Blog Collapsing the e-commerce funnel with fr...

Collapsing the e-commerce funnel with frictionless shoppable ads


Gone are the days when consumers would see an ad on a billboard, in a magazine, or during an ad break during their favorite TV show, then research the product online or in person, before eventually going to a brick-and-mortar store to purchase the product. The marriage of digital advertising and e-commerce has allowed consumers to traverse the awareness, consideration, and conversion stages of the funnel–all from the same device.

Now, shoppable ads are condensing the funnel even further. Reducing friction while simultaneously shortening the time to purchase has made for an incredibly powerful e-commerce advertising landscape. Now is the time for mobile marketers to make themselves familiar with shoppable ads and how to implement shoppable campaigns the most effectively across ad platforms and formats.

What is a shoppable ad?

A shoppable ad allows a consumer to purchase a product directly through the ad format that they were served using an embedded storefront.

Shoppable ads can also include ads that allow purchase after one click, bringing consumers directly to the product page on the app’s e-commerce platform. However, many platforms are now moving to facilitate embedded purchases–and this is certainly where the future of shoppable ads lies.

It’s no surprise that shoppable ads are growing in popularity among consumers and marketers alike. By 2020, shoppable videos were already proving to drive a 30% increase in conversion rates. Understandably, 79% of smartphone users made an online purchase on their phone in 2022.

Shoppable ad platforms and formats

These days, shoppable ads are an option for advertisers on a range of platforms from social media to Connected TV (CTV). Here are a few examples.

Shoppable display ads

Google offers shoppable ads in the following formats:

  • Product shopping ads: These ads appear in the shopping section of Google. They also appear at the top of search results for relevant keywords within a scrollable ad panel. Promotions, product ratings, and customer reviews can be added to this ad format.
  • Shoppable image ads: Discoverable in Google image search results, these images can be annotated to highlight displayed products and their prices, as well as link to relevant product categories on your storefront.****

Shoppable display ads are also available across additional platforms like Instacart and The Guardian.

Shoppable display ads

Shoppable social media

Given that social media influencers have been proven to increase purchase intent, social media channels are a natural fit for shoppable ads. 82% of consumers have purchased a product directly on their phone after seeing an ad. Here are some of the ad formats available:

  • Collection: Available on Facebook and Instagram, a collection ad launches an instant experience. Customers are attracted using one initial creative. Then, once they’ve tapped on the creative, they can browse an embedded storefront, additional content, and lifestyle images with tagged products. On Pinterest, a collection ad is similar but looks a little different. Pinterest collection ads appear in a user’s feed and display one large image with three smaller images below. Consumers are then taken to a full-screen ad with 24 additional images.
  • Checkout: Instagram users can use Checkout to tap on an image to see tagged products and make a purchase all within Instagram’s embedded storefront.
  • Shopping ads: On YouTube, shopping ads will display relevant shoppable ads in research results based on keywords used, as well as next to videos as they are played (including livestreams), in a space called the Product Shelf. YouTube channels that make use of the Product Shelf also have a Store tab on their channel’s page, displaying all products actively being advertised alongside videos.
  • Video action: Also available on YouTube, video action ads have the ability to integrate a product feed into a skippable in-stream or in-feed video ad.
  • Video shopping ad: Shoppable ads appear on relevant TikTok content.
  • Catalog listing ad: Only available in the U.S. currently, brands can add products to a new shopping page available within TikTok.
  • Live shopping ad: Another TikTok ad format, live shopping ads are displayed during relevant livestreams. This format is still only available in select countries.
Shoppable social media ads examples

Shoppable TV ads

Connected TV (CTV) makes shopping straight from your TV more straightforward than ever before. While CTV is currently the highest friction platform for shoppable ads, it’s become one of the primary digital entertainment platforms, and is rapidly catching up with display and social media.

As these ad formats still primarily take customers to a secondary device, shoppable CTV ads can be better suited for high-consideration products compared to other platforms. Consumers are able to spend the time they need researching on their mobile devices before committing to purchasing.

A range of shoppable ad formats are available on CTV including:

  • QR codes: Consumers can scan an in-ad QR code to learn more or instantly shop. Check our content to learn how you can leverage QR code marketing.
  • Video action: A link is displayed at the bottom of a video ad, directing users to browse or purchase from their phone.
  • Pause screens: When a consumer pauses their content, a shoppable ad appears.
Shoppable TV ads examples

Regardless of platform, the most important consideration for shoppable ads is product relevance. A consumer is much less likely to buy an expensive, high-consideration product compared to lower price tag impulse purchases**.**

As platforms offering various shoppable ad formats continue to expand, experiment with this new method of reducing friction. And, when possible, use formats with embedded storefronts to shorten the funnel as much as possible.

Learn how Adjust can help you measure shoppable ads (and other ad formats!) across channels with Datascape.

Be the first to know. Subscribe for monthly app insights.