MGR eCommerce Edge Weekly | May 19, 2020
Top News This Week
Facebook x Shopify Partnership is Coming for Amazon’s Throat
I wrote a few weeks ago about Shopify’s launch of their new Shop app, and how Shopify was clear that it was only a V1, and that there was much more to come. They weren’t kidding.
Today Facebook and Shopify announced ‘Shops’ a native shopping experience for Facebook’s entire suite of apps that will allow any business to launch a storefront in seconds.
I said it in that email that no one is better positioned to take on Amazon than Shopify, I was only half right. Facebook & Shopify are going to bring it to Amazon like no platform ever has.
There is now a serious competitor in town, and platform competition always benefits the merchants.
I read through the announcements and listened in to Mark Zuckerburg and Tobi Lutke’s call, here are the highlights:
- Shops will be US only for now.
- Facebook Shops are live today, Instagram coming in the next few months, WhatsApp and Messenger coming down the road.
- Directly integrates with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and other platforms. Simply import your inventory database with a few clicks and everything will be synced.
- Shops will be free forever (no 15% fee like Amazon), they just want to use them to grow ad revenue.
- Facebook will store customer payment info allowing for 1-click checkouts and payments.
- There will be a new “Shop” tab on Instagram where users can scroll through and discover new products and brands.
- Brands can now sell products directly through Facebook and Instagram Live with one click.
- Loyalty programs can be seamlessly added in, cutomers can see their points and rewards from Facebook & Instagram.
- Once launched on all platforms it will be a unified experience. Ex: Add to cart on Instagram, ask a the brand a question through Messenger and buy within it it without having to go back to Instagram.
- Open ecosystem for 3rd party apps, similar to Shopify.
This was clearly a well thought out and strategized launch, which one can only expect from Zuck (despite the hate he gets).
If you’ve been subscribed to this newsletter for a while that I’ve written extensively about social commerce, live shopping, and brand discovery. Facebook rolled all of those ideas into one unified platform that has billions of users.
The biggest unanswered question that we will find out soon is who owns the customer data? Will Facebook take the Amazon approach of hoarding it all for themselves, or will they give generous access?
This is what I believe will make or break the success of this launch. If they give full access, no different than if a customer had bought on a brand’s own eComm store then I think this will see massive brand adoption, if not, then many brands may be hesitant.
I think over the next few years this will become the second largest eComm platform behind only Amazon, and has real chance at becoming number one if they play their cards right.
P.S. We’ll be discussing this on our podcast on Thursday, feel free to reply with questions or comments and we’ll answer them!
Other Notable Links:
1. Joe Rogan signs podcast exclusivity deal with Spotify, rumored to be 5 years for $500 million, if true he is now the highest paid man in media. – WSJ
2. USPS prices may go way up very soon – GIZMODO
3. JC Penney declares bankruptcy, closing 240 stores – CBS NEWS
4. Facebook acquires GiPHY for $400 million, what are their plans? – THE VERGE