Facebook is serious about becoming a major destination for people who want to purchase things. If this hasn't already been abundantly clear from the various ad and Page features it has introduced over the past year, it certainly is now.
On Monday, Facebook announced a new shopping feature where users will be able to see things to buy from both business Pages and Groups. Businesses listing products on their Pages will be able to appear in this section, greatly expanding their ability to be seen by potential customers.
Do you think people will regularly utilize such a feature to purchase items? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Here's what Facebook had to say about the feature. It's not much, but it's something that will clearly be growing in time:
We’ve also seen that people discover new products across multiple areas on Facebook—News Feed, Pages, and Groups. In the coming weeks we’ll begin testing a single place for people to more easily discover, share and purchase products. We’re testing with a limited set of small businesses in the US who are also testing the Shop section on Pages. Their products will be eligible to appear there. Over time we’ll explore incorporating additional content into this experience, such as items listed for sale in Facebook Groups.
Here's what the feature looks like:
This was the big reveal in a post on the Facebook for Business blog, which highlights a number of product-selling features Facebook has introduced in recent months.
"On Facebook we’ve seen that people are coming to our platform not only to connect with friends and family but also with products and brands," the company says. "In fact, a survey suggested that nearly half of people come to Facebook to actively look for products, with a majority of them discovering new products in News Feed, Pages, and Groups."
"This behavior—that’s already happening on Facebook—gives us a chance to make people and marketers’ experiences better," it adds. "We want to build native experiences that make it easier for both people to discover products on mobile and businesses to drive more sales. Some of our efforts are fully launched and are already creating value for people and businesses. Others are in early test phases. These tests will evolve as we get more feedback."
For one, Facebook launched the carousel format for ads last year, enabling businesses to display multiple products in a single ad (the format is also available for Instagram). According to the company, the format drives 30 - 50 percent lower cost-per-conversion than others.
Facebook's dynamic product ads enable businesses to upload their product catalog and let Facebook decide when to show the most relevant products to people. This functionality works with the carousel format.
A few months ago, the company announced that it is testing Canvas, which it describes as a "new native way to browse from ads". A new experience is coming to that, that will let people see a fast-loading, full-screen experience when they click on an ad. From there, they can browse through products before going to the advertiser's website to make a purchase.
Then there's the "buy" button, which has been in testing for a while.
Last month, Facebook announced changes to make Pages more business-friendly, and that includes the addition of the aforementioned "shop" section. This lets you showcase products, and apparently will integrate into the new shopping section Facebook just revealed.
Earlier this year, we looked at a variety of ways Facebook is getting better for selling products. The things discussed here really only scratch the surface, and don't even get into the things they're doing with Messenger.
As of July, Facebook users were spending an average of 20 minutes per day on Facebook, accounting for roughly 20% of all time online. In the U.S. the numbers are even greater.
Do you expect Facebook's increased attention to ecommerce features will lead to significantly more sales being made? Let us know what you think.
Images via Facebook