For decades, classified advertisement websites like Craigslist, eBay, and Etsy have dominated the consumer-to-consumer marketplace in which people sell and buy items. This can be taken as the digital version of garage sales, except the products and services sold on these marketplaces are far more diverse.
Facebook took over the marketplace industry in October 2016 by announcing that it was going to relaunch Facebook Marketplace, predisposing more than a billion consumers to a new and now one of the biggest digital marketplaces in the world.
The platform has more than 800 million users per month with 2017 seeing it selling more than 18 million new items in U.S. alone.
Although free, Facebook is monetizing the platform via advertising. It has also officially unveiled new support for content from local businesses as well as creating new categories for:
- Daily deals
- Car sales
- Apartment rentals
Now that Facebook Marketplace is breaking all the ground of peer-to-peer transactions, lets see how ecommerce can help your business reach new customers.
With 2.41 billion monthly active users with a yearly growth rate of 17 percent, Facebook is the best place to make your new business discoverable to your potential audience.
Although the platform is new, but the formula to increase awareness remains the same – Make an offer they can’t refuse!
Add images that are of high-quality and show EXACTLY what you are selling. This aids in building trust with your customers. Be transparent in your description. Give your REAL contact details to make it easy for buyers to contact you.
As we said it above, Facebook Marketplace is also photo centric. Your posted pictures need to be eye-catching or, at the very least, well-lit and in focus. The images don’t have to be professional but it’s worth it to spend some time getting the right ones.
Here are some tips how to get extra visibility with good images:
- Keep background clutter to a minimum.
- If you don’t have good lighting in your house (you probably don’t), go outside and use natural lighting.
- Clean the item before shooting; wipe off all the fingerprints from the screens or electronics.
- Get the whole item in the frame to take that primary shot (additional shots can be detail shots).
- Take a minimum of three (or more) photos from different angles (Facebook Marketplace allows up to 10 photos/listing).
- Do not use stock photos. Use your own photos. The audience wants to see how the item looks like. Doing so will make your listing appear more authentic.
The big difference between Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace is that the later is linked to your Facebook profile. This makes buying from your through the social media ecommerce more credible as your profile provides them with a name, face, and a contact number to associate their sale with instead of making a completely blind purchase.
This means that you should make your public profile pleasing to customers to make it look more trustworthy than a 15-year old scammer trying to swindle you. Make sure that your profile picture is a photo of you and that your cover photo is not offensive.
Also, do a thorough privacy check to make sure your public profile isn’t sharing information you wouldn’t want random strangers to stumble across.
With all the new developments, Facebook has made it clear that the Facebook Marketplace is here to stay. Businesses are now able to use it to get free exposure to potential customers around them. They can use it to maximise awareness, develop trust, and even check the market to know the best way to position what they have to offer.
All we can say is that all these efforts that Facebook is putting in its Marketplace are worth a try if you want a pipeline for your new business that leads customers directly to your doorstep.
Want to know all the new things happening in the ecommerce world? Stay tuned to 42Works’ blog and discover the good, the bad, and ugly of the online marketplaces.