March 26, 2015
After integrating P2P payments into the Messenger platform, Facebook is now looking at more ways to make the messaging platform more powerful. Facebook’s latest initiative is to make Messenger an effective communication tool for businesses. Facebook will now let e-commerce companies use Messenger to communicate with customers. In an official blog post, Facebook showcased how Businesses on Messenger could look like. Facebook’s official Businesses on Messenger page shows examples of online businesses like Everlane and Zulily.
Facebook has apparently partnered with such companies to allow them to send information to customers. The information could include receipts for purchases, shipping updates, order tracking, etc. Moreover, users will have a runtime medium to post their queries to businesses and make further requests if required. Customers of businesses who have partnered with Facebook must opt in to allow such businesses to contact them on Messenger. The following illustration highlights an example of company Everlane interacting with a customer:
Facebook has also partnered with ZenDesk, which offers a cloud-based customer service platform. At the recent F8 developer conference, Facebook announced that it has created a platform for developers to allow them to create apps that can be integrated into Messenger itself. The integration of these third party apps could help enhance the conversion platform further. This could indeed be an opportunity for businesses like Everlane to push further sales. Facebook Messenger already boasts 600 million monthly active users.
Currently, Facebook is positioning Messenger just as a communication tool for businesses. But with the recent integration of a payment system, it is possible that Messenger could itself become an advanced e-commerce platform, where customers not only interact with businesses to make queries on products, but also complete the final step of making a purchase. With P2P payments already in the picture, Messenger can help create a B2C payments platform as well. Although, there are no current revelations on this, it could be something that Facebook might have in the works.
We had earlier cited several scenarios that seem possible for Facebook in the future:Facebook becomes an international bank – an e-money bank with or without collaboration with traditional banks around the world, providing a singular platform for different currencies and making it easy for users to save, invest & transfer money, or conduct commerce. Facebook becomes the biggest e-commerce player on the planet, with Facebook pages acting as virtual retail outlets. Payment methods are integrated to complete commerce transactions. Consumers can use Facebook’s Messaging apps to get in touch with sellers to find out more about products and discuss terms of payment. Conversely, it can also work for sellers, making Facebook a big platform for negotiating and making deals. Facebook becomes the biggest remittance giant in the world, providing high-volume, secure cross-border payments day after day – like a digital version of Western Union.