Facebook Marketplace continues to develop and grow

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Since the Facebook Marketplace feature launched in October 2016 it has enjoyed significant popularity. But what does the future hold? Some details have emerged on past success and possible future plans. Facebook said recently that around 550 million people in 51 countries use the Facebook Marketplace each month and searches on the Marketplace section tripled over the course of 2017.

In a recent article from Forbes, it seems that there is an interesting character behind the push for increased marketplace visibility and functionality at Facebook. She’s called Deb Liu and she has previously worked for PayPal and eBay. She’s now dedicated full time to developing Facebook’s ecommerce functions and has big ambitions, it seems.

I gave up all my other projects to focus on this. I’ve always been extremely passionate about commerce, and how commerce connects people.
– Deb Liu, Facebook

Facebook has given the marketplace a prominent place within the main website: it’s the third tab down from the top left, just under the Newsfeed and Messenger. On the mobile app, it’s front and centre too and very prominent.

Perhaps, most importantly it’s still clear that Facebook has no plans to charge fees to sellers now or in the future. They will continue to monetise the service by using adverts

Facebook is, perhaps, best placed to be the eBay killer. It has a cosy, community and consumer vibe and a ready audience who have proven that they are willing to shop. But Facebook isn’t currently an easy proposition for professional sellers who have a vast inventory and seek new customers. Most of the selling on the site, as the article profiling Deb Liu explores, are consumer sellers having a clear out or looking for some extra cash. Sounds like eBay way back when.

But could a full-blown Facebook Marketplace work? It would require proper selling tools, third party integrations and, likely, taking fees to support it. Of course, many sellers do use the various advertising services already and quite a number of the thord party providers offer help there, including BigCommerce.

The challenge would be balancing the needs of community sellers and bigger retailers and that’s not easy. Are you a Facebook Marketplace seller as a business? And how does it work for you, if you are?

3 Responses

  1. You can see it working but at the moment my biggest problem with it is that it seems to show listings not linked to my current location. Not sure what it uses to work out where you are geographically but it ain’t working

  2. I think if they ever get a direct Check-Out it could become a eBay killer. Right now customers can go into out shop and check out on our website, which I have no problem with. However people seem to get upset if they are taken of the FB platform.

    If they can checkout direct we think that would work a lot better. it is simply not a full blown marketplace right now.

    We do not even bother with the FB marketplace right now. We work our page and it gains us traffic to our site
    However I look at my other half she is starting to use it more and more, it is all very Gumtree right now, it is not for professionals. I really do not have time to meet up with people in car-parks.
    The feed however is also highly manipulated. Again who pays most. Funnily enough while FB drag their feet here, there are some other social sites we think are actually better placed.


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