Facebook is Adding New Tools for Commerce and Local Discovery

Facebook wants businesses to view them as the solution for bringing in revenue via mobile devices.  In addition to this, Facebook views themselves as the local place for consumers to easily make purchases for goods and services.  With Marketplace and the Events App introductions, they are diving full force into local SEO.

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On October 19th, Facebook added even more tools for businesses and consumers.  There is a booking and ordering tool for Pages, a social recommendations tool, and a local event discovery tool.  The new call to action buttons on ‘Pages’ is the most significant addition, as consumers are able to order food online, book appointments, and purchase tickets all on Facebook.

cta-all-phone-800x339Facebook is making this possible through third-party partnerships.  These partnerships include Front Desk, MyTime, BookingBug, Pingup, Home Advisor, Setser, Simploybook.me and Schedulicity.  Facebook users will have the ability to purchase tickets through Fandango, EventBrite, and Ticketmaster.  They will also be able to request quotes from other businesses using TalkLocal or Porch.

Some of the time, not all, users will be automatically directed into the Messenger app to interact with business owners.  This process will most likely bottify over time.  For example, this would probably happen when a user was requesting an appointment from a place such as a hair salon, where the owner would need to chat with them directly about their schedule(s).

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-6-23-47-amHomeAdvisor was asked what they thought about Facebook’s new capabilities, being one of their partners.  The response by CEO Chris Terrill was as follows:

Facebook Pages help businesses reach customers where they are already spending time, making it easier than ever for customers to find the information they need to get things done. Our Instant Booking marketplace — a marketplace that will drive one million transactions since last year’s launch — will leverage Facebook Pages to help homeowners instantly and conveniently book appointments with service providers offering 500 services from emergency repairs to kitchen remodels.

In addition to booking, Facebook has updated the Events app so consumers are able to easily discover local events taking place.  As for social recommendations, Facebook users will be able to include recommended business Pages in any comments they post.  Those recommendations will then be plotted on a map. This will be a great way for businesses to be discovered.  All in all, these changes make Facebook an incredibly useful tool for commerce and local discovery.