Facebook aggregates products and offers for dedicated shopping section
Facebook is testing a single location where users can easily discover, share and purchase a personalized selection of products as the race heats up to connect millennials’ time spent on social media with their shopping needs.
The dedicated shopping feed will aggregate photos and products on sale from different retailers’ pages on Facebook. Retailers will be able to advertise here as well by using the feed’s search bar for traditional keyword ads.
“This roll out from Facebook reflects both evolving consumer behavior and demands from advertisers,” said Jordan Cohen, chief marketing officer of Fluent. “On the consumer front, it acknowledges at 60 percent to 70 percent of online interactions now take place on smartphones, and smartphones present a fundamentally different shopping experience than desktops.
“The experience needs to be simple or people drop off,” he said.
Social commerce is still just a small subsection of ecommerce, which is itself a small percentage of overall retail spend. However, the numbers continue to grow and social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest and others hope to boost the volume even more by uncovering the best way to encourage social users to shop.
Facebook reports that its users discover new products across multiple areas on the site, including its news feed, pages and groups sections.
The new shopping feature, which will be found in the Facebook favorites area, will be a dedicated destination for product discovery, sharing and purchasing.
It is being tested with a limited number of small businesses in the United States who are also testing the shop section on pages, which receive visits from more than 1 billion consumers every month, according to Facebook. The pages section is focused on helping businesses build their mobile presence and communicate with customers.
Last week, Facebook updated pages with new call-to-action buttons and the ability for businesses to add a shop section where products can be the focus.
These same products will be eligible to appear in the new shopping section.
Facebook will also explore incorporating other products, such as items listed for sale in Facebook groups.
Marketers will reportedly be able to link to their own retail Web sites or test a way for shoppers to buy directly within Facebook.
Users will be able to find the shopping area in the favorites section found on the Facebook app, with the selection of product personalized to a user’s interests.
Social commerce is growing.
Domino’s fans can now make purchases using a pizza emoji on Twitter.
On Pinterest, users on mobile Apple devices can now search for specific products to purchase, as if they are shopping on a retailer app (see story).
Facebook, Pinterest and marketers such as Domino’s are hoping to get put strategies in place that meet the needs of millennial shoppers. Recent research Social Lens Research reveals that consumer spend is increasingly shifting toward mobile as 35 percent of millennials claim they currently make purchases on their smartphones (see story).
Social media sites also hope to offer the environments where retailers will want to buy ads to reach these consumers. “On the advertiser demand side, there is more and more of an emphasis on performance ad spending – i.e., rather than on pure branding,” Mr. Cohen said. “It reflects what we see as an ongoing shift away from CPM based pricing models to performance ones like CPL (cost-per-lead), CPA (cost-per-action), and even CPS (cost-per-sale).
“This product rollout is in the same vein as Facebook’s Lead Ads product, which launched last week – in which advertisers can collect user data directly within ads themselves,” he said.
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York