Should You Set Out Your Stall On Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Marketplace, as well as Instagram, is offering businesses in the US the chance to sell direct to consumers via their platform. While these offerings are in the beta stage in the US, we expect both channels to come live for UK businesses in due course, as the social shopping channel becomes more widely used. Private individuals can already sell items through Facebook, but typically payment is made in cash on collection and no transaction actually occurs through the social media site – it acts more like a showroom.When this option becomes available to businesses, payments will happen through Facebook or Instagram, making it a smoother process for shoppers.
Products and services which are aimed at businesses aren't the typical best performers for social selling, but products and services for consumers will fare much better. The great thing about using Facebook or Instagram as a sales vehicle is that your social media activity then ties in directly to sales made through that channel – instead of a customer clicking a Facebook advert for your product in order to get to your website, they will be able to purchase straight from the advertisement, cutting out a lot of the steps where they might abandon the purchase.
Having products listed on Facebook Marketplace also functions as another advertising channel.The product listings appear in the newsfeed of users, in the Marketplace and in Page Shops. This automatically increases your views and means you can spend less of your budget on dedicated ad campaigns because your product listings serve that purpose.If sales are up with less time spent running social media campaigns it's a win-win situation.
There will be a certain amount of set up time associated with getting your stall on Facebook Marketplace, but the low commission rates (5% in the US) and no listing fees it represents a very worthwhile additional sales channel. New B2C businesses could experiment with only using third party marketplaces to cut down on the costs of running an e-commerce site and the associated, on-going security issues. The good news is that once you are set up on Facebook Marketplace, the door is already open for selling on Instagram. Although there are different audiences on each platform, and some products are more popular on Instagram (health, beauty, clothing and jewellery for example) than on Facebook, there are overlaps, and the bonus of appearing to a wider audience.
Facebook Marketplace could be a very lucrative sales channel for some B2C businesses who already have a social media presence and it offers the potential for shortening the sales journey, thereby removing some of the obstacles that cause shoppers to abandon their purchase (such as signing up for an account or entering shipping details multiple times). The superior conversion rates this approach offers mean that Facebook Marketplace, when it arrives in the UK for businesses, is definitely worth pursuing as an additional sales vehicle.
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