Facebook Marketplace Expands to Europe

Facebook Logo with EU Stars
`Facebook Logo with EU Stars
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Facebook Marketplace, initially introduced in 2007, transferred in 2009 to Oodle, shut down in 2014, then relaunched in 2016, now open for business in Europe.

The Marketplace service is being introduced this week to the following markets:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands

The service which already operated in the U.S., U.K., and Australia builds on Facebook’s Buy-Sell Groups. Mostly designed for second-hand goods, similar to eBay’s Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace currently does not charge any fees for listing or selling products.

According to Facebook, the Buy-Sell Groups attract about 550 million monthly visitors, accounting for more than a quarter of Facebook’s 2 billion global users. They did not break out how many actually use the Marketplace platform.

“We want to make it easier to buy and sell, but we also want to make it community-based,” said Deborah Liu, vice president of Facebook Marketplace.

Potential buyers on Facebook Marketplace can pick a radius for how far they wish to travel to collect purchases. Most transactions are local, and Facebook Marketplace restricts searches within national boundaries, mainly to avoid language problems, Liu said.

LUKEWARM ECOMMERCE INTEGRATION

For a company that strives to be innovative, eCommerce has been at best a low-key affair. Facebook claims that over 18 million items posted for sale in the U.S. in May, but it could not state how much of that sold as many transactions take place offline.

Of the $9.3 billion in revenue, 98 percent came from advertising revenues supporting the many services it offers. Since it is not charging anything for listing or selling items on its service, there is no income from eCommerce.

It almost seems like Facebook doesn’t care about eCommerce. In China, shopping is a social experience and Amazon has introduced its social platform called Spark to copy the Chinese model.

There are indications that the Chinese shopping experience may fit best with Generation Z or young Millennials use of technology. So that begs the question, how long can Facebook go without actually getting serious about eCommerce?

What are your thoughts about Facebook and eCommerce? Let us know in the comments section below.

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