October 14, 2015
On October 12, Facebook announced that it was adding a shopping section among other sections on its social platform. As noticed by Facebook, people are coming to the platform not only to connect with friends and family but also with products and brands. In fact, a survey by Facebook suggested that nearly half of its users come to actively look for products, with a majority of them discovering new products in their news feed, pages and groups.
In order to enhance the experiences, Facebook picked up the trend and implemented a shopping section as a native option. The idea is to make it easier for both people and businesses to connect. Users will have a better experience discovering products and businesses will have a new stream of revenue. Some of the features have been fully launched while others are in early test phases. The company is now collecting feedback to improve the service and pivot the testing.
Last year, Facebook introduced a new feature to drive sales for businesses—the carousel format for Facebook ads. After the implementation of a carousel, businesses reported 30-50% lower cost per conversion. Facebook also brought carousel to Instagram ads. In addition, they made videos available for the carousel format. According to the figures published by Facebook, as a dynamic advertising, carousel drove Neiman Marcus' conversions up three times over, with an 85% click-through rate.
Facebook's shopping page is another step towards monetizing the platform. Surely, you will not see random advertising; the shopping experience will be tailored, as Facebook is known for ultra-targeting.
The ad experience on Facebook has three parts: the Canvas, the Buy CTA button and the "Shop" section in pages.
Over the coming weeks, Facebook will be testing the experience with Canvas. After clicking on an ad, people will get to have a fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products, before going to the retailer’s website to purchase.
With the Buy CTA button, people can click the button in ads in their news feeds to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook.
According to Facebook's recent post on launching a shopping page, one billion people are visiting pages every month, which means people are already turning to pages to learn more about businesses. The Shop section will allow owners to showcase their products and improve users' experience with seamless and smooth browsing through products and brands.
Facebook is testing the Shop section with a limited number of small businesses in the US. The company wants to create a single place on the platform to discover new products and shop. As stated in the announcement, Facebook will eventually explore incorporating additional content into this experience, such as items listed for sale on Facebook Groups.
Facebook states that its goal is to make it easier for people to discover relevant products on mobile while also driving results for businesses.