Facebook Discovery Commerce is about to change everything

The internet is all about searching. Starting with Netscape, then Yahoo and now Google – it’s always been about searching for the things you want. Chances are if you’re into something, there will be someone else on the planet that’s into it too. But one of you needs to create a website about that topic so the other person can find you. However, Facebook is about to change how products and services are found with something called Facebook Discovery Commerce. Instead of you searching for a specific product, when you log into Facebook the platform will feed you the products or services you are likely to be interested in. In a nutshell, it’s a bit like the Spotify algorithm suggesting possible songs for your playlist.

Like most of the internet, websites are going the way of machine learning. It started with just having a website. Then social media began to go gang-busters after 2011, and now websites became web applications. This allowed a business owner to run the majority of their admin from the website itself. The most efficient businesses run their admin from cloud-based web applications. The next step is machine learning, which allows cloud-based systems to anticipate demand. (Thus our interest in creating the Bookable CRM project).

What this means for you as a Business Owner

In the future, when facebook discovery commerce gains some legs, it’s going to become a lot more difficult to break into business or expand into new markets. I’m sure within the algorithm there will be some sort of ranking system, and those products that match your psychographic profile with the least amount of historical clicks will probably fall to the bottom. As a new business owner, this means that your product may never be found, or found even more rarely than what you get through organic search now.

How do you counter-act this?  Know your market.  Get very good at psychographic profiles of your audience.  We have a psychographic matrix you can download for free here, to get yourself started. You are going to need to know everything you can about your audience, what makes them interested, and most importantly WHEN they are going to need your product in their journey. Getting ahead of this now, will put your business in a good place of not having to play catch-up later.

What this means for the market

Much like we are seeing the polarization of opinions in a social and political context due to social media, Facebook Discovery Commerce (FDC) will cause polarization with products. Social media has changed how societies as a whole and individuals formulate opinions by using algorithms.  They may not even necessarily agree with such topics, but the algorithm reaches it’s goal by you clicking or staying on the platform. The same will be true with FDC. You will receive products to your feed based on your psychographic profile of past clicks and related products.  You won’t have a need to search any longer. This polarization in a market will manifest itself not by social behaviors, but through monopolies.

Perhaps this brings us one step closer to just thinking about something and amazon shipping it out a few minutes later. God knows what will happen if I’m in a dithery mood, or what this will do for choice. Let’s hope the businesses of the future have a robust return policy. Whatever the case, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that Facebook is only the first. Google and Amazon will be sure to follow and are probably already working on a more competitive “solution”. The hope is that individual search capability never goes away – but that may depend more on consumer preference than anything else. It’s a question of whether people will choose choice over convenience – an interesting philosophical dilemma.