A big part of Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address at Wednesday’s F8 conference is that you’ll soon be able to interact with businesses via Facebook Messenger, placing orders and getting updates on them all in the same place.
In a session later that day, Facebook explained how — and why — you might actually want to.
First off, it can help you keep your inbox clean, as Facebook Product Manager Rob Daniel pointed out.
“Communication channels are really fragmented,” says Facebook Product Manager Rob Daniel.
Your email inbox is cluttered with order confirmations, shipping confirmations, newsletters, and all kinds of noise that keeps you from finding what you want, Daniel says. If you’re looking for a Virgin America itinerary, you’ll have to dig through all the Virgin America newsletters and Groupon deals on Virgin America your search also turns up.
Moreover, Daniel says, just making quick changes on a retail order or looking for the status requires a lengthy process of going to the site, logging in (maybe going through a password reset if you’re like me), finding your order. It can take a disproportionate amount of time and effort.
“We want to help you guys make things simple,” Daniel.
On the checkout page, where you’d normally have the option of getting a receipt via email, you can also connect a Facebook Messenger account for updates. It will send you a message when the order ships, and embed the tracking information right there.
If you want to see the status of your order, just ask in a message. Or, if you want another of the same, just ask in a message. If you ordered the wrong thing and need to cancel, just ask in a message. You’re probably already on Facebook anyway, right?
For the businesses themselves, it’s designed to be equally simple. It connects up to CRM systems like Salesforce’s, so that the business can see your entire order history with the company.
Businesses will be able to talk to you straight from within Messenger, complete with stickers and the “Like” button. It will look exactly like the Facebook Messenger you’re already used to.
And, most importantly, it’s up to the user to link their accounts to a business, which keeps you in control. This means stores and restaurants won’t spam you with offers.