Facebook has been leaning into e-commerce for years, with its Marketplace offering, your own ‘business pages’ and of course, Facebook ads. Often, this marketing would end up leading you somewhere else to actually finalise your purchase. However, times have changed. The advent of Covid-19 only led Facebook to boost its efforts to provide a more integrated and easier shopping experience for its users. You can lock people down but you can’t stop them shopping! Simply put, we are at a time where necessity meets convenience, people have goods and services they need or want, and can’t leave to get them.
As JFK once popularised “ The rising tide lifts all boats”. Here we take a look at what’s new and what to expect in the world of Facebook Commerce, and how you can get in on the action too.
1. Facebook Shops: Online Storefronts
As of May 2020, Facebook launched Facebook Shops which, in their own words: “make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple”
If you have a tangible product or service that you sell online – this is the perfect opportunity to get onboard easily, be seen on two of the world’s largest platforms, and for absolutely no cost.
2. Shop in Real Time: New Live Video Ecommerce Tools
The team at Bleo are obsessed with a creative, inspiring video. The reasons are many, but basically, video is one of the most engaging forms of content there is. Even more engaging is Live Video. We know it, Facebook knows it, and savvy business owners with a product to share have been using Live Videos to facilitate Live Product Launches. Due to the massive popularity of all things live, Facebook is planning to add new video connection tools to further facilitate eCommerce activity in Live Videos.
In their own words “People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, we’re making it easier to shop for products in real-time” Soon, sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalogue before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.”
3. New Shopping Tab and @shop feature added to Instagram Discovery Section
Instagram ( wholly owned by Facebook ) has added a new shop tab to the bottom of its app, ensuring, literally, that its shopping function is front left and centre. Instagram also allows users and sellers to use @shop to allow you to find items for sales and to use its array of category filters ( not the picture kind ) to search for products that interested in.
Facebook says “You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favourite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks you love all in one place.”
4. Facebook Pay
“Facebook Pay is a seamless and secure way to make payments on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Enter your payment card or account information once and then use Facebook Pay to make purchases, send money or donate within the apps”
The magnitude of the potential of this development is hard to quantify. Whether you are using Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram, you will be able to make payments from all these platforms effortlessly. Not only is there massive existing usage levels in the West, but Facebook is also increasing its traction and user uptake in two of the biggest developing democratic markets in the world: India and Indonesia. Combined, these nations have over 1.6 Billion people!
Don't miss the boat!
2020 was incredibly challenging for many, and as it draws to close, many businesses will be looking for different ways to get creative with their marketing efforts in 2021. Whilst we encourage this, it is also an opportunity to reflect on the year that was, and to ensure that you, as a business, adapt and thrive in these new conditions. One essential strategy is to ensure that you make real use of the new tools that Facebook and other platforms have implemented to grow their businesses, so that you can grow yours.