Facebook has two billion monthly active users who spend more than 30 minutes each day on its platform. Thus, it should offer the most potential for direct sales marketing. But actual execution is harder than you think. The reality is more complex than your expectation.
Modern merchants aim on refining their brands’ presence on Facebook. They engage with audiences and drive targeted traffic to their pages. Direct sales is another story.
A Work in Progress
A 2017 Square study shows that 25 percent of merchants are selling through Facebook. It also reveals that 30 percent of consumers tend to make purchasing decisions from a social network.
The rise of social media as a tool to discover products and services shows that consumers are willing to spend on these channels. Shopify earlier reported that Facebook referrals make up two-thirds of its traffic.
Facebook has been shaky in direct sale e-commerce. While the social network is part of modern brands’ marketing, most of Facebook ROI comes from its advertising platform, not the transactions itself. Ads often accelerate Facebook product sales with high click-through rates and effective audience targeting.
Facebook’s one-on-one transactions still have a long way to go, even though merchants gain customers through community building and referrals.
The Arrival of Marketplace
Facebook has the needed tools to be the center of direct sales marketing. It has an endless number of active users who have the means to spend, a robust ad platform, business owners eager to sell and the system to process millions of transactions.
The arrival of Facebook Marketplace in 2016 was a step in the right direction. While not an attempt at ecommerce, the Marketplace is more similar to eBay, where users buy and sell products with peers only. It excludes merchants for now.
Facebook began expanding the Marketplace to Europe in August this year. It also asked Platform VP Deborah Liu to focus solely on the service, betting heavily on ROI in the next few months or years.
Merchants are eagerly waiting for their turn, observing how Marketplace changes and if it will stick to its advertising style of selling to users.
What Lies Ahead
With the rapid rise of mobile shopping and social commerce, merchants need to tap into Facebook and its ad platform. Rather than wait for Marketplace to gain traction, they can create their own social shopping experiences.
Between mobile shopping and social commerce, merchants can clearly expand direct sales marketing. They can support transactions in Facebook, where almost all target audiences already dwell.
The challenge is to simplify and streamline the buying process. You can run ads that generate leads to your Facebook page or storefront.
Facebook continues to fortify its strategies for direct sales marketing. And merchants only need to take a step forward and exploit the ad platform, with the right tools to generate sales.
With the budding success of Marketplace and the rapid growth of Facebook ads, new doors will open for merchants who continue to test with different sales channels.