As a young person and part of the so-called millennial generation, I can identify a few distinctive signs in myself when I shop online. First, I want to be sure the source is trustworthy and I won’t just lose my money. Second, I want to be sure of what I’m buying so I always look at product reviews. And last, but definitely not the least important, I want the purchase to happen extremely fast and easy.
This is why I shop mostly from Amazon. It covers all of the above perfectly. But last summer, when I was in the USA, I tried Facebook’s Marketplace for the first time. It wasn’t yet possible to do that in Europe at the time. Facebook Marketplace barely appeared in my country in the last few months as an option (that was at the end of 2017).
I found Facebook Marketplace to be quite convenient. I was in a foreign country and finding stuff over the Internet (except for Amazon) was made extremely easy with the Marketplace.
If you’re from the USA, you know that the service is already quite developed there. A lot of people are posting products in a few miles range from you and you can connect with them immediately.
So, here’s what I like about Facebook Marketplace, what I think it lacks and also, why you, as a web store owner, should consider posting a product listing there.
The future is millennials and millennials prefer it easy
True. As a millennial, I can say there is nothing truer than this statement. Your future shoppers prefer everything to be done in fewer steps. If not, the chance they get out of your website is very high.
This is what I liked about Facebook Marketplace – it happens easy. I use Facebook as a social media to connect with friends and there is nothing more convenient for me than to browse through products a tab away from all of my other activities on Facebook. I can quickly set the range to just my city or just my area and if I like something, all I have to do is text the seller.
Some people who don’t even own an eCommerce shop are making a living out of this. And some are just trying to get rid of old things. It’s like a garage sale but on Facebook. Everything is cheap and everything is just a message away. So, easy – check ✓
But is it reliable?
What Facebook Marketplace lacks
The most uncomfortable thing I could find about the marketplace is that it’s not secure. There are no product reviews to indicate if it’s okay to buy from the seller. Not only this, the seller’s name leads to his Facebook profile. There is no place to claim on the Facebook profile that this seller is trustworthy. But what you can at least gather from a person’s profile on Facebook is that he is a real person, unlike Craigslist’s limited possibilities.
The delivery is usually arranged by the buyer or the seller. You can either meet and pick up the item or receive it through a courier service. You depend on the seller’s word that everything is okay because you are not protected by return policies on Facebook Marketplace. Everything is negotiated online and you can never be sure whether the product is defective.
So, when you’re meeting with a seller, it’s best to set up the meeting at a place with security cameras. It’s the least you can do to be safe.
Another thing that doesn’t favor the security issue is the fact that there is nothing built to rate the transactions. If something goes wrong, you have to report to Facebook. So, in my perspective, if it comes to something that costs a lot of money, I wouldn’t trust the Marketplace. Only if the seller does breathe some comfort into me about my purchase.
Why Facebook Marketplace is good for your business
Now that you’ve read all the troubles of a young person and all the things she likes about Facebook Marketplace, it’s time I tell you why this option is good for your business.
First of all, Facebook Marketplace is extremely product-centric. You don’t have to try and sell your brand or your vision for the future. It’s all about the product you sell. It’s extremely image-focused. When you click on the Marketplace, it’s all pictures. So, the product image is what gets the eye.
This is an amazing opportunity for retailers because with the right product picture you can catch the attention of many.
Secondly, you don’t have to do the impossible to get people to click on your website. You just have to post a product listing, give details and give the address of your shop.
If you don’t have a physical shop, it doesn’t matter because, nevertheless, they have to write to you. Your goal is to have them engage with one of your products and write to you. Then after that, all that’s left of you to do is apply your selling techniques.
Another great thing about the Marketplace is the fact that shoppers can easily narrow down products with categories. So, if they’re searching for your product category, it’s easier to find you.
And what you’ll love about it – unlike Amazon and eBay, Facebook Marketplace does not charge you any fees or taxes. Hooray!
Why may you ask? Because there are no protection policies. So, think of the Marketplace as Craigslist but way more trustworthy than that because as I wrote above, at least you can see the person’s profile and be sure that it’s not a total scam.
So, you have read the perspective of a young shopper and you have also read the positive sides of Facebook Marketplace for your business. In my opinion, it’s good for eCommerce retailers because it’s another channel to sell, it doesn’t require any taxes and whatever profit you make, it’s for you. You can always receive the payment first and then ship the product like you usually do on your website.
Decide for yourself and for your business but just know – millennials prefer it when it’s as easy as Facebook Marketplace.
Tell us what you think in the comments below.