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Facebook beefs up e-commerce offering

29 March 2017 - 13:37 by Graham Miller

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People looking to shop online via social networking site, Facebook, will now find it easier to see posts from retailers and brands and encounter products they might want to buy.

Retail Gazette reports that this improvement comes courtesy of a feature called Collection, which is effectively a new type of ad that will start to appear on FB news feeds in the coming weeks. It combines both multimedia content, such as videos or photos, along with links to other products associated with said content.

The idea is that Facebook will become a much better platform for showcasing a wide variety of items, rather than individual ads being more limited in their scope.

Users will still need to click through to a third party site to carry out safe shopping online when they find an item they like. But this improved offering from Facebook’s side should please consumers and advertisers alike.

Social media firms like Facebook rely almost entirely on ad revenue to survive, which is why embracing e-commerce features makes sense. And Mark Zuckerberg’s organisation is ahead of the game when it comes to online shopping, as this month it also confirmed that it would be rolling out retail features across the entire Instagram image sharing platform in the wake of a small scale test of the tech.

People spend more time online using their mobile phones than ever before, meaning advertisers need to find new ways to engage with customers. And in the visually-oriented world of social media, focusing on engaging content to grab the attention of users who are casually scrolling through their news feed is important.

Of course, the downside is that Facebook users will encounter an increased number of ads, which could be seen as detracting from the overall experience in some circumstances.