Facebook. Cool offices.
Now of course this isn’t the point, but it’s interesting and exciting to see the regional head offices of a huge digital beast like Facebook, and their Toronto offices do not dissapoint.
Murals covering the floor and walls are almost enough to distract from the floor to ceiling views over downtown Toronto.
This is a young space, full of young, intelligent and highly motivated people, and that makes it energising, exciting and inspiring.
So, having absorbed the ‘cool’, Ben was ready to absorb some learning, and we’re here to share the key take aways with you.
Friction & Now
Let’s face it, we’re not patient, and we’re not willing to wait, and with the advent of online shopping, lightning fast delivery and instant gratification, this is not likely to change any time soon.
According to Facebook, one of the biggest sources of friction in ecommerce is fulfilment and delivery time.
But apart from delivery, time is also crucial in the the lead up to purchase. People are ready for products and they want to connect quickly, find great content, understand the offering, and purchase quickly and easily.
40 - 50% of users will abandon if they have to wait 4+ seconds for loading.
Facebook & Commerce
Something we noticed at Unite, is the tendency for people to drop the ‘e’ from ecommerce. Now, it’s on trend to refer to it simply as ‘commerce’. And with the global demise of so many bricks and mortar businesses, we say it’s fair enough, and we’re on board.
Facebook has a number of methods and channels designed specifically to help (e)commerce businesses display, attract, engage and sell.
Bear in mind, that for Facebook and commerce, mobile reigns supreme.
Mobile commerce will grow by 30% in 2019.
81% of transactions via Facebook and Instagram happen on Mobile.
The Facebook feed still performs strongly for sales and remains relevant.
Instagram stories are powerful and offer a less competitive channel for merchants.
In-stream video is a fresher strategy and puts the power of video into the feed.
Inspiring customer action
50% of shoppers will shop somewhere else is they don’t find enough good quality product content.
Attracting engagement from customers comes first, and then, we want them to be ready to take action - to find out more, click through and ultimately, to purchase.
Facebook allows merchants to give instant experiences to customers about products and content, and a great example of this is the ‘micro sites’ that can be set to appear in Facebook feeds. They give potential customers a teaser preview of your products. They are fast, snackable and a great opportunity to pull traffic to your site, collection or product pages.
Product collections can work the same way. Merchants can display collections of products (best sellers, seasonal favourites, new releases etc.) within Facebook and then link customers to product page on your website.
Product previews like this give fast, immediate gratification and fast, one click access to product pages and purchase opportunities.
3D product images and augmented reality were tech topics that featured strongly at Unite 2019. Production budgets notwithstanding, online commerce is moving in these directions. Why? Because they deliver a far better shopping experience to customers.
Augmented reality via mobile allows customers to place products into their own homes / rooms / cars / and to test it on themselves.
Purchase & post-purchase
22 clicks is the average number required to go from site entry to purchase.
If you can reduce this click-rate for your Shopify store, your sales conversion rates will increase.
Continuing the theme of less friction and more speed, the path to purchase is a sector focus and featured strongly in the Facebook workshop.
Facebook offers a number of options to merchants that can help them create a shorter path to purchase, or perhaps a ‘short cut’ to purchase. (Please pardon the puns).
Facebook marketplace is a good example, because it places products within the platform, they are immediate and accessible. And many of us are very familiar with the power of Instagram and shopping direct and within the IG platform. Products can be tagged in posts and ‘shop now’ actions can be taken instantly. Maybe that’s why they called it Instagram.
And dynamic ads are a powerful way to help products find the right people. Movement, messaging and creative product display will attract attention and increase engagement rates and connectivity with your Shopify store.
But what about after the purchase has been made? Is that the end of the story? Definitely not. In fact, it’s just the beginning because you can secure a returning customer faster and cheaper and with less effort than it takes to engage with a newbie.
People want fast responses form the brands they engage with and Facebook offers ways to keep the conversation going and offer help and information.
89% of people expect a brand to respond within 24 hours. But 56% of businesses can’t be contacted via social media.
Facebook Messenger gives Shopify merchants great ways to start and continue conversations and conversions with consumers.
Plus, there are so many great apps available to merchants that are designed to help businesses create and improve customer service and engagement and give them more help.
Thank you Facebook, you were awesome. So, to wrap up some key points from the social media platform that started it all:
Be mobile obsessed
When it comes to social media, mobile is where the action and opportunities lie.
Eliminate points of friction
Make it smoother and easier and faster for your community to become customers.
Test and iterate
Try new things, measure them, adapt and improve.
Review your data
It’s there and it offers priceless insights, so find them, understand them and adjust your approach accordingly.
Talk to ecommerce experts
Bring us your ecommerce ideas & challenges & we’ll help you understand the potential for growth & then help you capitalise.Ask us for advice