In line with its growing focus on e-commerce, Facebook has announced a suite of new shopping and discovery tools, including WhatsApp Shops and Facebook Market Shopping Lists, as well as a new visual product search option on Instagram.
These things were announced During a live broadcast to the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who also noted that Facebook and Instagram’s stores now see more than 300 million visitors per month.
Zuckerberg also reported that there are more than 1.2 million monthly active stores across its platforms, which is a significant number considering that Facebook launched Store Options only a year ago.
Stores via WhatsApp represent the largest advertisement, as these stores enable businesses to offer their entire store within the messaging application. This gives users a way to find related products, and contact the business for more information.
“We’re bringing stores to WhatsApp, making it easier for people to find products or brands they want to do business with,” Zuckerberg said.
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Although WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in the world, monetizing this audience has been difficult.
People don’t want to see ads within messages, and ads in the case of WhatsApp, its own version of Stories, didn’t work.
This forced Facebook to search for alternative revenue models, including facilitating business directly in the app.
Zuckerberg noted that businesses only need to set up their store once for it to work across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, which could also expand e-commerce opportunities.
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Facebook’s e-commerce ambitions:
In addition, Facebook brings store listings to the market. The new addition means that store product lists have been expanded to include the market.
This provides more ways for brands to connect with interested shoppers, and more ways for Facebook to encourage browsing and buying activity.
Moreover, those who have created stores will not have to do anything extra to list their products in the market and display them in relevant searches.
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Facebook is still testing the best way to do this, but it would be another way to encourage expanded buying behavior in the app.
Facebook is also introducing new personalized store ads, which display items based on people’s individual shopping preferences and past behaviours.
“We allow businesses to send shoppers to the place they’re making a purchase based on their shopping behaviour,” Zuckerberg said.
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The ads direct users to a curated selection of the store, aligned with their registered interests.
Facebook is adding a visual search tool to Instagram. This feature allows users to scan an item from the real world, or use any uploaded photo or video, to find similar product listings.
In addition, the company also makes product-branded ads available globally, while also testing dynamic AR ads and expanding its AR trial partnerships.