Facebook’s New Shopping Capabilities: What Food Brands Need To Know

In this article, we break down Facebook and Instagram’s new Shopping capabilities and how they relate directly to food brands trying to increase ecommerce.

The great news for food brands is that the holiday season is just around the corner. The bad news is that the pandemic continues to keep consumers at home more and at grocery stores less. What does this mean for holiday shopping? It means that online advertising and shopping platforms are more important than ever before.

It is especially imperative this upcoming holiday season that food brands are up to speed with the latest Facebook and Instagram features and buying functions as social platforms have become major hubs for consumer spending. Facebook’s data shows that 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery. HubSpot also found that 80% of Instagram users have brought products based on something they discovered on the platform. Facebook claims that mobile shopping accounts for 78% of online purchases and anticipates that number to increase this holiday season. Since Instagram and Facebook advertising can both be managed through Facebook Ads Managers, we will refer to both as “Facebook advertising” in this article. If you are a retailer or marketer, knowing the ins and outs of Facebook advertising (ahead of the holiday rush!) is in your best interest.

As of last month, Facebook announced that its shopping capabilities across its platforms will be expanding. Here are four new features to look out for:

1. “Product tags” on Instagram ads

Instagram has been trying out product tags for organic Shopping posts for more than a year. Marketers could then take those organic posts and promote them as paid ads. For example, RXbar could take this organic post and make it into an ad:


With the updated product tags feature, food brands no longer have to first post organically and can instead just go into Ads Manager and create ads with product tags instantaneously. This streamlined route makes advertising products much easier. Product tags can now be added to photo, videos, and carousel ad formats on Facebook and Instagram. The product tag will appear on the ad as a small white dot, which when clicked will display product information such as product name and price.

2. Shopping engagement custom audiences

Facebook’s new form of audience targeting within the shopping feature serves the purpose of helping marketers “reach people who’ve already shown interest in their product or brand by doing things like saving a product, viewing a shop or initiating a purchase” according to Search Engine Land. Because when it comes to targeting, second (or third) time’s a charm!

For example, Positive Pretzels would now be able to build a custom audience of Instagram users who saved this post or clicked on the shop and target them in future paid ad campaigns.

positive pretzels facebook instagram shopping ad example

3. Shopping lookalike audiences on Facebook and Instagram

Lookalike audiences allow advertisers to broaden their reach by targeting consumers that have similar interests to their existing customer base. With shopping lookalike audiences, advertisers now can target “shoppers” that have similar purchasing interests as their already existing customer base on Facebook and Instagram. As they say, great minds think alike. In the case of Ulli’s Oil Mill, an audience could be built based on people making similar purchases to their existing customer base of home chefs and foodies.

ullis oil mill instagram shopping product tags post

4. Discounts in Shops

Last, but certainly not least: sales + discounts! Definitely a key component of any holiday shopping. Brands with shops on Facebook and Instagram can now promote sales and discounts through Facebook’s Commerce Manager in the Promotions tab. For now, Facebook is only testing this feature within the United States. Anyone looking to spread some holiday joy with big discounts should be sure to try out this new feature!

facebook commerce manager get started facebook shopping ads