Facebook is continuing it’s expansion into the e-commerce space by adding new shopper functionality to a number of it’s platforms including a Shops feature on WhatsApp and Marketplace. The move sees Facebook capitalise on it’s growing Marketplace platform, which recently notched over 1 Billion users.

So what do these updates mean? The Shops on WhatsApp functionality essentially allows users to chat directly with businesses before purchasing something from their store. The feature opens the channel for seamless conversation between buyer and seller, giving shoppers the ability to ask questions and query products and specials.

The Shops on Marketplace feature enables sellers to set up an online store within Facebook and include an on-site checkout. The move sees Facebook create an easier payment experience for those playing in the ‘Buy, Swap, Sell’ space on the secondhand Marketplace platform.

It’s no surprise Facebook is investing in the second hand economy whilst it experiences a Covid driven boom. Stuck at home, it seems millions of Aussies have turned to selling, upcycling and trading their pre-loved possessions. Even popular local platform Gumtree is experiencing a boom, reporting 42% of Aussies have said they’re more likely to sell items in the second-hand economy due to the coronavirus crisis.

Not to be outdone, Amazon has recently launched it’s own second-hand and returned goods platform, a new online storefront called Amazon Warehouse. The new service was launched on Amazon Prime Day 2021, a 65-hour online sales event that ran for two days in June. The move sees Amazon compete for a slice of the pre-owned market, looking to take on the likes of eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook’s blossoming growth has certainly impacted other players in the second hand retail space. Recently it was reported that early web pioneer Craigslist, experienced a 26% drop in revenue during 2020. And a total 50% decline in overall revenue in the past two years. Is there room for smaller players, or even the local town ‘Buy, Swap, Sell’ noticeboard while big tech giants come to play in the secondhand economy?

It will be interesting to see how these major web giants differentiate their offering to attract consumers. The addition of new features looks to be a central part of Facebook and Amazon’s strategy, ultimately consumers will use platforms that are easy to navigate and offer a seamless payment experience. Could it be that the days of handing $50 cash to Jill down the road for her old dining table may be over? For some of us, we hope not.