“We always strive to put the customer at the heart of everything we do, and this collaborative ad approach allowed us to specifically target the right audience with relevant and meaningful content. It also allowed us to have more hands-on accessibility to driving direct and incremental sales on merchants like Talabat. It is crucial that we as a business understand the impact of digital investments directly on online purchasing behavior which will allow us to continuously improve our targeting and content strategy.” – Kindah Yacob-Agha, Head of Marketing – Food Division at Alshaya Group
In a one-of-a-kind collaboration, fast-casual restaurant Shake Shack, part of the Alshaya Group, joined forces with Facebook and third-party food aggregator Talabat for a groundbreaking campaign powered by Collaborative Ads, an existing Facebook product specifically redesigned to fit the F&B industry.
“As online orders skyrocket in the region and users start to rely more heavily on ordering-in and delivery, finding a common solution that would enable both food aggregators and restaurants is key to cultivating a healthy environment and ecosystem. With a small tech adaptation and a little rework, the Facebook Collaborative Ads products – which was originally made for marketplace partners focused on apparel, electronics, and groceries – got tweaked to be accommodating for online food aggregators and restaurants,” explains Tala Obeidat, Client Solutions Manager – Retail & Quick Service Restaurants MENA at Facebook. “Now, both partners have the ability to benefit from utilizing the best of what Facebook has to offer in terms of investment efficiency, powerful solutions, and marketing precision to help drive sales directly on participating food aggregator apps and websites. This will not only enable food partners to drive sales of their listings on the food aggregators’ digital assets, but it will also enable them to measure incrementality of sales and drive live optimization of their marketing investment,” she adds.
In late 2019 and early 2020, the test campaign went live across multiple GCC markets, with a focus on KSA, the UAE, and Kuwait, and quickly turned out to be a success, driving an overall lift in incremental sales on Talabat of +4.1%, and an overall omnichannel touchpoint lift of +21.5%. This test was also a first of its kind for Facebook globally; and it received such recognition internally that it has since kicked off a use case for other restaurants and food aggregators around the world to adopt a similar execution.
Here’s what Kindah Yacob-Agha, Head of Marketing – Food Division at Alshaya Group, told us about the campaign.
What were the main goals for the digital campaign that ran on Facebook platforms?
There were various goals in running Collaborative Ads with Facebook, but the key objective was to understand the customer journey and conversion to sales via third-party aggregators. This will then enable us to measure the impact of our campaigns (investment value, content promoted) on conversions to make better-informed decisions in the future. We also wanted to take a more targeted approach to maximize ROI by reaching the right audience with the relevant message.
Why did you choose Facebook’s marketing solutions, out of many alternatives?
We have a long-standing relationship with Facebook that has always partnered with us in providing various digital solutions, and that also had an established relationship with Talabat – which facilitated the process and development requirements to run this campaign.
Which Facebook/Instagram solutions/products did you use for this campaign?
The Collaborative Ads initiative was a compilation of Merchant Catalog-powered advertising & Dynamic Ads. These tools resulted in an effective audience prospecting and retargeting.
What were the results of the campaign and did you achieve your goals?
The Conversion Lift Studies we conducted for Shake Shack UAE showed impressive results:
We observed +36.3% lift in content views; +7.5% lift in “Add to Cart”; +4.1% lift in purchases; and +21.5% lift across the full funnel. Through this initiative, we now have more hands-on accessibility to driving direct and incremental sales on merchants like Talabat. Moreover, we have live and real-time sales data and performance tracking, as well as the ability to extend and run a live measurement agenda and experimental design through Facebook conversion lifts.
Which measurement methods did you use to gain new learnings?
The Conversion Lift Study that was conducted helped monitor the impact of this initiative on the customer journey upon viewing our Facebook Ads. Measuring the conversion rate from “Add to Cart” to “Purchase” helped understand customer purchase behavior to work towards improving the conversion.