Introducing Facebook Shoppable Pages
For some time Facebook have been working on ways to encourage users to remain on their site and app for longer periods of time. Facebook is heavily reliant on revenue from advertising with over $12 Billion of revenue generated from advertising last year. This is increasingly coming from mobile ads where user experience and speed is crucial. The company is exploring additional ways to increase user engagement and trying to harness additional potential from the platform as an e-commerce environment.
Recently the company along with other advertisers such as Google and Twitter have been taking several steps to encourage users to make purchases in-platform without leaving the site. Towards the end of last year Facebook began testing the “Buy Now” button which allows users to make purchases via ads without leaving the Facebook platform. Users also have the option to save payment information to speed up the purchase process. This was done when they introduced a money transfer service which enables users to transfer money via credit card to the site easily. This coupled with their new virtual voice assistant app “Moneypenny” aims to improve user experience and maintain users on their platform.
The next natural step towards an e-commerce platform for Facebook is their new feature which was announced last week. “Shoppable Pages”. The new feature will enable a select group of test advertisers to sell their products via an online micro-site shop within the Facebook platform increasing user experience and harnessing the potential of Facebook as an integrated e-commerce site.
This could be a great opportunity for businesses. This could make online and particularly mobile shopping easier for consumers and businesses as users are in a familiar environment. The existing Facebook Ad Carousel format has a similar feel to the new
shoppable pages and has been successful with high engagement rates. Facebook is an environment where users are highly engaged with content; it will be an interesting test to see if users are willing to make a purchase within the platform. This is a different environment to in-market platforms such as Amazon and ebay however we expect the use of graph search could return a list of relevant shops in the future which may improve usability.
Another question many are asking is how Facebook will look to monetize this service and what implications will this have on Business’ profit. Facebook doesn’t currently plan to take a cut of sales via their platform for the new feature. However when asked if Facebook would be charging businesses for the feature eventually it said it was not disqualifying that option in the future.