Facebook Inc. is tapping its 1.5 billion users to create a marketplace that allows users to shop directly through its app without ever leaving it.
Few users make purchases on mobile phones because it is slow and cumbersome but Facebook hopes to win over more ad dollars by smoothing the process, Reuters reports.
“We’re looking to give people an easier way to find products that will be interesting to them on mobile, make shopping easier and help businesses drive sales,” said Emma Rodgers, head of product marketing for commerce.
Mobile purchases make up less than 2 percent of all retail sales, according to research firm eMarketer.
Among the new features are ads that take a user through a specific brand’s products without redirecting them to another site.
A user who clicks on an ad from a boutique could see an expanded page that displays numerous clothing items.
Facebook merchants will also be able to display products for purchase directly on their own pages and users will be able to purchase products directly on Facebook through a “buy now” button that will be more widely available.
Facebook has also added a new section on its app that takes users directly to a shopping page where they can browse among numerous brands from a select group of small businesses that will gradually expand.
“From Facebook’s perspective, they’re addressing a pain point for retailers,” said Catherine Boyle, an analyst at eMarketer. “They will attract serious ad dollars with this offering.”
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