As reported by BuzzFeed,
The company is building out shops within Facebook Pages, essentially mini ecommerce sites that give businesses a chance to set up second homes within its walls. The shops are still in the testing phase, but some already feature ‘buy’ buttons that allow the entire shopping experience to occur within Facebook, from product discovery to checkout.
Facebook isn’t revealing the brands involved in its ecommerce trials, but says they number in the “double digits.”
According to BuzzFeed’s Alex Kantrowitz, Facebook isn’t currently taking a percentage of sales that take place through Pages, but that is obviously likely to change if the initiative works and is expanded.
The changing face of commerce
Facebook’s push to transform Pages into shops is just the latest evidence of the changing face of commerce on the web.
The world’s largest search engine Google, has been aggressively looking to integrate commerce into search, and was just spotted testing functionality that allows users to book hotels directly from the SERPs.
In the social realm, it’s only natural that popular platforms like Pinterest and Facebook are jumping on the transactionalization trend too.
Businesses, however, have some difficult decisions to make as the trend gains steam.
While the efforts of companies like Google and Facebook have the potential to create effective new sales channels and increase overall conversions, they also present challenges.
Will businesses trade control and data for conversions? Will retailers find that transactionalization reduces key metrics like AOV and repeat sales? Will it create customer service headaches?
The answers to these questions aren’t yet known, and may not be for some time. In the interim, companies participating in initiatives like Facebook’s should keep an open mind but vigilant outlook.