Economy

Facebook launches platform for online trading in Germany

Facebook wants to become the platform for online trading – and with its huge reach it could stir up the industry. A new function should enable retailers to easily create online shops that can be reached via Facebook and Instagram. Added to this is “Live Shopping” – the opportunity to sell goods in a video livestream. Germany will be among the first countries in which the Facebook shops are available, as the online network announced on Tuesday.

The project should help smaller companies in particular to survive the corona crisis, said Facebook founder and boss Mark Zuckerberg of the German Press Agency. “It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time, but when Covid-19 came out, it became really critical and urgent.” Many smaller companies – whose ads are important to Facebook’s business – were about to go out and were looking for a way out for the first time in online business. That is why the development of Facebook shops has been “drastically accelerated”.

Facebook will bring data about the behavior of customers to the shopping platform – similar to other offers of the online network, as Zuckerberg emphasized. “We will see which shops they interact with, which products they are interested in, what they buy and so on.” However, there is currently no function for sharing this information with friends, and no one else except the user, the shop and Facebook get access to it.

Setting up Facebook shops for dealers free of charge

The establishment of the Facebook shops will be free of charge for retailers, said Zuckerberg. Fees would only be payable for payment functions, for example – “but the main thing is to cover our costs.” Facebook assumes that advertisements by retailers will increase the online network’s revenue. “Our advertising system works with auctions where a company offers as much as an ad is worth. If we can make an ad more valuable because someone who clicks on it is more likely to buy something, we’ll make more money from advertising, ”he said of Facebook’s line of thought.

Facebook also wants to score by linking its various services. So you will be able to write to an online shop via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or the chat function of Instagram. If a credit card is stored in the Facebook system, you can pay directly with it. In addition, the online network is also working on integrating bonus point programs.

Facebook could become competition for Amazon and Ebay

Facebook with its 2.6 billion users and a well-established online advertising system could become a powerful competitor even for large trading platforms such as Amazon and Ebay. The shopping platform should also attract the attention of regulators – like everything a company the size of Facebook does, said Zuckerberg. “But I don’t think our reaction can be to not do anything new.” Many people and companies wanted to use Facebook’s products and relied on them. “We have a responsibility to be innovative and I think we are one of the institutions around the world that can really help.”

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