What do Facebook’s latest updates mean for the world of ecommerce?

In August, Mark Zuckerberg announced (in a Facebook post, of course) that for the first time ever Facebook had one billion users sign in on a single day. To put that in perspective, that is just under a 7th of the entire population of the world. Can you, from a business perspective, imagine that?! 1 out of 7 people, in the whole world, coming to your website in One. Single. Day.

It is the stuff that business dreams are made of. And it is of course, fantastic news for Facebook – but Facebook is no longer a tool just for socialising, it is a place of businesses too. And one billion users in a day means it is no longer a marketplace your business can afford to ignore.

But it’s not the only Facebook announcement to make the news recently- so, let’s look at what else has been going on in the Zuckerberg empire that you should be aware of…


Buy, buy baby…

The news: Facebook has announced that it is testing ‘buy buttons’ inside of Facebook brand pages. We’ve already seen the announcement of buy buttons for Facebook-owned Instagram, as well as Pinterest and Google, and product buy buttons have been tested in Facebook native ads on facebook pages for over a year. But this is the first time we will see it positioned within a company’s own page, a move which will give brand pages more functionality more like that of a traditional online store.

What it means for you: Immediately, not a lot – the function is still in the testing stage and only useable for a small batch of merchants in the US. If rolled out however it will mean two things; for your consumers it will be possible to complete an entire shopping journey, from product selection to checkout, without leaving the Facebook ecosystem. As a merchant, it basically means a whole new channel opening up, from which Facebook have confirmed they won’t take a cut of the sales. Outside of that it is hard to know. Facebook have of course previously had a stab at the ecommerce world, with the introduction of on-site stores in 2011. This experiment failed after a year but it is fair to say that ecommerce has changed a bit since then. If it does take off this time around it will mean that social strategies need to evolve to involve more than the acquisition of likes and shares, with real purchases hanging in the balance on your FB page. To keep updated with the progress of this feature, which is being built in partnership with Spotify, sign up for updates here.


Getting the thumbs down…

The news: Facebook is introducing a dislike button. It’s something that has been talked about since the launch of its natural counterpart, the like button, in 2010 and now it seems it could finally become a reality. Zuckerberg announced the development of this feature in a Q&A earlier this month, stating that “What they really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment”. 

What it means for you: Except, perhaps, second thoughts about the selfie you were going to post. Well, currently we know very little about the functionality surrounding this button and so it perhaps raises more questions than it answers- but these are interesting in themselves. What we know for sure, is that there is going to be a new engagement type to measure. Of course, the fact that this is a negative engagement can be seen as something retailers should be concerned about. While Zuckerberg has stressed that it is not meant as an expression of negativity, if there is one thing that the internet has taught us, it is that people don’t always behave in the way we might want them to (I’m looking at you YouTube commenters). But any type of engagement offers insight into your your buyers and this should be utilized to better serve them. In fact with both a like and dislike button available, it could even be possible to poll your audience. All of this is dependant on two things – one, whether Facebook applies the feature to brand pages and two, how Facebook algorithms recognise the impact of these dislikes – as an indicator that something should be buried, or as a boost to overall engagement which means it should appear more widely. Watch this space.


Let’s get personal…

The news: There is a new and exciting way to personalize your facebook advertising. Ok, ok, this isn’t strictly a Facebook announcement, but it is a Nosto announcement about Facebook. Which is pretty much the same thing right?! Either way we think it is pretty exciting. With 1 billion people using Facebook in a single day it is a pretty daunting thought that each of those people want to be treated as an individual, especially when you’ve got a business to run. But we have found an (easy) way for you to do just that- dynamic personalized product level ads. Automatically tailored with products and offers individual to each users’ past browsing and buying behavior, they deliver personalization directly to your potential customer’s newsfeed.

What it means for you: While the Facebook feed has become a place of all out war, with competition high between the much maligned posters of baby photos, media powerhouses and native advertisements, personalization has proved itself as a genuine strategy to cut through the noise. By advertising on Facebook you are taking your business to a marketplace of 1.4 billion people, but by personalizing those adverts you are increasing the chances of that marketplace engaging with you by 400%. How? By the listening to your customers in a virtual world where others are simply shouting to make themselves heard. And by automating this process, in real-time, you are able to offer the same level of attention to each user, without taking attention away from the day to day running of your business. In short, dynamic personalized Facebook ads are the quickest, easiest way to produce engaging content which will give you higher conversion rates, larger order values and happier customers. Doesn’t sound half bad, right? To see how Volcom has achieved 22x ROI with personalized Facebook ads, read our case study.

So, turns out Facebook is more than just funny cat videos (although they are great too) and with so many exciting changes in the pipeline, it’s set to become one service your business will never want to un-friend…

What do you think of the new Facebook updates? How do you expect it to effect your business? Let us know in the comments below.


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