Few consumers make purchases on their mobile phones, preferring to browse than buy, due to speed and ease of use. Emarketer estimates that on 2% of retail sales are made through mobile purchases. Facebook is hoping to change this with its trial of its immersive ad offering, called “Canvas”. Canvas ads act like a Facebook post, but open up in full screen allowing users to scroll through videos, text, and images. The aim is to allow retailers to host whole product catalogues on pages which load inside of Facebook, instead of relocating users to a separate mobile browser. Users will be able to browse products and select information (like size and colour) before clicking through to the retailer’s site to purchase. Retails including Michael Kors and Mr Porter began testing the feature last month; Target will also be one of the merchants to begin testing the new product-focused experience unveiled Monday.
Facebook is unveiled a dedicated “Shopping” bookmark on their app, which is an expansion of “Canvas”, allowing users to shop for clothes and other products directly through its app. This will appear for a small percentage of US Facebook users. Brands will also be able to showcase products for purchase on their own pages with Facebook’s new “buy now” button. This is part of plan to improve shopping experience on mobile devices and drive sales and may ultimately pave the way for Facebook to be the choice destination for shopping and not just social networking.