Wunderman Thompson Commerce Comments on EU Privacy Laws Impact on Facebook's Online Shopping Plan
Facebook has said elements of its chat service will not be available for businesses from December 16th, in compliance with EU data privacy rules, impacting online shopping on the platform.
Chloe Cox, social media lead at Wunderman Thompson Commerce argues that limitations to Facebook’s social commerce offering is a blow, as there is appetite from consumers in that area. But as more companies look into social commerce, they will have to do so with data privacy front-of-mind.
Chloe said: “The changes Facebook has been told to make to social commerce offering is a huge blow, with its large user-base providing the perfect platform for brands to set up shop. There is generally an appetite among consumers for social commerce; research found a fifth of consumers already get their inspiration to purchase online from social media channels and buy 3.5 times a month through those platforms. Moreover, nearly half of 16-24-year olds look to social for inspiration – this is the next generation of consumer, so it’s vital that businesses establish themselves on these platforms.
“Facebook clearly has ambitions to move into the social commerce space and it’s easy to see why. A fifth of digital commerce leaders believe that social commerce would be important in 10 years’ time, thus making it the number one commerce channel. What’s more, with the pandemic forcing people increasingly online – and by proxy spending more time on social media – social media is where the eyeballs will be.
“As more services become digital, consumers will also turn to social media to engage and contact these businesses for customer support and service; for example, contacting brands via Facebook Messenger. Therefore, in reducing the number of features, Facebook could see a drop in shopper numbers and an increase in customer frustration, ultimately hindering its goals to own the data – which will ultimately help it ‘own the customer’.
“It will not be an easy ride for social media companies moving into the commerce space. There’s an appetite for social commerce among consumers and many companies are cottoning on to chatbots and chat functions as a replacement to real-life customer service in-store, but the ruling shows businesses will have to do it with data privacy front-of-mind.”