This week, Facebook made to pretty big announcements. With these announcements, they are solidifying their position to become the leader in ecommerce in the future. Facebook wants to be King of the Shoppable Search Engine, outdoing Google and Pinterest. And with its recent acquisition of The Find, it is in line to do just that.
Facebook acquired The Find, a search engine that is shopping-focused with a loyal group of followers. The site was shutdown shortly after the acquisition. The Find’s website has a notice posted which states: “For the last nine years, we have worked hard to bring you a shopping experience that’s easy, efficient and fun–searching all the stores on the web to find just the right products you’re looking to buy. We are now starting our next chapter by combining forces with Facebook to do even more for consumers. Facebook’s resouces and platform give us the opportunity to scale our expertise in product sourcing to the over 1 billion people that use the platform. Unfortunately this means we will be taking our search engine offline in the next few weeks.”
Many retail marketers used The Find to drive conversions for niche products. Consumers used it as a shopping comparison tool. The company was partnered with Paypal and Glam Publishers Network and many other well established web and media properties over it’s life span. Adweek repots that Facebook stands to gain tremendously from purchasing the largest shoppable search engine in the United States.
The most obvious gains are in particular:
The ability to inject structured data feeds in mass from small businesses
The most innovative US-focused comparison shopping company
A foothold in the local and mobile shopping space
The play here is relatively obvious: Facebook is looking to out-compete Google’s own shoppable search engine, and may soon even allow for one-click checkout from within the platform, as indicated by Facebook’s upcoming mobile messaging app payment transfer capabilities.
Although Facebook isn’t charging for the service, but rest assured they have a plan for generating revenue from it, according to Angie Pascale marketing director at Indaba Group. “Users have to input credit card information to send money. Once that info is stored in their account, one-click purchases from Facebook ads, or some yet to be released shopping functionality on Facebook, will be a cinch.”
Facebook users, approximately 500 million, use the Facebook Messenger app. It will soon become a competitor to money transfer apps including Snapchat and Venmo. For years, Facebook has processed payments on its main site, but users have been unable to transfer money between one another.
With their recent announcement, Facebook has shed light on it’s plan for ecommerce and mobile commerce strategies in the future. Facebook can create a shoppable search engine that rivals Google and Pinterest by using The Find. With this, it can use its payments capabilities to process transaction for those items via mobile devices without having to leave the app.
Pascale adds that this all “signals new shopping features or functionality that Facebook will be adding, thus providing more options for selling products on Facebook. Their partnership with Stripe last fall was an early indication that they are taking ecommerce seriously, and this is just another step in that direction.”
If your customers or you don’t use Facebook to shop at the present time, that is very likely to change. Facebook wants to be King, and is making plans to acquire the throne.