Facebook: Shopping Features in Move to E-Commerce

By Pilar Martinez,
Money and Investing Writer

Facebook, the international social media platform known by so many users around the world, is coming up with its latest and greatest improvement.

How convenient would it be to see an ad in the Facebook application for a product and purchase it right on the spot?

Facebook Inc. is looking in how to make this possible.

The company is testing out how to conveniently apply ads in the Facebook app which would allow the Facebook user to purchase the product without having to ever leave the app.

According to eMarketers, mobile purchasing makes up 2 percent of retail sales.

However, it has a plethora of room for improvement and potential. According to Business Insider, people spend 85 percent of their time in apps when they are on their phone.

Mobile purchasing could happen anywhere, at any time, given the ease and convenience of the app.

Acording to Reuters, Facebook recognizes the main concerns with mobile purchasing. It is both slow and a hassle.

However, Emma Rodgers, Facebook’s head of product marketing for commerce, thinks that if Facebook can change the perception of mobile purchasing, the company will be able to win over some ad love.

An example of making it easier for customers to purchase through a Facebook ad would be to add in a “Buy now” button.

These mobile purchases are going to enhance Facebook, business and predicts the success of impulse consumer purchases.

The additional sections to the Facebook app plans to have are called “Canvas” which is a product browsing page linked with Facebook.

“Shop” is used to do exactly that, shop around.

However, this mission for winning commerce via Facebook has been tried out before. In 2011-2012, unfortunately the plan went sour because consumers and Facebook users felt that Facebook was more of a “salesman” trying to sell while they were out with friends and not looking to purchase anything.

The mixture of social media and purchasing products was not an admired idea at the time. Now, in 2015 the mentality is believed to be changed.

The Canvas feature on the Facebook Page links websites based on things that the used as previously “liked”.

As of right now, Facebook does not get any share of the purchases being made but once the company continues testing out how things go the money will start to come in. according to Business Insider.

Few businesses are being linked to the “Buy Now” button experiment but eventually the businesses affiliated with the buy option through the Facebook app will expand.

Essentially the shopping tab will allow for the user to online shop while taking a break from browsing the lives of fellow users and friends on Facebook.

This business opportunity has the potential to strike a fight in competition for products and businesses to pay the necessary dollar in order to be the first link to show up on the individual’s shopping tab in their app.

Facebook will be able to use likes and shares by users to identify with different interest in products and brands.

If all goes well, Facebook will not only continue being the social media platform loved by its users but also a handy tool for a mobile discovery into the mobile purchasing world of convenience and product discovery.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 20th print edition.

Contact Pilar at
pilar.martinez@student.shu.edu

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