25th June 2021
Facebook is expanding its ecommerce capabilities again and introducing new ways for online retailers to get their products discovered across the Facebook app ecosystem.
Facebook adds Shops to WhatsApp and Marketplace: Facebook Shops is expanding to WhatsApp and Facebook Marketplace. Initially, Shops on Facebook Marketplace will only be available in the US. Having launched Facebook and Instagram Shops last year and now with 300 million monthly visitors and 1.2 million monthly active Shops, Facebook is now expanding this feature to other parts of its ecosystem. Businesses will only need to create one Shop for it to work across all platforms. WhatsApp users will now be able to browse a Shop’s inventory, get product information and talk to businesses about items on WhatsApp before making a purchase.
Customer Reviews on Instagram: As well as expanding where Shops will be available, Facebook is also expanding the places where customers can see and leave reviews by bringing customer reviews and ratings to Instagram. Customer reviews on Instagram will include photos, videos and written reviews from the community.
Ads for shops: Facebook will also introduce personalised Shop ads which will display items based on individual shopping behaviours and preferences. The ads will show users a Shop’s curated collection linked to their interests.
Expanded use of AR: Facebook is also testing some AR Dynamic Ads which vastly expand the opportunities for brands to reach customers in this ecommerce space. New APIs are being developed that will make it easier for brands and advertisers to use AR for their products. AR Dynamic Ads will initially launch in the US, with some beauty brands using them to let customers test lipstick shades via AR before making the purchase.
This expanded use of AR also includes the introduction of a Lens and Visual Search tool on Instagram. This tool will be similar to Pinterest’s visual search tool and allows users to scan real world items or use existing images or videos to find similar products. The testing of this tool will roll out in the coming months.
All of these new products provide new ways for brands to reach customers and drive sales within the Facebook ecosystem. Like other platforms, Facebook is expanding its ecommerce capabilities with interactive options for consumers and seamless options for businesses to sell their products. The difference between Facebook and other competitors is that it has the added advantage of multiple entry points via its family of apps and its work to align the backend of these is now being realized.