Recently, at the APAC Press Day 2020 held in Singapore, Facebook shared their business plans for the future to enable people to build community and bring the world closer together. The Asia Pacific region is seen as a major growth driver for Facebook with over a billion active users.
In 2019, the number of messages sent between people and businesses over Messenger every month have more than doubled to 20 billion, and this shows that people expect to communicate with businesses the same way as they messaged their friends. Hence, with the immense growth of messaging, Facebook is assisting businesses to make the shift towards conversation commerce – the future of commerce.
According to Christine Chia, Commerce Partnership Director of Facebook APAC, the commerce landscape has been rapidly evolving, nowadays everything is about mobile-first, hence at Facebook we want to create better experiences for people and enable businesses to connect with their customers.
People are opting to interact with businesses through experiences which are relevant, personal and seamless in their daily lives. The increasing affluence and the accessibility of mobile Internet give a much more connected experience to people who want to discover new products.
Facebook’s family of apps has extended to Marketplace, Instagram and Whapsapp, and soon Facebook Pay which will function as one unified commerce funnel with transactions and payments in one integration across multiple surfaces.
“When a user purchases something from the Facebook platform, we need to ensure accountability to both the buyer and seller by providing a good experience and also a safe one, Chia says.
“Presently, Marketplace is more popular in the classified used goods category, and Facebook wants to explore further potential by complementing thegoods available on Marketplace with new retail goods which will set us apart from other competitors.”
Facebook’s strategy is towards helping small businesses to grow, scale and eventually compete with bigger established brands.
“We want to establish connections and conversations which we believe it’s very important how small businesses can build a brand for themselves, and this is where the social element approach of Facebook comes in,” Chia adds.
Having the entire process integrated in a single unified funnel will minimise the risks often faced in any ecommerce platform. But unfortunately, Facebook Pay (only available in the US) has not been rolled out in the Asian Pacific region as yet due to the “hyper-local” nature of payments in certain regions.
Over time, when Facebook brings the Pay feature to more people and places, including for use across Instagram and Whapsapp, it will certainly open up more doors and opportunities for businesses.
And, so we wait in anticipation.