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Hasta La Vista, Etsy? - Facebook Strengthens Bid for eCommerce

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As we are getting closer to the holidays, we at LanaBetty have been exploring all of our options to stay at the top of our customers feeds, without being obtrusive. We love social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to engage and remain relevant. Additionally, this year marks what we project to be our biggest year for online sales. Etsy StatsTo say that online shopping has evolved into a global phenomenon would be an understatement, as millions of brands have gone online to sell their products to a global market, contributing to an industry which, according to Statista, makes $1.47 billion per year. Where we feel like we are struggling, is when customers navigate to our etsy shop, they are instantly open to navigate away to another shop or to be inundated by the mass of sub-standard shops carrying knock-off or mock-handmade goods. We have been doing some research about our options for online sales and experts estimate that the industry will only continue to grow, as spending online is expected to grow by over 60% by 2016 and we are now seeing many more platforms beginning to launch on the mobile market. Earlier this year, fashion aggregator Lyst made headlines when it secured $40 million in funding from investors to expand their offerings to different countries. As Chris Morton, co-founder and CEO of Lyst has told Fortune, “the company generates hundreds of millions in sales from brands on its platform and… the company has tripled revenue year-over-year for the past three years.” With so much money and so many sales being made online, it’s no surprise that the eCommerce industry has caught the eye of internet giants, and in their most recent pitch, even social media giant Facebook has declared that it will be pursuing online shopping with renewed vigor; and we couldn't be more excited about it. The thrust of their campaign is their ability to present products to consumers on a completely mobile platform. Unlike many online shopping websites, Facebook has a large tech-centred team, allowing it to  adapt to mobile technology at a faster rate than most others, and they believe their track record of providing hassle-free mobile integration will be enough to bring makers to their pages.
“Marketers are challenged to reach their customers and drive sales on mobile. The majority of time spent on mobile is in apps, and people spend the majority of that time in just a handful of apps, including Facebook and Instagram. For people, the mobile shopping experience is often difficult to navigate. Customers can experience slow load times and too many steps on the way to checkout. This is bad for people and bad for marketers,” they write. However, they’ve also noticed a trend in how people use Facebook, saying, “On Facebook we’ve seen that people are coming to our platform not only to connect with friends and family but also with products and brands. In fact, a survey suggested that nearly half of people come to Facebook to actively look for products, with a majority of them discovering new products in News Feed, Pages, and Groups.”
Facebook uses some rather complicated coding to try and personalize the shopping experience for anyone looking for products online. They created features such as the “Carousel Format”, which allows designers to showcase their products in a platform that’s easily navigable on mobile, but are also reportedly testing out new formats like “Canvas”, which eliminates the need to go to a third-party site to view products you see on ads. And, of course, they’re also extensively testing out integrated purchasing methods right out of Facebook itself. Could this mean the end of other eCommerce websites like Etsy? After all, Facebook is inescapable, and surveys say, “everyone’s on Facebook now anyway.” While the jury is out, we at LanaBetty will continue to explore all the options we have at our disposal: Lyst, Amazon Handmade, Woocommerce, Shopify, Instagram, and our favorite, in-person markets.

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