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Facebook moving into e-commerce with in-app retail

A slim two per cent of all online sales are done through a smartphone or any other mobile devices, and Facebook is looking to change all that.

According to multiple media reports, the American social media giant is working on a specific ad system which will allow people to buy things directly from those ads, without ever leaving Facebook.

Facebook says that in coming weeks it will test a Shopping section that will act as a “single place for people to more easily discover, share, and purchase products.” “On Facebook we’ve seen that people are coming to our platform not only to connect with friends and family but also with products and brands,” the company said in a blog post.

“We’re looking to give people an easier way to find products that will be interesting to them on mobile, make shopping easier and help businesses drive sales,” Reuters cites Emma Rodgers, Facebook’s head of product marketing for commerce.

So for example, a user might be able to click an ad from a clothing shop and there see an expanded list of products which he or she can buy right on the spot.

Various firms on Facebook will also be able to showcase their products on sale on their pages, and users will be able to buy them using a “buy now” button, soon to be available on the site.

Reuters also says the social media site has added a new section on its app, which takes users to a shopping page. There they can browse brands and items. The page is set to slowly expand.

“From Facebook’s perspective, they’re addressing a pain point for retailers,” said Catherine Boyle, an analyst at eMarketer. “They will attract serious ad dollars with this offering.”