So for quite a while we have been able to have a shop as a tab on Facebook.  There are lots of posts after an announcement from Facebook but this is not really new functionality.  In fact it has been possible to have a store front on Facebook back in the day when you could add FTML content onto tabs, we build pages and show cased products that a user could click on and would take them to that product on an eCommerce site they could then make a purchase.

So although this is not new, i do think the Facebook Shop announcement from Facebook last week is going to make quite a big impact on eCommerce especially in sectors like apparel and sporting goods.  So distilled down 4 things are going to change.

  1.  Facebook wants to keep it users on the site.  If you run ads you will know it can cost upto 10 times the price to get a user to complete an action like a form submission on Facebook vs taking them off to a domain to do the same thing.  The ability to make a purchase and stay within Facebook is a huge step change.  Traffic will not have to visit your site to make a purchase
  2. Up your Facebook / Instagam and Whatsapp Support.  There is going to be a ranking algorithm for these shops.  The post hints at support and talking to customers through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct are a benefit of the program.   I have a very strong hunch that you are going to want to have the Very responsive to messages badge, to be ranked as this shows a minimum level of support and customer experience around you brands so that means a response rate of 90% or more, & a response time of less than 15 minutes.
  3. Product tagging. This is huge and something the the eCommerce world has been dreaming about for years.  Seeing your hero with a product and being able to buy it there and then in a couple of clicks.  Put aside some budget for this as this with some similar to audience targeting is going to be a licence to print money initially
  4. There is also talk of a loyalty point scheme which again is something that alot of businesses have not really digitalised.  If you had the data for all of your customers and could use that as an ad audience for free, that is like Tescos club card data with no setup costs…  This is mighty huge for those that adopt.

You might think where did Facebook get all these ideas.  There is a very small app that exists in a China it only has around 1 billion active users. This is what is coming: check out who is winning on Wechat and get ready to do the same on Facebook.  I honestly believe this is the next major digital revolution.  Currently on Wechat you and message and call, send personal localisation data (tell you friends where you are), its is one of the countries biggest search engines, it is a currency wallet, news feed, payment merchant, credit card, get loans, top up phones, pay bills, access public services, book trains and planes, book taxis, movies, hotels, flash sales, buy and rent houses, business pages, stores, ads, its  CRM, intranet.  This is what is coming