Facebook Promotes Search Pro To Build Out Local L.A. Ecommerce

Facebook continues to become more serious about ecommerce as it tries to pull in a higher percentage of search advertising budgets to the site. The company named Frank Lee to industry lead for ecommerce of global marketing solutions to lead a dedicated team based in Los Angeles that will support southern California businesses that want to leverage the company's string of advertising options.

Internet use continues to move from the Web to mobile apps, but the consumer's ability to make quick and easy transactions on smartphones still requires work. Too many checkout processes create friction, whether on the Facebook Newsfeed or elsewhere, Lee admits.

"Mobile conversions will improve within the next few years," Lee says, "and measurement will evolve," as search marketers think about how to get products in front of consumers in other ways, such as Facebook, and technology presents new options.

Invoca VP of business development Scott Hamilton's vision to bridge the gap with automated commerce means storing payment credentials in the cloud. The approval process requires consumers to say "Google, approve payment through Google Pay or Apple Pay." The consumer would see the words "payment approved" on the screen, or the person in the call center would hear "payment approved."

It will become easier for Facebook to improve on its ecommerce services because technically, its infrastructure mirrors an application on desktop -- not just mobile.

In July reports began rolling out that Facebook would allow certain stores to sell their products directly through the social network with help from a buy button. "Shop Selection" is not the first time Facebook tried ecommerce. The company in 2011 allowed brands like Gamestop, Gap, JCPenney, and Nordstrom to open stores on the site, but all closed up shop within one year.

Initially, Lee will lead the new initiative from L.A., supporting search marketers and others through Facebook's advertising products like Dynamic Product Ads, which work off a similar data feed as Google and Bing product ads.

At stake is the $82.4 billion marketers will spend this year on search advertising -- rising to $134.46 billion by 2019, per eMarketer.

Despite similarities between social and search advertising, there are just as many differences. Search marketers need to turn their optimization focus from keyword selection and bid management to people, audience, and creative, per Lee. And, where they might have optimized headlines or descriptions once monthly, creative fatigue forces Facebook advertisers to optimize more frequently.

"You're vying for attention between friends and family posts," Lee says, because Facebook ads, "thumb stoppers," literally stop social media users "in their tracks" from typing to pay attention to the advertisement.

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