When Facebook Marketplace was first launched in 2016, it was only available as a peer-to-peer shopping marketplace. Many sellers still aren’t aware that Facebook Marketplace expanded in 2019 to include merchant selling. It’s a rising opportunity for brands to capitalize on the interactions between the 800 million active users already taking place on Facebook.
As word gets out, brands and retailers are starting to take advantage of Facebook Marketplace to reach the platform’s huge audience. (However, Facebook Marketplace is currently available only for US merchants.)
Why users like Facebook Marketplace
Because most of them are already there browsing for updates from friends or groups in their news feeds, the quick link over to Marketplace is a convenient destination for Facebook users to discover, buy and sell items.
People discover items they want quickly by filtering their results by location, category and price.
Marketplace items selected by Facebook’s algorithms appear in the sidebars of a user’s News feed, alerting them when an item of a type they’ve shown interest in before is posted for sale.
Why brands are loving Marketplace
A Buyer Intent paradise
When you can reach consumers at the point where they’re in a buying mood, that’s where conversions happen. This has been an elusive quest, historically. But someone browsing on Facebook Marketplace already has a certain degree of buyer intent, even if they’re looking for something different from your product.
Marketplace is a fantastic opportunity to engage already-interested consumers and expand your reach within Facebook’s massive audience.
Test a product’s popularity at little risk
There is no initial cost to create a listing on Facebook Marketplace. Essentially, then, you can test the popularity of your products risk-free, and without lengthy A/B testing.
Once you create a listing you can start tweaking the settings and see which changes get you the best conversions. Or, you can experiment with different pricing, exclusive deals, and other kinds of promotions.
Check out the “Top Picks” sections for each category to get a sense of which kinds of products are selling best.
Facebook knows everything about their users: What they buy, what music they listen to, where they vacation, what size they wear, what they had for lunch yesterday, and plenty more. Creepy as this may be for the user to have such a transparent life, Facebook has made it a boon for advertisers who enjoy improved reach and ultimately, higher conversion rates.
Brands and retailers can use Facebook Marketplace in three different ways.
- create free listings for their products (this option is the most limited for e-commerce businesses outside the U.S.),
- boost their listings for extra exposure
- purchase placement ads.
Let’s go over this process and its ideal progression.
Start with a free product listing on Facebook Marketplace.
While Facebook doesn’t limit the types of items individual users can sell (within reason), only auto and furniture dealerships, real estate businesses and retail/e-commerce businesses can sell commercially through the platform.
Know the Facebook Marketplace categories.
Individual sellers and brands alike may sell items if they’re in any of these categories:
- Clothing & Accessories
- Home & Garden
Your listing will be visible to everyone in the geographic area(s) you specify. This means that if you want better conversions, you should optimize for local sales by adding the place name to your keyword phrase.
Products listed have to comply with Rules and Policies.
Besides the usual prohibitions on sales of illegal products, firearms, tobacco, alcohol, pornography or live animals, you can’t sell health care products, event tickets, or electronic devices through Marketplace. Also:
- Photos have to match the description and title of the listing, and
- You’re not allowed to show before and after pictures, such as weight loss products, dental or lawn treatments.
Boosting your Facebook Marketplace listings
If you sell both online and from a brick-and-mortar store, boosted listings will appear to all users in the store’s nearby zip codes. This is the easiest way to attract more traffic to your listing.
Select the listings you want to boost.
Create your campaign just as you would for boosting a post in the Facebook news feed. Just click on the listing in Marketplace and select the “Boost Listing” option.
Then you set a budget, choose how long to run your ad, and select your payment method. You will get to preview your boosted listing before it goes live.
Then review, and select the best performers for the next tier.
After several days, Facebook will begin feeding you stats on the performance of your boosted listings: number of people reached, total spend, and days elapsed in the campaign.
Based on this information, you can determine which one of your boosted listings performed the best. Your next step is to create a Facebook ad, then use their automatic placement option to expand your reach.
How to sell on Facebook Marketplace with regular ads
Unlike the process for boosting posts described above, you create placement ads the same way you would create ads in your regular Facebook Ads Manager.
Go here to see Facebook’s general instructions for ad creation.
Making the most of your Facebook Marketplace experience
Creating listings and ads on Facebook Marketplace enables brands and retailers to reach consumers with strong purchase intent, test out new products practically risk-free, and broaden their reach across Facebook’s global audience.
When a single online product can have as many as 200 attributes, that adds up to thousands if not millions of data points to create, optimize, and maintain for a whole line of products. Feed syndication paired with a good product information management system automates that process for you.
My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.
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