As specialists in digital PR, we like to keep a close eye on new developments in the world of social media – especially if they involve shopping! So we were very interested (and concerned for our bank balances) to learn that Facebook has decided to challenge the likes of Amazon and ebay by making mobile shopping easier via its own app.
Previously, if Facebookers wanted to find out more about a product advertised, they would click on the advert and be directed to retailer websites that would often take a while to load and/or were not mobile optimised…Always a sure fire way to put off potential customers!
With 50 per cent of users coming to Facebook looking for products to buy, Mark Zuckerberg and co realised that this was a major issue and so have decided to test a number of different ad features to bypass those issues:
Facebook’s name for its new ‘immersive ads’, Canvas is something the company hopes will solve the problem of slow-loading websites. After clicking on an ad, users will see a fast-loading, full screen page which allows merchants to display whole product catalogues that load within Facebook instead of taking them to a different website. This provides a whole host of new temptations for shopaholics, without the annoying wait.
Fantastic for retailers but not so good for impulse buyers, Facebook’s ‘Buy Button’ now appears in ads within the News Feed, allowing users to purchase products directly from a business without even leaving the social network.
Accessible from the Favourites section of the navigation menu, and personalised based on such things as your Facebook connections, likes and interests; the new Shopping Feed is a single place to browse different products being showcased across the site without those inane status updates and close-up selfies getting in the way.
So with Facebook increasingly becoming a place to connect with existing and potential customers, businesses need to recognise the important role it plays in their PR and marketing strategy.
While some users simply want to keep in touch with long lost friends and post travel photos and group selfies, there is definitely an appetite for extending Facebook’s uses, and in-app shopping seems like the next natural step so businesses should embrace this as a new retail channel.
If you would like help with your business’ Facebook page or wider social media strategy, why not contact JAMpr on 0161 850 0565 or email Jaime@jampr.co.uk