Facebook Marketplace: A Guide for Marketers (1/2)

facebook marketplace

Facebook introduced Facebook Marketplace where users can buy and sell with their communities in 2016. Think Craigslist, but with Messenger.

However, plans to incorporate more brands into the platform mean that big changes are underway. In June 2018, Facebook announced the feature for businesses to place ads in Marketplace. And soon Facebook will include more B2C options to the C2C platform.

In other words, keep in mind that Amazon with a hyper-targeting algorithm.

So, how does Facebook Marketplace work exactly? And what can businesses do to prepare? Keep reading to learn which features are currently available and how to plan for what’s in store.

What is Facebook Marketplace?

facebook marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is an online shopping channel. It’s a place for users on Facebook to buy and sell from each other locally.

As of May 2018, Marketplace is used in more than 70 different countries with more than 800 million users monthly.

You can access Facebook Marketplace in the Facebook app or on desktop:

  • On mobile, click the white storefront symbol on the screen
  • On a desktop web browser, in the left margin click the red and white storefront symbol.

They divide the listings in Facebook Marketplace into several categories like Entertainment, Vehicles, Housing, and Hobbies. Users using Facebook Market to buy can filter searches by price and location, and save listings for future reference.

Each listing can contain up to 10 photos with a product’s description.

Customers can directly message sellers on Messenger to ask questions.

Facebook Marketplace ads

Ads in Facebook Marketplace appear in-feed when someone surfs.

These placements have the advantage of engaging people where they are shopping. Advertisers have witnessed a marked increase in conversion rates compared with News Feed placements.

Facebook Shop listings

For now, only US businesses can apply to list and sell products in Facebook Marketplace. Auto dealerships in certain locations are also allowed to list vehicles through inventory partners.

Brand listings are currently showed in two areas on Marketplace: in the Shop category and in the Daily Deals category. (As of January 2019, only US users can see this content.) Only hand-selected businesses that offer brand-name products at discounted rates are eligible for the deals program.

Facebook doesn’t charge list fees or take a cut of commissions. So, Marketplace is essentially a free, organic distribution channel for brands that are in list products. However, Marketplace listings require a Facebook Checkout integration, which charges a $.30 and 2.9 percent fee for every transaction.

The deals program

With the deals programs, there are three tiers: the Everyday Deal, the Featured
Deal, and the Lighthouse Program.

Better deals are in higher tiers that offer higher exposure. For example, brands that offer exclusive deals in the Lighthouse Program may benefit from top placement, consumer subsidies, on and off-site marketing, and influencer outreach.

Ads and shop listings have the advantage of Facebook’s targeting algorithm, which will show your content to the targeted customers.

Who is eligible to sell on Facebook Marketplace?

Right now there are two primary avenues for businesses being fond of selling on Marketplace.

You can either apply to list in the Facebook Marketplace Shop, or to become a deals partner. Remember, applications are currently available to only US merchants and automotive companies.

The way to apply to list in the Facebook Marketplace Shop

To sell on Facebook Marketplace, Page admins need to complete the Marketplace eCommerce Retailer Interest Form. Because access to Marketplace is limited, working with one of Facebook’s listing partners, such as BigCommerceShopify, or Zentail is a definite advantage.

Retailers must be able to meet these requirements:

  • Sell new products to consumers
  • Business based in the US
  • Orders must be fulfilled within three days and received within seven days
  • Accept returns up to 30 days
  • Product listings must include a name, description, additional product images, and a thumbnail image on a solid background. Graphic overlays, text, icons, or badges should not be on images.

Companies from the following industries sell on Marketplace tons of things: beauty, apparel and accessories, bags and luggage, baby and kids, home décor.

How to become Facebook Marketplace deals partner

Brands or businesses that reach the criteria to list on Facebook may also qualify for the deals program. To be considered, pricing for deals must be at least 15 percent lower than the manufacturer’s suggested list price (MSRP).

Categories prioritized for Daily Deals include: consumer electronics, home, gift cards, gaming, toys and games, intimates and hosiery, footwear, sports and outdoors, beauty, jewelry and watches, and apparel and accessories.

Facebook has launched a beta partnership program for companies in the automotive and housing rental industries. If your company is available, you can apply here.

If not, watch this space for future updates.

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