Customers can use social media to connect with your brand, find the answers to common questions, and even discover you for the first time. Thanks to the latest innovations in Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace, people can also do their shopping directly from their social media pages. And, they spend a large percentage of their online time there anyway.
Instagram Shopping is gaining steady traction. It allows for seamless brand discovery, consideration, and conversion within one app. Once you have set your catalog up to use this feature through both organic and paid efforts, you can easily guide users through the buyer journey.
Facebook Marketplace offers an excellent opportunity for brands to compete in general user-to-user commerce: the transactions that usually take place between individuals. Your business may offer some of the same goods available there, sometimes for a better value, and now, you can move directly into that arena. As you monitor the Marketplace, you will get a better idea of what products and services your key customers seek out.
Users spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social media. They're trying to keep up with the latest news, stay connected to people and brands, and engage in networking opportunities. You want some of that time to be spent with your brand. So, here's how you can get the most out of social media ecommerce through Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping.
Shopping directly from Instagram creates a seamless experience for users. Currently, the process that allows users to purchase directly from the app is in beta testing, and it has proven to be a highly successful addition to the platform. Advertisers that have set up the first steps for Instagram Shopping can expect to see an invitation for the checkout feature soon, so it may be wise to get the preliminary process started. Instagram has indicated these accounts will be more likely to get access to features.
Many Instagrammers show that Instagram Shopping reduces the number of steps it takes for customers to move through the conversion process. They don't have to leave the platform; instead, they can check out right there, without ever having to click off the platform.
By placing some media dollars behind Shopping posts, brands can reach a broader range of users. Brands may want their information to appear in Instagram Feeds and Instagram Stories, making them visible to users or putting those ads and shopping opportunities directly in front of their ideal audiences.
Making the Most of Instagram Shopping
Instagram Shopping is a great example of how social media is merging the social experience with commerce to allow for seamless brand discovery and purchase all in one app.
It’s essentially a window-shopper’s paradise, allowing users to browse product offerings and pricing without ever leaving the comfort of the app.
In its early form, it was an organic feature that allowed brands to tag products within their IG posts, with the product info fed through a product catalog. As user engagement increased here, more brands leaned into this feature, seeing an opportunity to create native, unobtrusive content aimed at driving real business results.
To find success:
Make sure your product feed is linked to a Facebook catalog. This tool will allow you to track the products you want to offer through this platform and ensure that they are visible to your customers.
Include tagged shopping posts. Work with your social teams to determine what products you want to tag, including those that are most likely to generate a popular response. From these tagged shopping posts, in which your products appear directly, customers can move straight to your shopping pages to browse or make a purchase.
Keep up with the evolution of Instagram Shopping. The platform is still changing and adapting to fit the needs of customers. Ensure you're able to capture checkouts through the app and stay abreast of the latest features and how they can benefit your business.
Facebook Marketplace shows how social media is facilitating commerce interaction amongst its users versus between businesses and users. Marketplace provides solutions that alleviate friction in two exciting ways. First, it offers the ability to assess competition of goods quickly, and second, it gives users the option to safely purchase from their local community with more visibility, alleviating some of the anxiety that can come with buying from total strangers.
Marketplace originally started as a way for users to buy and sell within their local communities alone. As it grew, however, Marketplace began to include more comprehensive transactions, including millions around the globe who use the feature every day.
The concept of buying used items online isn't new. Both Craigslist and eBay have been doing it successfully for years. Facebook, however, is uniquely positioned to capture a large share of this type of commerce. It provides more transparency, showing customers exactly who they're doing business with, and offers a more trustworthy business exchange.
The Marketplace Opportunity
For businesses, Marketplace offers a unique opportunity. In the past year, Marketplace has expanded to allow advertisers to position their products at a highly significant moment in the buyer's journey: the moment when customers are actively seeking a solution for a particular problem and ready to make a purchase.
Because it makes these products highly visible at precisely the right time, businesses can use it to help users:
- Compare used prices against new product prices, which can let them know whether buying used is truly the best deal at that moment
- Discover solutions, including potentially more specific solutions that might not be available from individual users
- Compare used products to newer products, including seeing the latest industry innovations and newer models
For example, we typed in "gardening supplies" to take a look at what was available. In addition to many used products, we found a fairly native-looking ad from Gardeners Supply Company. The ad is positioned to help attract users' attention and give them a better idea of their available options, while still allowing them to browse sales on used goods.
This format also offers an inexpensive marketing option for many businesses. Facebook Marketplace has low fees, especially compared to many other advertising platforms. It costs commission rates of 5%, with a minimum of $0.40 for transactions under $8.00, to sell on Facebook Marketplace: a fee much lower than many similar marketplace platforms. Amazon, by contrast, charges between 15% and 17% for marketplace sales in its apparel category.
Making the Most of Facebook Marketplace
As stated in our latest white paper, we've seen promising results by using Facebook Marketplace across all clients with returns up to 13X the initial investment when prospecting specific campaigns. While users flock to Facebook Marketplace in search of used goods, they can often find better solutions in new products. Savvy brands are taking advantage of those opportunities.
If you want to make the most of Facebook Marketplace:
Make sure Marketplace is selected as an ad placement. You could also simply continue using auto-placements as a best practice, which could yield insights into how well your products perform in direct competition with other sellers and brands.
Work with your Facebook team to understand overall platform trends. Your team can help you identify creative groups and product groups that are most likely to perform highly in this new placement.
Connect your Facebook Marketplace inventory with your Instagram Shopping. Once you set up your Facebook Marketplace account, you can use the same inventory in your Instagram Shopping account--a highly effective strategy that can make it easier to keep up with your inventory and your needs.
As social shopping opportunities continue to evolve, you want to position your business to use social media best practices. With these opportunities and strategies, you can utilize Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping more effectively, helping you better position your business to reach customers on the platforms they already use most often.
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