Are “Facebook Shops” the next frontier for eCommerce?
In May, Mark Zuckerburg revealed the latest Facebook innovation Facebook Shops to the world with exquisite timing, and it’s making a lot of sense.
Over its life time Facebook has been re-shaped and moulded countless times from a humble space for American-college kids to create online profiles to chat and meet, to setting the gold standard for content curation and e-Commerce.
Facebook has worn a lot of hats during its time, and along the way has accumulated an impressive portfolio of industry-leading platforms, all in an effort to give consumers and businesses everything they need to navigate the ever-moving online world. And now, Facebook has finally bundled all of their e-Commerce assets for both consumers and businesses to create a seamless, responsive, end-to-end shopping experience within the very apps we’ve been hooked on for the last decade.
But shopping on Facebook isn’t new… or is it?
It is not. Businesses have been able to set up a store front on Facebook, Instagram (and even Facebook Messenger) for years with the help of various third-party eCommerce platforms and the already-established Marketplace section, however, Facebook Shops is the promise of complete integration across all Facebook-owned assets which is a boon for both sellers and buyers (and even advertisers!).
Let’s think about it…
Facebook and Instagram might be the absolute best way for us to follow our favourite brands and businesses online. These platforms are unmatched when it comes to providing updates on promotions, events, new products, beautiful imagery… the list goes on. And we have the apps installed on our phones, our shipping and payment details are conveniently and safely stored.
Using Facebook’s powerful algorithms, a local business can deliver ads to local customers and provide a frictionless buying experience without requiring the customer to painfully switch between apps, or shift between devices. This is called a great user experience – it’s what keeps us going back.
Interesting… And it’s good for advertisers too?
That’s right! Imagine a world where you can merge advertising success metrics from all your social channels with POS data, stock levels, ROI, etc., and then combine it all with real-time customer data from actual people? This is where it starts to get really cool.
For advertisers the Holy Grail is being able to close the loop. Tying ad spend to sales figures, enabling more informed advertising decisions and exponentially grow business. Research into the history of online advertising will reveal how many times we’ve tried and failed, and how we remain stuck in a world of antiquated success metrics which aren’t telling us real the story of our customers.
So have we found it? The Holy Grail?
I’m not saying we’ve found it, but we’re certainly close. The cumbersome and frustrating experiences we find with online shopping (and everything else, for that matter) could become a thing of the past, managed by the impervious robots, giving us the time and freedom to do the things we love. The ecommerce landscape is continually changing and intentional or not, Facebook have launched a much needed service at a time when it matters most. Businesses, both small and large, are constantly being told they need to evolve and adapt and follow their customers across uncharted land, and as always, Facebook are making huge strides to get us there.
Contact us at Paykel for more information.