Besides chatting with friends, you can also use Facebook Messenger to play games, communicate with brands, and get customer service support. As of this week, you can also make actual purchases within Facebook Messenger, at least as far as Shopify is concerned. Namely, the Canadian e-commerce giant has just announced support for Facebook Messenger shopping. This feature is possible thanks to the Shopify's Messenger sales channel which can be accessed from the company's Facebook page and lists its entire catalog of products. Besides images and succinct descriptions of products, you can also get additional help by conversing with the company's representatives directly through Messenger, which is something Shopify has allowed for a while now.
While purchases are completed through Shopify's website, the site actually works within Messenger so you can theoretically buy whatever you want without leaving the app. You can also use Facebook's instant messaging (IM) app to receive order tracking and shipping updates from Shopify and will soon be able to pick through a variety of different payment options as the company takes advantage of the latest Messenger 1.2 platform update. The Ottawa-based online retailer has definitely demonstrated a lot of creative thinking with this feature though it remains to be seen how will it proceed from here. Of course, there's still no concrete info on how lucrative Messenger shopping even is though there's little doubt that it does wonders in terms of customer reach.
Is shopping within Facebook Messenger and similar IM apps the future of e-commerce? Facebook certainly hopes it is. The social media giant has recently been working on a whole lot of Messenger features designed to improve user retention and further increase the app's user base by diversifying its capabilities. The aforementioned 1.2 platform update added a whole lot of features for developers to play with, the company is currently testing a Messenger feature similar to Snapchat Stories in Poland, and the quality of voice and video calling has been significantly increased in recent months. While some may not agree with this diversification strategy, it can't be denied that it brings results as Messenger already passed the one billion users milestone back in July and shows no real signs of slowing down.