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E-commerce genius: You can now buy items on Facebook

You can now buy items through Facebook’s e-commerce genius?

In July 2014, Facebook announced on its blog that they’re currently now testing out a new feature that will allow their consumers to buy products from a retailer through the Facebook platform – meaning that users will not have to leave the social media platform. What could this mean for external retail websites? In this blog, we’ll take a look into the world of e-commerce, analysing just how this could work with Facebook’s history of e-commerce.

Facebook updates are imminent

When taking a look into the history of Facebook’s ‘retail’ aspects, it’s no surprise to us that Facebook has a great history in controlling their platform one aspect at a time. Here’s a list of things that Facebook has achieved since their IPO:

  • A massive 62% of Facebook’s total revenue comes from mobile.
  • There are around 1.5m advertisers on Facebook.
  • The search engine integrated on Facebook handles around 1 billion enquiries per month.
  • The Facebook Ad revenue is higher than that of Time Warner and Viacom – beating two of the major US corporations.
  • Facebook owns both WhatsApp and Instagram, two of the major social apps available today.
  • The average user spends an average of 40 minutes per day on Facebook.
  • Across the whole of the Facebook network, 2.2 billion people are reached on a regular basis, nearly a third of the entire population of the earth.

Amazingly, over 1b of Facebook’s users access the platform via a mobile device, with 654m of these visiting the platform through this means on a daily basis. 400m of these users visit the platform solely through mobile alone, which is striking for the amount of accounts the mobile side of their business holds. In 2012, with the uprise of smartphone apps becoming used for every little thing, Facebook needed an answer. Developing an app that would deliver on all fronts, Facebook became an even more present character in the internet world with their embracment of the mobile scene, marking themselves as the main screen app for billions worldwide, whether that be on an iOS or Android device.

Can Facebook do more to reinforce its e-commerce reputation?

Can Facebook do more to reinforce its e-commerce reputation?

With the hundreds of millions of users choosing to access Facebook through their mobile means, the e-commerce side of the social media giant is growing staggeringly quick. Retailers who are spending millions on improving their mobile experience do so for good reason – with mobile taking over desktop in modern day sales, people want their products at their palm of their hands. It’s much more convenient for a consumer to order something through their various apps on their smartphone, instead of taking the hassle of browsing through a desktop computer.

Mobile wins the e-commerce race, which we’ve discussed in previous blogs, but why is it an easier experience all round? The convenience of having an app with you wherever you go, which stores your account information like your email, password, credit card details and more, is the highest level of convenience you can find. People don’t like entering their information over and over – it’s a chore that becomes way too tiresome for many online shoppers.

So what is Facebook doing to take control of the ever growing mobile market? This is where Facebook’s new ‘Buy Button’ feature comes into play.

A brief look into Facebook’s ‘e-commerce’ past

Retailers have wanted a piece of Facebook’s advertising action since the company began allowing them to advertise. Things such as like programs, sponsored posts and targeted display ads are all part of the Facebook experience, so here’s a look into the relationship between Facebook and e-commerce:

2007-2009: Facebook Beacon was a feature which allowed a massive percentage of reach on the platform by sharing what you did on other websites back to the Facebook model. The main feature of the program was to give the retailers the ability to post updates for individual users, so it would appear in your News Feed what your friends were buying. The problem with the feature was that it was premature in its sharing functionality – the amount of birthdays is must have spoiled would be nightmarish.

2007: Facebook Fan Pages was a features integrated to the Facebook platform in 2007, giving anyone on Facebook the ability to make a page dedicated to various brands, celebrities, devices and more. It allowed the audience to keep up to date with news from their favourite things in life whilst staying on the Facebook website. The Facebook Pages feature is still being widely used today, so you could say it’s potentially their most popular feature.

2009: Facebook Like (basically the ‘like’ button on other websites’ has been a wildly popular addition from the social media giant, as it allows consumers to like a product and have it recommended to their friends via their Facebook page.

With the love link between Facebook and e-commerce success, do you think that the Facebook Buy Button could be the answer to problems faced by modern online retailers?

Let us know in the comments below.

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