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Facebook Marketplace for Business: Should You Be on It?

May 13, 2020 Published by

What is Facebook Marketplace and should your ecommerce business be on it?

In our post Ecommerce and Social Media Synergy, we looked at the importance of integrating ecommerce features on your social media pages. But we’ve moved well beyond social plugins and logins. There are much more powerful ways for ecommerce businesses to leverage social media now, like Facebook Marketplace.

What Is Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook launched Marketplace in 2016 to offer its users a way to sell products online, similar to OfferUp, Nextdoor and LetGo. Facebook, however, has one huge advantage over those garage sale apps: its platform of over 2.45 billion monthly active users. Incorporating those profiles and communities made the platform feel more trustworthy; buyers, for example, use Facebook messenger to chat with sellers and access their Facebook profiles.

The shop-and-sell model was successful enough for Facebook to open Marketplace to businesses a year later. If you’re a retailer, that means you can now list products on Marketplace.  You’re probably thinking, isn’t that what a Facebook Shop does?

Facebook Marketplace vs. Facebook Shop

They may seem the same, but Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Shop are quite different.

Facebook Shop is an ecommerce platform that functions like an online store. It’s easy to use: simply set up your Shop and create a catalog of your products. You can then use Commerce Manager to manage sales across Facebook.

You can also link your external ecommerce store and your Shop together. In fact, many ecommerce solutions will automatically integrate the two together. This will allow you to add products with one click and update your inventory with every sale.

Having a Facebook Shop, however, doesn’t mean all your followers will see your posts in their newsfeed—and you may need to splurge on advertising to make your Facebook Shop more discoverable.

Facebook Marketplace, on the other hand, makes it easier for people to discover your products, especially since over half of Facebook users interact with their accounts on a daily basis.

To start, just click on the Marketplace icon and select “Sell Something” from the left-hand menu. Choose the type of product being listed, create a listing, and post it. Facebook will automatically include Marketplace as the audience, so everyone on the platform will be able to see your product—not just your followers. Facebook will also create a Marketplace profile when you list your first item and show it as part of your Store.

The Benefits of Selling on Marketplace

There are many benefits to selling on Marketplace, including:

Reaching an active Facebook community

Each month, millions of people browse and buy items from businesses on Facebook. Selling as a business on Marketplace gets you access to that growing community of motivated buyers. Marketplace also gives businesses the opportunity to create and cultivate an additional distribution or revenue channel.

Communicating in real-time with Facebook Messenger

Messenger gives businesses the ability to respond directly and in real-time to questions from interested buyers before they lose interest or move on and browse other products. Before jumping onto the platform, make sure you have the time and resources to answer inquiries from buyers.

Connecting with local communities

Marketplace shows items within a local area, so businesses can use the platform to connect with the local community. Marketplace also has a Browse to Buy feature, which filters feeds of products users can buy from communities and groups they belong to.

Browsing based on past activity

The Marketplace browsing feature is optimized to display items based on a user’s browsing history, helping your products become more discoverable.

Free listings

Unlike many other third-party marketplaces and ecommerce platforms like Etsy and eBay, Facebook Marketplace lets businesses create and manage listings for no additional fee or cost.

Types of Businesses Selling on Marketplace

There are three types of businesses that can currently sell on Marketplace: automotive, real estate, and retail and ecommerce.

Retail and ecommerce businesses can use Marketplace to reach more customers by working directly through one of Facebook’s existing partners. These include ecommerce platforms:

If you’re looking for a tool to help your business sell products to a targeted audience while extending your reach, Marketplace is an easy and effective option.

When selling on Marketplace, keep in mind that orders must be shipped within three days and received within seven days. Make sure you can accommodate this level of supply and demand. To learn more about Marketplace, including what kinds of products are allowed and prohibited, check out the Facebook Marketplace Commerce Policies.

Note: Facebook Marketplace is currently only available to US merchants.