the feature to Instagram, Whatsapp and it’s portal-video calling devices soon.
Key features of Messenger Rooms:
- People will be able to keep their room private, block unwanted participants, and invite people who are not on Facebook.
- Participants can use AR filters and change the background real-time
- Discoverable rooms will be listed at the top of the feed.
However, messenger rooms are not end-to-end encrypted like Group Facetime or WhatsApp call. Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger said on the blog,
Room calls are not end-to-end encrypted, but Facebook says it does not view or listen to calls. The creator of a room can remove participants at any time, and rooms where illicit behavior is taking place can be reported to Facebook. (WhatsApp video calls are end-to-end encrypted, offering an extra layer of protection to users.)
Summary of Other Updates from Facebook
- WhatsApp will accommodate from four to eight participants in the video group calls making it a suitable competitor to Zoom.
- Facebook Live and IGTV: Facebook is creating advertising that fits in this environment especially in the areas that are popular among consumers like home cooking, fitness, and others. It will be open for business and more e-commerce activities will take place. 800 million people watch live streaming on Facebook and Instagram.
- Donate Button on Live videos: This helps musicians, artists, people, and activists can raise funds for causes during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Live via Audio only: with more musicians doing live concerts on Facebook Live, you can listen in case you cannot watch it or want to save on data.
- Instagram Live On Web: You can watch live videos related to any activity or product from the desktop.
- Portal Live: One of Facebook’s hardware projects that have seen a slow adoption but with the COVID-19 crisis the sales increased tenfold. You can go to Live to the pages and Groups devices from Portal devices and can also create interactive content for customers and communities.
- Facebook Dating Video Chat: It is in the nascent dating service. Facebook dating is a virtual meet up and does a video chat with matches on Facebook first.
Facebook is going to report quarterly earnings next week and it has already said that the revenue has been negatively affected due to the coronavirus crisis as advertisers have pulled back on spending and online ad auction prices have been reduced. According to eMarketer Facebook ads and the amount it earns from each unit sold has decreased by nearly 50% in some categories.
Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, in her note said,
“Those losses will be made up for by gains in categories that increased their use of Facebook advertising at the end of March, either to market products or services aimed at people staying at home, or to take advantage of drastically lower ad costs.”