Facebook moves to better monetise WhatsApp & scales up AR
Facebook has expanded its plans for complete domination of the online social commerce space by announcing new ways to shop across its network.
The social giants boasted of new investments in tech that'll shape how we all shop in the future, plus solutions to allow greater ad personalisation.
"We're introducing Shops ads solutions that provide unique ads experiences based on people's shopping preferences."
Facebook plans to allow businesses to direct shoppers to where they're most likely to buy something based on their past behaviour, such as a page of curated products selected because of how they align with individuals interests and behaviour.
Building on existing ad infrastructure such as Shopping Custom Audiences.
Shopping Custom Audiences
Shopping Custom Audiences has been around for a little while now.
You can create a Custom Audience of people who interact with your products in a shopping experience on Instagram and Facebook. Helping you remarket to people who show an interest in your business or products by either viewing, adding or purchasing items.
Shopping Custom Audiences can be crafted from the following types of actions or events:
- People who viewed your products: This option is available globally. Checkout doesn't need to be enabled.
- People who added your products to their basket: This is available in the US only and requires checkout to be turned on.
- People who purchased your products: This is available in the US only and requires checkout to be turned on. (You can also use this option to create a Lookalike Audience from people who have purchased your products.)
Naturally, as Shopping, and other platform functionality, continues to get richer and richer, one should expect Custom Audiences to become correspondingly richer.
Shopping is coming to WhatsApp
According to the platform, Facebook has over 300 million monthly Shops visitors and over 1.2 million monthly active Shops. Both of those numbers are expected to get a shot in the arm through 2021, as Facebook ropes WhatsApp into the equation
"Now, we're making it even easier for people to discover and buy from Shops. Soon, we'll give businesses in select countries the option to showcase their Shop in WhatsApp.
In the US, we'll enable them to bring Shops products into Marketplace, helping them reach the more than 1 billion people globally who visit each month."
It will also be easier to create a WhatsApp for Business account. Sign up times have been reduced from weeks to minutes as Facebook tries to push usage to more companies around the globe. Out of more than two billion WhatsApp users, only 175 million use WhatsApp Business accounts.
It makes a lot of sense to try and shift stock on a platform with so many users, and it rounds off Facebook's plan to make more money from its platforms – Instagram and WhatsApp included.
For brands, it gives them the chance to get in front of more people and increases the likelihood of them earning more money and organic engagement.
Marketplace is primed to grow
Shops will also expand into Marketplace, which will help vendors make the most of the billion people who use this part of Facebook.
By bringing Shops to Marketplace, Facebook will make it more attractive to its users, who will be able to see ratings and reviews of products in Shops on Instagram.
"These changes will help people make more informed decisions on what to buy, and will let businesses know if they are meeting customer expectations."
Businesses and brands can use Marketplace to:
- Show inventory for retail, vehicles, event tickets or home rentals.
- Advertise your shop or items.
- Show new or refurb items from your Facebook Page show for free, and allows customers to purchase within Facebook.
- Set up a shop with a business Page and sell as a business.
Lastly, Facebook has introduced AR Dynamic Ads across the United States.
Selected brands like Laura Mercier can use the tech to allow prospective customers to 'try on' shades of lipstick with AR before purchase. This can be done via API integrations with Modiface and Perfect Corp.
Instagram will also test a new way to search for new products, called visual search.
"Visual search helps people find similar products just by tapping on an image of a dress they like. In the future we'll make it possible for people to take photos from their camera to start a visual search."
Those ad changes have the potential to be a powerful new tool for brands and marketers. Increased personalisation will result in higher revenue, less ad waste and higher conversion chances.