Facebook has struggled with how to get e-commerce working on their platform. Facebook users are spending hours a day on Facebook, but somehow the users aren’t in the right mindset to shop while spending time on the social network. But change is coming, since last month, since Facebook has acquired TheFind.
What is TheFind?
In short TheFind was an e-commerce shopping search engine providing a multichannel environment to personalize the shopping experience. (Crunchbase, 2015) Crunchbase explained them in a more extended way:
TheFind applies patented ecommerce technology to make the consumer shopping experience easy, efficient and fun. TheFind’s powerful shopping search works across the Web looking through every store to quickly find you the best deal and even that hard-to-find item. Uniquely personalized just for you, TheFind continuously learns your taste and style from your activity, likes and purchases, showing you more from your favorite stores and brands. Finally, TheFind organizes all your shopping activity to quickly see what you’ve been looking for and what you’ve bought, and automatically tracks your shipments, returns and receipt. (Crunchbase, 2015)
So which capabilities are so interesting for Facebook?
Since Facebook acquired TheFind, the site went offline with the message that they want to use all their capabilities for Facebook. But how did the TheFind exactly work and which capabilities are so important for Facebook?
– Product feed technology: Merchants could verify their sites on TheFind’s merchant center and upload a product feed on a regular basis for free. Many e-commerce platforms include the ability to automatically submit feeds to TheFind and the company partnered with affiliate networks.
– Product search engine: Feed management is just one side of the story. TheFind referred to itself as a shopping search engine. It not only could take structured feed data, it crawled marketplaces.
– Personalized recommendations driven by Facebook integration: TheFind started working with Facebook back in 2010 when it enabled users to see what products have Facebook likes by logging in with their Facebook credentials. They provided “Discovery by Likes” for users that sign into Facebook.
– Local results: This data is potentially huge for Facebook! Over 90 percent of transactions still happen in physical retail locations. When users search on TheFind, they can click on the local results tab (on both mobile and desktop) to find a map of nearby retailers that carry the products. Clicking on a retailer’s name on the map brings up the local inventory along with the phone number, address and distance from the user.
Facebook’s new advertising possibilities
Social affinities, location targeting and products shown based on past behavior are all possible with what Facebook gets from TheFind. Consumers could start seeing ads in their News Feeds from nearby stores for products based on what they liked on Facebook and around the web, what their friends liked, or with Look Alike audiences what others with similar profiles and social affinities liked. Facebook could keep the coupon and even the price-matching functionality used to tie an ad back to in-store purchases. At the end Facebooks hopes you are going to shop on their social network in the future, because of the even more personalized ads powered by former employees and data of TheFind.
– https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/thefind#sthash.pAP1eYBX.dpuf, 2015
– https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/thefind, 2015
– http://marketingland.com/thefind-tells-partners-new-focus-is-all-about-facebook-product-ads-122800, 2015
– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Facebook, 2015