Can Facebook turn its users into shoppers?
Facebook has long relied on targeted advertising for the bulk of its revenue, but following the examples of Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google, the social media giant is now looking to directly monetize its 1.5 billion actively monthly users by allowing brands to place SHOP NOW buttons on new advertisements.
It’s a pretty cool idea, but is currently limited to how consumers perceive the Facebook brand. The website isn’t really a primary shopping destination at the moment, so perhaps the best use for the SHOP NOW button is for flash sales or impulse buys for users. For now, Facebook just isn’t the place that average, tech-savvy consumers would go to buy things, as it’s far from the ideal electronic retail platform in terms of design, pricing, or scope. Certain groups may also maintain privacy concerns about the website’s access to my credit card information.
That said, the beauty of marketing on Facebook is that it reaches millions of people every day in a way that the brand has obviously become a huge part of peoples’ daily routines. This is a huge, potentially lucrative demographic that can’t be ignored, and it’ll be exciting to see how Facebook advances the field of targeted advertising, marketing personalization, and now, direct transactions over social media in the future. Who knows? Once big names like Google and Facebook phase out the traditional banner advertisment with interactive Buy Now! widgets, the Internet could look like a very different place.