The Hidden Sales Channel: Facebook Marketplace
In September of last year, Facebook launched its own version of Craigslist and Ebay titled, Facebook Marketplace. It has since disrupted the world of e-commerce by offering virtually anyone the opportunity to sell or buy physical products. While the new service has become a hit for Facebook users around the world, its potential for independent e-commerce retailers has yet to be fully realized. We’ll provide an overview of Facebook Marketplace and how you can utilize it to drive organic traffic to your site.
Products sold on Facebook Marketplace are listed into 8 different categories, each with its own set of categories. View the list below for all categories and subcategories.
Posting your products to Facebook Marketplace is fairly simple. All that is needed is a photo, title, description, price, and category. You also have the option of sharing your posted product to groups you are a member of on Facebook. Once a product is posted, it can be viewed by anyone searching keywords or categories related to your product. Most products posted on Facebook Marketplace do use real product shots, but they are often nowhere near professional. This provides an opportunity for you to use professional photos to help your posts stand out from the rest.
Facebook Marketplace offers features that are especially beneficial to independent e-commerce retailers. For example, a few days after posting a product, it will continually fall to the bottom of its category page as additional products are added. Facebook allows sellers to combat this by renewing their post every seven days. Once a post is renewed, it is moved back to the top of its category page, as if it was posted recently.
Another useful feature for retailers is the ability to view all messages from potential customers in one place. Facebook allows buyers to message the seller directly with inquiries regarding their posted product. Once a message has been sent by a Facebook user, the conversation will automatically be listed under the product post within Facebook Marketplace, making receiving and responding to messages seamless.
Of course this service does not come without its own drawbacks. For instance, products cannot be posted by a business page, therefore a personal profile must be used for all posts. Additionally, when users search for a product, their search is confined within a 100 mile radius initially, although Facebook does offer the ability to search products from any location that has access to Facebook Marketplace.
There is no option for hyperlinks within product description on this service, but you are still able to place your website in the description and encourage users to view your products there. Sending your website to any users who message you with offers or inquiries about your product is another viable option.
Another key flaw is that this service is limited to mobile devices, making communicating with potential buyers and posting products a hassle at times. The only other drawback is the limit to physical products only. Items similar to digital services and subscriptions are not permitted within Facebook Marketplace, effectively segmenting a portion of e-commerce stores. Find a full list of the Facebook’s Commerce Policy below.
With its release of Facebook Marketplace, independent e-commerce retailers have gained access to a network of potential buyers from around the world who are interested in their products. Utilizing the right photos, strategical product description, and competitive prices, retailers can see their products receives hundreds, or even thousands of views without having to pay a dime.