Big tech companies Amazon and Meta are testing a feature that allows consumers to buy Amazon products directly from ads on Instagram and Facebook.
The tool would ask interested parties to link their Amazon accounts to their social media profiles, which would make Meta more attractive to advertisers and allow Amazon to attract more shoppers who don’t frequent its online store.
The unprecedented partnership between the two companies could also help them take on TikTok, which has launched an e-commerce marketplace in the US, as well as Chinese retailers Temu and Shein.
In the U.S., customers will see real-time pricing, delivery estimates and product details in select Amazon ads running on Facebook and Instagram, according to an Amazon spokesperson.
“For the first time, customers will be able to shop through ads on Amazon’s Facebook and Instagram and checkout with Amazon without leaving the social media app,” the spokesperson said.
Meta declined to comment and referred questions to Amazon.
It wasn’t immediately clear how extensive this partnership would be, but some Instagram ads already encourage users to “shop with Amazon” and take them to a product page and buy button.
Maurice Rahmey, whose company helps brands advertise on Meta and Google, posted a video of the feature being tested on his LinkedIn profile. “This partnership could be a huge revenue opportunity for Meta, Amazon, and most importantly, advertisers,” he posted.
Amazon has been working to better target customers outside of its main app and e-commerce site. The company launched “Buy with Prime” last year as a way to generate logistical revenue from transactions made on other sites and increase the value of Prime subscriptions.
Meta has struggled to make headway in e-commerce. The company abandoned its shopping tab on Instagram, which allowed users to find content with products for sale in their feeds, and also took down the live shopping feature for Facebook and Instagram.
For its part, Amazon has always attracted buyers who know what they are looking for, but it has not been as assertive in helping consumers discover products.
In 2021, Apple made changes to its privacy policies that allow users to opt out of being tracked by advertisers. This severely limited ad targeting on iOS devices, costing Meta around $10 billion in ad revenue last year. Since then, Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been looking for ways to increase the accuracy of its ad targeting using artificial intelligence.
According to Juozas Kaziukenas, founder and CEO of Marketplace Pulse, which monitors online sales, shopping apps and social media sites tend to be isolated and don’t cooperate with each other. However, he says the partnership between Amazon and Facebook shows how their strengths can be complementary.
“Customers get more relevant ads and a faster purchasing experience, Amazon gets more purchase volume,” he wrote in a post about the deal.