Facebook is testing a feature that will help merchants to increase their sales. The new feature will let merchants live demo the items for viewers. Customers can screenshot something they want to buy and use Messenger to send it to the seller, who can then request payment right through the chat app.
The feature is currently being tested in Thailand, where a community of independent sellers has recently taken to Facebook Live to sell a variety of products, from cosmetics to handbags and other fashion items.
Merchants would schedule regular streams to showcase new products and model them to would-be buyers or offer special incentives for free items if users shared their live streams onto their news feeds. (I know because I see family members in Thailand do it rather regularly.) “Thailand is one of our most active Marketplace communities” Mayank Yadav, Facebook’s product manager for Marketplace, told TechCrunch.
Now it’s running the Live shopping test, which allows Pages to notify fans that they’re broadcasting to “showcase products and connect with your customers.” Merchants can take reservations and request payments through Messenger.
It also says it’s working closely with its test partners to gather feedback and iterate on the live video shopping experience, which would seem to indicate it’s interested in opening the feature more widely if it performs well.