Facebook has updated the messenger platform to 1.2. This incremental jump has brought one interesting feature. It will allow businesses to sell products through messenger. The entire transaction will take place in the Messenger platform. This is going beyond bots for customer service. Facebook is giving a new spin on e-commerce.
This service is currently in Beta in the US. Facebook is accepting developer requests to enter into the Beta. It will be rolled out to more businesses by the end of the year. Facebook says this about the update: “new way for businesses to sell products and services in Messenger. Payments can now be integrated into messages, making it easy for customers to shop and purchase without leaving the app. Messages with payments utilize industry-leading controls and financial information is protected with bank-level encryption”
Not being a developer I can’t tell you how easy this will be to integrate with your current site. Previously they have let brands open stores. These stores had to be tied to Shopify and other e-commerce platforms. This service hasn’t taken off with all brands. I haven’t seen an explosion of Facebook stores on brand pages.
How does this Affect your Business?
If you are in e-commerce it gives you a new avenue to sell to your customers. Depending on how easy it is to set up it could bring sales you may not have landed. Social commerce has always been tricky. Most of the major sites allow it. Facebook, Instagram (through third party solutions) and Pinterest. While these have a buy button, Twitter did away with their Buy button.
There is no “one” solution for social commerce. I think this is a step in the right direction. Will it catch on? I am not sure. Most people don’t have credit cards in their Facebook. Most of the people who do are those who run Facebook Ads. I will keep you posted on further developments.