Gone are the times of toting around a massively bulky cell phone. Today, wherever you turn, everyone — even children — is on a sleek, elegant smartphone that has the capacity to do many of the things our computers can do. From texting, browsing the Web, reading emails, etc., people are increasingly using their phones for complicated task, and Facebook is set to maximize from this trend, attracting even more online retailers.
In the past few years, the number of people who use their smartphones for making online purchases has grown tremendously. From 2012 to 2013, revenue from mobile purchases increased by 70 percent. Last year alone, 65 percent of mobile users made purchases using their mobile devices. 2013 also saw $14.59 billion in sales — all conducted on smartphones. By 2017, mobile sales will more than double to $30.66 billion.
When 15 million people per week are making online purchases using their cell phones, retailers will have to adapt and respond to this new consumer behavior. And Facebook has no plans of letting go of its No. 1 spot in social media. It has accommodated a number of resources that cater specifically to online retailers’ needs, including:
- Ads for Apps, a feature that mass-advertises retailers’ applications on News Feed. It allows online retailers to keep their existing customer bases and reach unprecedented number of potential customers — all located on Facebook.
- Facebook ads API, which allows retailers to create, access, and organize their marketing campaigns. Facebook’s API builds tools that add value to a customer’s experience.
- Facebook Payments is Facebook’s one-stop location for retailers to easily receive their online payments for their online apps and games. The business principle is simple: brand security. People will feel more secure submitting their payment info on Facebook, rather than an outside location. Facebook Payments is available internationally, and it supports more than 80 payment methods in over 55 currencies.
Today’s mobile shopping demands also require access to mobile-responsive websites — something that Facebook is also staying on top of. Mobile-friendly websites are more likely to lead to consumer purchases, meaning more profits for marketers and Facebook as a whole. Facebook’s apps and online payment solutions center upon responsive Web design — a perfect go-to resource for retailers that are new to online marketing.
With Facebook, retailers can conveniently adapt their online websites for mobile devices. And the time is now. The past few years have seen an explosion of retail store apps and mobile marketing. Many retailers now provide their full inventories online and have even developed their own store apps. More online selections mean more business opportunities — if it’s done correctly.
When developing mobile apps for businesses, retailers have to consider consumers’ preferences and reactions.
- 71 percent of global mobile users expect mobile websites to load faster than their desktop computers.
- 57 percent of users will even leave a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
For retailers, it has become an even bigger game of survival of the fittest. Retailers’ success now depends on developing user-friendly and fast-loading mobile sites. Facebook is continuing to find new ways to meet mobile commerce demand, investing in extensive mobile advertising and individual apps for the different mobile platforms.
Facebook aims to become the place where consumers and marketers converge and co-habitat online. Retailers will have their pool of potential customers; and the regular Joes of the Internet can benefit from a number of available games and apps. If Facebook stays on top of the social media game, it will see wide-scale revenue.
Andrea Fisher is an online marketer and content specialist for Sports Programming and social media education. She has been published in a variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Business Insider.
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