Have you heard of Facebook Marketplace? If not, you're not the only one.
Facebook Marketplace is described as “a convenient destination to discover, buy, and sell items.” It's a relatively new feature on Facebook, and it's kind of like Craigslist, except you actually know who's selling what you're interested in.
The author notes that India is “set to overtake the United States in less than two decades with digital sales expected to reach $63.7 billion by 2020.”
That's a big slice of pie for American ecommerce companies and individuals to get a bite from.
Thanks to Entrepreneur for the original article. Here's more about Facebook Marketplace:
When new platforms such as Facebook Marketplace open for business, you need to capitalize on your first-mover advantage. Facebook will reward you.
Facebook’s edge over competitors
Buying something from a friend of a friend adds a certain level of trust, which isn’t often present on the likes of Craigslist or eBay.
You'll also enjoy the added functionality of Messenger. When you want to learn more about an item or haggle over price, Marketplace connects you right to Facebook’s texting app.
If you’re an ecommerce startup, consider creating a Shopify store and hosting your products on your Facebook page. Unlike other social media platforms, Facebook offers the ability to buy products directly from a fan page.
Catching the ever-moving target
Currently, Marketplace is open only to individuals, which may require startups and ecommerce entrepreneurs to adjust their businesses in order to stay competitive.
The following should help you out:
1. Mix up your marketing strategy
Dominating one channel is all well and good but leaves gaps in your marketing efforts and opens your business to risk.
When you take an omnichannel approach, you can navigate those peaks and valleys and reallocate funds to the areas most in need. In fact, engaging customers across multiple channels can increase your revenue by 9.5 percent while decreasing your year-over-year cost per contact by 7.5 percent.
2. Strengthen your fulfillment efforts
Consumers no longer value shipping. If it costs a dime and takes more than two days to arrive, they’re left feeling underwhelmed.
Because shipping hard goods can be expensive, you’ll often need to bake shipping into the cost, or change what you charge for shipping. Conduct A/B testing to compare which fulfillment method resonates best with your customers, yet still works for your business.
3. Look into third-party logistics.
Relying on a third party to ship goods will also allow you to automate your supply chain, from production to distribution. For a startup, that means you can conduct business with very little overhead. You can literally start manufacturing and shipping goods on demand.
For now, it looks like we'll have to wait to see if Marketplace will emerge as an ECommerce giant. But if you're in ecommerce, it's probably worth trying and testing.
You can read more about Marketplace at Entrepreneur.