Social media’s role in any company’s marketing strategy should not be underestimated. Billions of potential consumers can now be reached with just a click of a button.
A survey by Facebook suggested that 50% of people come to the platform to actively look for products, discovering new products on their news feeds, pages, and groups. With Facebook holding over 50% of the market in social media worldwide, it is leading the way as the most popular place to drop ads and encourage commerce. Plus, Facebook is the place where smartphone users spend the majority of their time.
Of course, Facebook has already taken the opportunity to expand its advertising capabilities with the introduction of a Carousel ad format and Canvas browsing, allowing users to view and interact with a myriad of products rather than just one. Advertisers can basically sit back and relax as Facebook becomes the driving force in increasing their reach, influence and sales, driving an average 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion. (In some cases, three times more conversions, and 85% better click-through rates, compared to other advertising methods.)
So, with such great success of their Carousel feature, is it not time to bridge that gap between seeing and actually buying on Facebook?
And the answer is “yes”. Casually on their way to achieving the goal of World Wide Web domination, Facebook has now dropped word of its plans to introduce a ‘buy’ button on their ads, making us all so much more susceptible to caving into those impulse buys.
A new Shopping section has also been created, allowing retailers to pull their products together under one tab within the recently launched ‘Shop’ feature on Pages – a bit like a virtual shop front. Businesses can have this section link to their websites, or they can test a way for people to buy directly on their Pages.
And it’s not just within business Pages that consumers will be encouraged to shop. According to Facebook, they will soon start testing “a single place for people to more easily discover, share and purchase products” within the platform. Starting with a number of small businesses in the US (who are also testing the Shop section on their Pages), Facebook will display their products in this new section.
Facebook’s golden ticket to remaining unique in this wave of unity between social media and online shopping (Pinterest has already launched Buyable Pins in the US) is their Instant Messenger tool. Working with Zendesk to support the live chat experience, Facebook are now offering the opportunity for businesses to communicate with their consumers directly – enabling better relationships, and helping brands solve private customer requests more efficiently, with the end goal of creating deeply loyal customers.