Retail Marketers Discuss Challenges, Opportunities With Facebook Ads

retail marketers facebook

Facebook & Instagram are going for gold in the retail marketing space.


Collectively, they will account for 20.5% of total global digital ad spend in 2019, according to eMarketer. At a time where the outlook for retail is “innovate or die,” the platforms continue to launch retail-specific offerings. These ad products are enabling brands to engage audiences in ways they never had before.

But are marketers tapping into these tools as effectively as they can?

StitcherAds sought out to explore the challenges and opportunities retailers are facing on Facebook & Instagram – and how the most innovative marketers are utilizing the platforms. Our team, along with Go-To-Market Pros, conducted one-on-one interviews with dozens of retail marketing leaders in North America, and published the findings in “The State of Facebook & Instagram Advertising 2019.”

These are the top six retail challenges we explored in our report.


1. Engaging content is difficult to produce and scale.

Retail marketers are hungry to publish more engaging content on Facebook & Instagram. But, for big brands, creative processes tend to be long and convoluted, requiring multiple approvals. On top of that, lack of internal resources makes it challenging to create video – the ad format that’s top of mind for most marketers.


2. Targeting in-store shoppers is complex.

Previously overlooked by digital marketers, the in-store customer is becoming more of a focus in 2019. Retailers are well aware that digital ads influence brick-and-mortar sales, but many are puzzled on how to effectively reach those shoppers.


3. Internal silos and technology are barriers to omnichannel success.

As retailers work to bridge the online-to-offline gap, they are facing technological and internal roadblocks. Many retailers feel they do not have the necessary technology to execute their omnichannel strategies. This indicates that there’s a lack of awareness of available tools. Meantime, merchandising teams and digital marketers work separately within organizations and are measured against different goals. In order to build successful omnichannel programs, retail leaders must build cohesive teams.


4. There’s a lack of effective reporting.

Marketers cited various issues with measurement/reporting:

  • Developing accurate attribution models.
  • The disparity between Facebook reporting and what they are seeing on third-party analytics tools.
  • Proving incrementality as a result of their Facebook & Instagram campaigns.

Without an effective way to prove ROI, marketers are unable to justify increasing their budgets for Facebook & Instagram.


5. Brand and agency expectations are not aligning.

Retailers often rely on agencies to help execute campaigns, but the brand-agency relationship can be complicated. A level of distrust exists, and as a result, brands are exploring different options.


6. Security concerns are plaguing the industry.

The possibility of a data breach is keeping marketing executives up at night. While they want to get a better feel for their customers, retailers are placing higher importance on avoiding a data security nightmare.


Innovative retailers are overcoming these challenges

In order to thrive in today’s complex retail market, it’s crucial that marketers utilize the tools at their disposal. Facebook & Instagram are making it easier for retailers to innovate – from digitizing print mailings to measuring in-store sales. Those who have already adopted these practices are significantly outperforming the competition.


Want to learn how retail marketers from brands like Sephora and The Home Depot are strategizing in 2019? Download your free copy of “The State of Facebook & Instagram Advertising 2019.”