If you are using Facebook’s mobile app you might have noticed a change at the bottom of your screen recently! What used to be Facebook’s messenger icon has now transformed into a little window with a scalloped awning. At the beginning of October, Facebook rolled out a new feature on their mobile app called Marketplace. Marketplace will allow mobile Facebook users to access their local buyers and sellers market the same way they would on Craigslist or eBay. Similar to Craigslist, buyers are able to communicate with sellers but cannot make e-commerce transactions on this platform.
Why might Facebook be introducing such a tool? And why on their mobile app and not their desktop website? Well like all businesses online, Facebook is looking to generate as much traffic and participation as possible, in competing with their contemporaries Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. And in the past three years, U.S. mobile commerce traffic and sales have taken off, and Facebook has seen double-digit quarterly growth rates in mobile-only users.
While this new feature is very basic and currently free for buyers and sellers, we can only suspect what might be added in the future:
- Desktop access
- Paid advertising
- Checkout service
- Contracted shipping service
Over the past couple years this shift towards “social commerce” has spread throughout social platforms to encourage users to transition from “liking” an image, to purchasing the particular item in that image.
What does this mean for you? Well it might take some time to figure out whether Facebook Marketplace will stick and just how many buyers and sellers it will peel away from Craigslist, eBay, and the likes, but this greater shift in social commerce only reinforces the need for businesses of all kinds to have an active presence online, and an even greater presence on social media. While Facebook generates 2 billion searches a day on their social network, Marketplace will only increase this traffic and sustained interaction between users.
The top categories in these first few weeks of Facebook Marketplace are vehicles, furniture, electronics, and apparel. While this is a pretty narrow list of items, it doesn’t differ much from what websites like Craigslist or eBay regularly populate. As always, keep an open mind to how your business might scale online and especially in the social spheres.
Want to talk more about social commerce and how you might implement it into your marketing strategy? Email us at email@example.com to chat! We’re always excited to help propel your business forward.