As our recent social media for ecommerce businesses series has outlined, embracing networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can positively impact retailers. In fact, the case for being on Facebook in particular just grew significantly.
This is because Facebook has acquired The Find, a shopping search engine, in an undisclosed deal. Merging the two companies will enable the social networking site to improve the targeting of its online adverts, meaning users are more likely to only see communications that are relevant to them.
The Find has specialized in connecting people with products for the last 9 years, so will bring a huge amount of experience in converting online shoppers to the Facebook team. Its standalone site – which is reported to be closing down within the next 2 weeks – works by indexing items across a broad number of ecommerce websites.
What does Facebook’s acquisition of The Find mean for these ecommerce sites?
Firstly, the fact that The Find’s site is closing down means consumers already using the service will only be able to continue searching for goods if they do it through Facebook.
Therefore, the volume of retail activity taking place on Facebook will significantly increase – and e-tailers need to ensure their social media presence is up to date to benefit from this new flow of traffic.
Secondly, more sophisticated advert targeting should improve conversion rates among those who engage with shoppers through Facebook. This is because monitoring the browsing and buying activity of the social network’s users will enable Facebook to segment retail adverts, so that they only appear on the profiles of people likely to purchase.
What does this merger mean for ecommerce in general?
It’s not just ecommerce companies who will be paying close attention to this merger. Increasingly, all the social networks are looking for ways to commercialize their channels in order to work more closely with the business community.
For example, last year Twitter started experimenting with a ‘buy button’, offering U.S. members the opportunity to purchase goods straight from a tweet.
Some industry experts have also predicted that Pinterest could launch an ecommerce facility, linking the thousands of retailers who showcase their products via the site – some of whom already advertise, another recent Pinterest experiment – with the site’s 70 billion users.
Potentially, social networks could become the major shopping channel for digitally driven consumers.
What should ecommerce companies be doing to prepare?
At the moment, ecommerce retailers should focus on building up their profiles across these networks, to ensure their presence is optimized when new commercial opportunities fall into place.
This means not only creating a professional looking page in the first place, but also making sure that interesting content is uploaded to those profiles on a regular basis.
Posts should make sure to include business insights, trends commentary and other editorial features, rather than simply pouring out sales messages; today’s shoppers are too savvy for that.
For e-tailers wanting to improve their social media presence, we’ve put together some top tips in our social media for ecommerce businesses series. Read more here: