Facebook Marketplace – A sales solution so watch out eBay

Ok, this is kind of scary but an awesome and scary thing for retailers.  I was randomly looking at the footer on Facebook and I saw one of the icons was for the Marketplace.  I thought that that would be brilliant of Facebook to create a Marketplace for buyers and sellers to connect, but also probably not likely.

When I clicked on this link:

http://apps.facebook.com/marketplace/?cm_mmc_o=PBBLFzyLCjC_BBLFzyLCjC_BBLFzyLCjCtBFw

Sure enough, I was taken to a shopping Marketplace where I found out that a bunch of my friends were already using the Facebook Marketplace and some where already shopping and selling on there.  On a good note, Facebook isn’t a traditional place where Affiliates send their shopping traffic to shop so it isn’t a leak like some of the major retailers that feature other stores in their marketplaces, but at the same time it is a very scary thing for stores like Amazon.com and eBay.com because now they have a serious competitor to deal with.  But only if Facebook can find a way to actually start converting Social Media traffic into shopping traffic.

Think about it, according to Alexa, Facebook is the number 2 most trafficked site in the world.  Amazon was down in the 18 spot which to most people or non marketers sounds like a small difference.  However, if you think of the millions of people that separate the top spots, it is a serious challenger to the comparison shopping giant because of the massive traffic advantage Facebook has over Amazon.  Amazon has a ton of traffic and can drive some serious sales, it is actually a channel I almost always recommend so don’t count them out.  Especially because people in and on Amazon are there to shop for the most part and you can do it on a model similar to Affiliate which is a performance basis.

Facebook vs Amazon
Facebook vs Amazon

Now, if you are a Client of mine, you know how I feel about advertising on Facebook for ROI purposes, however this Marketplace changes all of that. It now provides you access to people in Facebook who are also in shopping mode.  The thing to think about with this though is what stage in the shopping process are they actually at?  If Facebook could get them to go from the researching phase to the actual shopping phase in their buying process, then the other large shopping sites now have a serious competitor that came out of nowhere.

The other thing Facebook will need to do is to get the shoppers and visitors to remember to always come back to the Facebook Marketplace so they can continue to build their buyer base and get the referrals, not to mention take the loyalty of the shoppers away from the other large Marketplaces.

Anyways, with the serious traffic advantage Facebook has over sites like Amazon and the loyalty and trust of the Facebook user, if Facebook figures out how to turn their Social Media traffic into shopping traffic, Amazon and eBay are going to have a serious issue on their hand.  Especially if Facebook starts submitting their shopping listings into Google Base and other shopping channels and Comparison Shopping Engines.

This post was written and numbers were pulled from Alexa on January 26th at 9pm Eastern Time.  I think each Marketplace has an amazing ability and is a great opportunity for Marketers to thrive and Facebook becoming a Marketplace that can compete is just my personal opinion.

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