ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

Facebook hits the Like button for updated mobile shopping pages

Facebook has updated its Pages feature to aid businesses in bolstering their mobile presence and sales via more prominent call-to-action buttons, improved layout and new sections for showcasing relevant information to users.

Facebook is joining the slew of networks venturing deeper into the trend of social commerce by ensuring that its Pages are mobile-optimized for the maximum amount of sales and brand awareness. Call-to-action buttons in particular are becoming must-have tools for social media applications, as on-the-go consumers appreciate having the ability to click through and buy after they have spotted an enticing service or product.

“Calls-to-action play a significant role in driving consumer activity on mobile,” said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile, New York. “The most effective call-to-action varies from one business to another depending on the nature of the product as well as where in the purchase process the consumer is encountering the page.

“A brand with virtual services that are highly customizable may choose to drive people to call a sales representative whereas a brand with visually enticing products that have a lengthy sales cycle may drive consumers to explore images highlighting the product’s unique features,” she said. “Giving businesses the ability to customize their calls-to-action and sections empowers them to give consumers the content that will most effectively coax them along the purchase path.

“Ultimately this will lead to better conversions for marketers as well as more valuable content for users. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Fueling better communication
Facebook currently sees over one million users visit business and brand Pages each month, deeming it an attractive channel to tap for marketers that are seeking to bump up their mobile strategy.

Therefore, the social network opted to implement several mobile-first updates to ensure that the 45 million active businesses are able to highlight the most important information and better cater to customers.

One of the primary features that Facebook has brought to the forefront is the enhanced call-to-action button on business’s Pages. Users who visit a Page may now see a blue banner at the top urging them to call the company, book an appointment or browse an online store.

The button is now more prominent on mobile screens. It is bigger and brighter, and situated directly under the cover photo.

The network is currently testing several call-to-action buttons, including “Contact Us,” “Send Message” and “Call Now,” and will roll out additional calls in the future.

If Facebook introduces a “Shop Now” button, consumers will likely be prompted to click through and purchase the desired item or service, resulting in an influx of impulse purchases.

The social media application has also rolled out two new Pages sections: Shop and Services. Users will be able to click on the Shop tab to bring retail products to the front of the Page, while Services will enable businesses to showcase their offerings at the top.

A spa may decide to use these features to highlight its menu of services and most popular products, which is key information that could prompt a customer to call and book an appointment.

Streamlined navigating
The improved mobile layout of Pages will help in making sure that no user becomes so frustrated looking for a marketer or product that he or she gives up on the search completely. Facebook has updated the interface to make information easy to find without the need for scrolling and clicking.

The Home tab will be the landing tab for Pages and will offer highlights from each section, giving consumers a brief overview.

Facebook is not the only social media network to recently roll out expanded tools for mobile advertising. A slew of media brands are taking advantage of Instagram’s updated advertisement capabilities, which include 30-second videos, to offer users buy-now movie ticket options and showcase commercial-like units to promote new television programs (see story).

“Turning Facebook into a place where consumers can more easily transact makes Facebook a more valuable place for marketers to invest in,” Ms. Lowy said. “Mobile commerce sees a far higher closing rate when there is a smooth and quick gateway to transact.

“Customized calls-to-action and richer service descriptions help close the loop and get consumers the information they require to move forward,” she said. “The move further solidifies Facebook’s commitment to work with marketers and advertisers to make the social media platform a valuable channel for brands.

“Facebook has taken several important steps to evolve and diversify its ad units so that it better serves marketers’ needs. This step further demonstrates that the brand is determined to allow marketers to use the site as a place for brands to effectively engage with consumers.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York