Social commerce (ie. transacting through a social network) has long been promised but never quite delivered. Yes, there was Delta who experimented through buying tickets through Facebook…but to transact with most brands you have to leave the network and go to their page. It seems that this may finally be changing – we might be at the ‘social commerce tipping point’.
Last month Facebook announced some ambitious plans to make transacting simpler on their site – changes which will have big implications for retailers.
Firstly there’s the introduction of payments through Messenger. It’s like the money swapping app-killer. You can send your friend regardless of bank money through your Facebook Messaging App.
What it means is that Facebook is allowing customer to connect their debit/credit cards to their accounts. They now have a ‘mobile first, zero-fee payment system with passcode protection and a transaction history all baked into Messenger’.
Now Facebook has this information – imagine how it can enable social commerce!
Well this is how they are starting…Facebook announced a couple of weeks ago it will let retailers message with their customers directly – through it’s Messenger for Business platform. This platform will let customers make purchases, check on orders etc – through a single message thread with a retailer. (aka. it’s easy to track purchase history, communication..without scrolling through different emails).
TechCrunch has hypothesised that they may even go one step further and become an alternative to ApplePay – allowing customers to make purchases through the platform outside of the social network.
Stay Tuned…we think Social Commerce is finally coming.