There is an old misconception that Facebook Marketplace is still only a C2C platform similar to Craigslist. That is no longer true.
In its initial stages, Facebook Marketplace was only offering individual users the opportunity to list and purchase items locally. As the Marketplace grew in popularity, Facebook added new features, like the ability to process a transaction through checkout, and the option to offer shipping. Now, Facebook Marketplace is open to US-based businesses selling new products.
According to Facebook’s internal data from 2019, one out of three Facebook users also utilize Facebook Marketplace, which means there is a major B2C opportunity for US retailers.
Here are four reasons why sellers should get a jump on Facebook Marketplace.
1. Facebook Marketplace has low selling fees
With commission rates of 5% or a minimum of $0.40 for transactions under $8.00, Facebook currently offers some of the lowest selling fees among marketplaces. As of today, the commission rates do not change based on product category, unlike other major marketplaces. On Facebook Marketplace, there are also no listing fees, which means you can upload unlimited inventory, and there are no subscription fees or tiered selling plans for signing up as a retailer.
As marketplaces grow in popularity, they tend to increase their commission rates. Amazon’s recent increase from 15% to 17% for apparel categories is a prime example (pun intended). Although Facebook has given no indication that they intend to increase their commission rates in the future, supply and demand dictates that it’s better to get in early. We highly recommend establishing a strong seller history now, when commission rates are low.
2. Getting on Facebook Marketplace can be a simple transition
Since the B2C opportunity on Facebook Marketplace is still in beta, you must meet certain criteria in order to list on Marketplace. Facebook prefers that retailers work with an approved listing partner, like Feedonomics, to get their items on the Marketplace. This is because listing partners have already gone through the onboarding process several times and have contacts at Facebook who can help with any tricky situations.
The onboarding process consists of the usual marketplace setup: input your business information, adjust your shipping and tax settings, link accounts for payments, and select your data feed source. My company has been helping many clients get live on Facebook Marketplace, and the timeframe for going live on Facebook Marketplace usually depends on how quickly a merchant can provide the information above.
If you already use data feeds to list ads on Facebook or Google Shopping, then transitioning to Facebook Marketplace is fairly simple. Typically, the main additional requirement for selling on a marketplace is that you include your inventory quantities in your feed. It’s important to create inventory rules that prevent you from overselling products that exist on multiple marketplaces.
In a Facebook Marketplace case study, the e-commerce company Daily Steals opted into deals on Facebook and ran a promotion on their Sony PS4 controllers. They reached 6.4 million people and had a 5x faster sales rate than similarly-priced deals that were not promoted on the Marketplace. To see if Facebook checkout resulted in more conversions, they conducted a split test, and found that shoppers converted twice as often if they used checkout directly through the Facebook app, compared to going through checkout on their website.
If you are somebody who already runs ads on Facebook, note that Facebook Marketplace will need to use your child-level SKU as the product identifier. This is because a successful order integration requires a child-level SKU to be associated with a customer’s order. When it comes to product ads, merchants may often choose to use parent-level IDs for Pixel tracking—this makes sense when you want to show a display ad for a parent product, instead of showing an ad for every size of a product. However, when listing your products on a marketplace, using child-level product identifiers is the only way to make sure your order integration links to the correct product data for fulfillment.
3. Facebook Marketplace is a package deal
Listing your inventory on Facebook Marketplace opens the door to using the same catalog for checkout on Instagram. Instagram and Facebook are the two most widely-used social media networks in the US, and the 5% commission rate stays the same across both apps.
This can give you access to significantly different audiences, without requiring much additional setup on the integration side. According to the Pew Research Center, Instagram captures a younger demographic and Facebook trends toward an older demographic, with significant overlap in the middle.
Before you list your products on both sites, consider which channel fits in with your business strategy. Instagram Shopping does require more curating, since the products are primarily promoted through the creation of shoppable posts; if you have a strong visual focus and social media resources, you can be very successful on Instagram. You have the ability to opt-in only your best sellers on Instagram, to make sure you’re being efficient with your posting. While the integration is fairly simple, the strategy for selling with checkout on Instagram should be different.
However, if you don’t feel as social media savvy, Facebook Marketplace has the infrastructure to handle most of the product exposure for you, as explained below. Facebook Marketplace is a little more “set it and forget it” than Instagram – though we’d never recommend a “set it and forget it” approach for ad campaigns or data feeds in general.
4. Facebook has the ability to make shopping highly personalized
Facebook uses the data about its users to help connect them to products that they’ll like. As a user interacts with Facebook Marketplace over time, customers will experience a more tailored feed based on variables such as products that their interests or what they’ve clicked on. This results in a data-based, personalized shopping experience, where the products find the customers.
Your products on Facebook will show up in multiple places – Newsfeed, Marketplace and Page Shops.
Newsfeed listings appear between posts, as suggested products.
Marketplace listings will appear among other Marketplace products, but each user will be shown the products that they are likely to purchase. Because of this, no two users will have the same Marketplace feed.
A Page Shop will show all your products grouped together, in what is classically considered a store. The Page Shop will make your products visible when a customer uses the Marketplace and browses through the “Stores,” and will allow customers to purchase products directly from your Facebook page.
In a Facebook Marketplace case study, the e-commerce company Succulents Box saw a 66% average increase in total purchases after listing their products on the Marketplace. They found that Facebook’s targeting brought new audiences and increased engagement on their Page. They also saw a 19% average increase in monthly revenue from Marketplace.
If you have a Facebook Business Page, you will be able to set up a Facebook Page Shop. It’s relatively easy.
You will need to be logged onto a computer, then go to your Facebook page and click the Shop tab. From there, you will be directed to your Commerce Manager, where you will need to link your accounts, set up your business policies, and set up payouts. Once you link your catalog and publish it, you should be good to go!
There is also an additional beta program in the works. Select sellers will be able to utilize the checkout function for their Dynamic Product Ads and Instagram Shopping ads. Essentially, customers will be able to click on a product ad and then checkout directly from the ad. Combining the visual features of Facebook’s Creative Hub, the targeting ability of DPAs, and the frictionless experience of checkout will give you a lot of potential to convert quickly.
About The Author
Brian is the co-founder and chief architect of Feedonomics  , a full-service feed optimization platform that optimizes product data for hundreds of different channels, like Google Shopping, Facebook and Amazon. Brian oversees all of Feedonomics’ automation processes. Brian received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA, where he graduated summa cum laude.
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