Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are getting new features that will help retailers bring their products to more customers and increase sales. Customers increasingly turn to Facebook as a “discovery engine” to find new products. The company reports that 74% of people use Facebook to discover brands or products online. Specific retail categories perform better than others. Over 85% of respondents have purchased a fashion, beauty, furniture, or electronics product they first discovered on a Facebook platform. Now there are new ways for customers to discover and buy products, which in turn means more ways for retailers to sell:
- Bring shops to more places
- Customer reviews on Instagram
- Advertisements for shops
- Extended use of AR
Facebook Shops In More Places
Once a shop is set up, products can be displayed in the shop tabs on Instagram and Facebook. With more than a billion people using Marketplace every month, Facebook makes it easy for businesses to embed their stores on Marketplace to reach even more people. Firms in the US can now choose Marketplace as an additional sales channel. In addition, companies in several countries can present their entire shop on WhatsApp. WhatsApp users can browse a store’s inventory, get product information, and chat about specific items before making a purchase. Businesses only have to set up their shop once to make it work across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Customer Reviews On Instagram
In the coming months, customer ratings and reviews will be extended to products in shops on Instagram. When this feature becomes available, it will include photos and videos from the community and written assessments. This is what Facebook says in an announcement: We generally maintain that customers should feel sure about their buys, so we’re giving individuals more data before they purchase. These changes will help people make more informed decisions on what to buy and let businesses know if they are meeting customer expectations.”
Personalized Facebook Shop Ads
Facebook is rolling out new ads to personalize the shopping experience and alert customers to a store’s selected collection. Shop ads can send customers where they are most likely to make a purchase based on past shopping activity. Later, Facebook will add ways of assisting businesses with further customizing their advertisements by giving special offers or advancements to choose clients.
Extended Access To AR Try-On Function
Augmented Reality (AR) is bringing the “magic” of the in-store shopping experience to mobile, and more brands can let customers try on products virtually. Facebook is developing new APIs that will make it easier, faster, and cheaper for brands and advertisers to bring AR into their catalogs. This will initially be rolled out for brands in the beauty category, with support for other verticals to follow shortly. Last but not least, Facebook brings AR to a new ad unit that automatically shows people relevant products based on their interests and encourages them to “try them on.” AR-based ad testing is ongoing and will be available to more brands by the end of the year.
Facebook Shops – This Is New
With Facebook Shops, you can sell your products without forwarding – them directly on Facebook. This is particularly interesting for small companies that do not have the opportunity to set up a complete online shop. But large companies can also feel addressed because there is no product limit. You can sell your entire range on Facebook, no matter how big. Facebook turns a mere shopping option into an entire e-commerce infrastructure. The adjustment had been planned for some time. But because many companies are struggling with the consequences of the corona pandemic, Facebook has accelerated the work. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this via video on his official Facebook profile.
India is one of the first countries where Facebook Shops are available. However, since the innovation is still in the rollout phase, not everyone can create a shop. Since May 19, 2020, functions for some companies have been made available gradually. So you’ll probably have to be patient. Visit the official Facebook Business page for more information.
Creating a Facebook shop should be free for entrepreneurs. Only about payment functions are costs due. This is to cover the expenses incurred. Zuckerberg also anticipates that Facebook’s revenue from its advertising capabilities will increase.
You can visually adapt your Facebook shop to your brand. You can customize your appearance with color accents and your pictures. You don’t have to lose your recognition value. (By the way, in our blog post XY, you can learn how to create attractive product photos that you can use for your Facebook shops.)
All apps belonging to Facebook together form a closed e-commerce system. Your shop can be reached from both Facebook and Instagram. Changes are also automatically implemented on both platforms. So if your users have added a product to their shopping cart on Instagram, they can also complete the purchase process via Facebook. In addition, as a retailer, you can be reached directly via any platform – via Facebook Messenger, Instagram messages, or Whatsapp.
One of the few downsides to online shopping is that you can’t try on the products. Here, too, Facebook has worked on a solution: Augmented Reality. With the camera, users should be able to bring products and reality together. So no problem to see if the color of the top or the shape of the sunglasses fits. Even furniture can be placed virtually in the room.
Live video is becoming increasingly popular. You should now be able to use this for sales as well. Before starting the video, you can link the products you want to present. During the video, these are then displayed at the bottom. Your viewers can quickly get more information about the item or buy it immediately. You can see what your shop could look like on the English-language Facebook page.