Recently there’s been a number updates coming from Facebook which are aimed to make the social platform even more attractive for online sellers.
The big ecommerce push started at the beginning of the year when Facebook announced their new Product ads which made it easier for online retailers to promote their products on Facebook and target users who have shown previous interest in their products.
Soon after a Shop tab has been launched for pages for ecommerce businesses which has been made available to Shopify’s US merchants back in September.
That move might have seemed like an obvious extension of what Facebook offers already – it gives online sellers an
opportunity to connect directly with their customers and according to the platform itself, it is a place where people come to shop and get ideas and reviews for their next purchases. In fact Facebook’s survey suggested that nearly half of all users come to the platform “to actively look for products, with a majority of them discovering new products in News Feed, Pages, and Groups.”
And now Facebook has announced even a bigger update geared towards ecommerce sellers – it just announced a release of a shopping feature in Favourites tab allowing users to discover, share and buy products while using the mobile app.
The feature is now only available to a small number of US merchants who can test the beta version.
However if this all works out, the project will be made available for European sellers in the near future.
Why is Facebook investing in ecommerce?
There are few reasons why the social media giant is rolling more and more new updates aimed to make selling and shopping on the platform possible.
First, ability to buy products means that users are more likely to spend longer periods of time on the platform. They will not be distracted or tempted to move to other websites if they have everything available in one place.
With Facebook other app developments (including native content/blogging platform) the user will no longer have to leave the app/website in order to find everything he needs. News, shopping and information – it’s all there.
Other reason is a bit more obvious – money. Ecommerce is proving to be the gold mine of the internet – just look at eBay, PayPal or Amazon for example.
There’s no reason why Facebook shouldn’t get on it as well. Traditional social advertising is getting a bit tired and a lot of brands pump less and less money into it. It’s about time Facebook offered its users as well as brands something new, and a little more tangible.
Is it time you pay more attention to your Facebook page?
Even though Facebook shopping features for ecommerce might not be available in Europe just yet, online retailers should start preparing now in order to optimise their pages before the update arrives on the other side of the pond. A well-maintained Facebook page with significant following is going to boost the potential reach and effectiveness of Facebook’s ecommerce features.
But setting up and maintain successful Facebook page is time-consuming. This is why it is worth considering if our customers are actively using Facebook and they will be willing to connect and engage with you?
If you are a consumer brand Facebook is definitely a good bet for you.
If you are selling items to more professional customers, Facebook might not be the best channel for you. Your customers are much less likely to shop through Facebook and it will be more difficult for you to reach the right users.
Social selling is going to be the next big thing in European ecommerce. With Facebook and Pinterest partnering with online commerce solution Shopify, it has become even easier for smaller merchants to use social media as another selling channel. However this updates might still be a while away for UK merchants.