No matter how much we evolve digitally, there are a few things that never feel old: the leisure of flipping through a magazine, the smell of a new book, the pastime of window shopping.
People attach to sensations like these. In the digital era, social ads have tried to emulate certain elements that make brick-and-mortar shopping so successful. Until recently, they hadn’t nailed it.
But today it’s safe to say that digital is the new storefront. The lines drawn between ads, content and transactions are beginning to blur, making social feeds like targeted storefronts. Consumers expect the same experience they have in store, online.
Changing the consumer experience
Personalization is the key differentiator between a digital “storefront” and a physical one.
Physical storefronts can only offer one version of a story, while digital ads offer a variety and have the ability to personalize which consumers see which versions. Brands can give people a “shoppable” experience and provide them with a level of personalization they may not have felt in the brick-and-mortar world.
Think about it—ads themselves need to capture the same type of visual intrigue that a storefront does: Facebook’s carousel ads and Instagram’s shoppable ads enable marketers to create that sense of browsing for consumers by offering a peek at a variety of products targeted toward them.
In any form of advertising, the consumer experience is key. Ads that make their way to consumers’ social feeds—meeting them where they are—should be as personalized as possible. Otherwise they risk feeling a lot more like “intrusions,” and a lot less like welcomed window shopping.