To capitalize on niche targeting and community engagement, Facebook is adding yet another element to its expanding eCommerce push, this time with the addition of a variety of shopping and product discovery options in groups. The most significant feature is Shops in Groups, which adds a dedicated Shop option to your Facebook Group display, as the name implies.
When a Shop is accessible, a new 'Shop' tab will appear in your group navigation options, and items will be shown in a distinct panel within the group feed, as shown here. More techniques to showcase certain products of interest to members of specific communities and interests will be available as a result. OctoNation members, for example, may now purchase stickers, mugs, and clothes to display their enthusiasm for octopuses.
Because Facebook hasn't specified an income cut or percentage allocation to the group/merchant, this is more of a possibility than a method. However, group administrators will be able to contribute money to related causes if they so desire, as well as advertise group-branded things or items linked to the group's interests. Furthermore, Facebook has begun to include product recommendations in groups to tap from community expertise and assist group members in finding more relevant things.
The technique is similar to adding a URL to your regular Facebook comments, but the new format will make it easier to explore the recommendations made in response to such questions, and recommended products will also appear under the Shop page. They'll also appear in a new Top Product Mentions alert in main user News Feeds, which will be seen to those in connected groups.
As you can see in these screenshots, the listings will not only showcase the most talked-about products in groups, but they'll also feature the exact comments made about each, as well as a link to the appropriate group conversation. Finally, Facebook is starting a pilot of Live Shopping for artists, in which well-known producers will collaborate with marketers to promote their favorite products.
So it's simple influencer marketing via Facebook Live, which, given the large number of people who follow the most successful producers on the network, will undoubtedly lead to many firms seeking new relationships with these influencers as they seek to promote awareness of their deals and offers.
YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook have all conducted live shopping broadcasts and tests to drive purchase behavior. The immediacy of live video, combined with the ability to connect with popular influencers and celebrities, is a powerful combination for increasing engagement and sales, and with this expansion, Facebook will look to expand its potential in this area and drive even more action on eCommerce listings.
In China, where live-commerce is expected to reach $423 billion by the end of next year, live-stream shopping has been a great hit. Facebook is betting that western consumers would follow suit, which may help the company's broader business goals gain traction.
Consumer interest in, and receptivity to, eCommerce has shifted significantly as a result of the pandemic-driven increase in online purchasing, opening up new opportunities for social platforms to capitalize on these behaviors and boost related in-app activity. Given its focus on visual engagement, Instagram appears to be the most likely beneficiary of the effort, but YouTube, as well as TikTok, the newest social app, has plenty of opportunities to highlight related goods.
As a result, Facebook may not have the same aesthetic focus or trend value. But it does have an audience, and with 1.8 billion people joining Facebook groups each month, it has a lot of potential to reach people who are interested in specific topics or have specific interests, which could be extremely valuable to businesses looking to get their products in front of these people. On this front, however, the process is not yet fully defined. Is it possible for manufacturers to collaborate with group administrators to get their items featured? Is there any method in place to award a portion of sales to the group if they do?
There are still a few wrinkles to work out in this area, but the ability to showcase product listings within Facebook groups could open up a whole new world of possibilities.