Meta’s latest ecommerce push stumbles

The news: Meta ’s latest ecommerce initiative has shed at least five senior executives in the past six months, per The Wall Street Journal. Two years into the initiative, the effort remains a work in progress as it continues to lack some basic functions , including the ability to display products in different colors and sizes if they aren’t sold directly through Facebook or Instagram , and limits on where a merchant can ship items.

Still, some retailers continue to see promise for ecommerce on the company’s social networks given their massive user bases.

More on this: The company, then known as Facebook, began its latest ecommerce push when it launched Facebook and Instagram Shops in May 2020. The feature enables retailers to post their catalogs directly on the social networks. They can choose to direct customers to their websites or to sell directly on the platform.

A missed opportunity: The May 2020 rollout of Facebook and Instagram Shops should have been ideal given that ecommerce was surging in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. It was also a month before Apple would announce its iOS ad-tracking modifications that rolled out in April 2021, which limited Meta’s ability to gauge the effectiveness of its ads.

Building out its ecommerce capabilities within its ecosystem enables Meta to reclaim some of the data it lost access to due to Apple’s changes.

Amazon ’s burgeoning ad business demonstrates the significant value of a closed ecommerce ecosystem as the retailer’s ad business grew 23% in Q1.

While Meta doesn’t break out ecommerce sales, CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted in an earnings call that the company has seen ecommerce sales soften; that news echoes the broader industry-wide trend as even Amazon reported a slowdown with consumers shifting more of their spending […]

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