Facebook Cuddles Up To Retail Association
Facebook has cut a deal with the recently restructured Australian Retailers Association that they claim delivers ‘deeper industry cooperation’.
The move follows a Facebook Sydney Retail Study Tour in November where attendees from the ARA discussed retail challenges and the future aspects of augmented and virtual reality applications.
ARA Executive Director Russel Zimmerman made the announcement saying the partnership will provide ‘meaningful opportunities for retailers to reach out to customers, and our collaboration will help foster those relationships’ through Facebook.
Zimmerman revealed that in partnership with Facebook the ARA, its retail members would ‘reap the rewards from a series of events we are planning’ which he says will ‘harness the benefits offered by the latest social media developments’.
In speaking to ABC Nightlife, Zimmerman even went as far to suggest we are currently in the golden age of retail with the combination of traditional retail and online, ‘increasing the size of the pie’, despite retail sale numbers being lower than ever.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, online retail contributed 6.5% to Australia’s total retail turnover during October, compared with 5.9% last year.
However, the increase in retail contribution came despite retail expenditure remaining unchanged for the month.
Zimmerman suggests that due to the wealth of information available online, retail store assistants need to be educated and informed in order to keep up with consumers investigating product details online.
Though even Russell believes this is a difficult goal to achieve in every retail store.
Facebook seems to have entered into the partnership to gain further data on consumer behaviour to better inform their own Marketplace, where users can buy and sell products, used or brand new.
Kate Box, the Head of Retail at Facebook, claims that ‘Customers want to discover and purchase products with the least amount of friction possible’.
The partnership is designed to allow for the sharing of information and insights on the ‘new shopper journey’ to Facebook with the retailers able to their leverage technology to drive growth.
Unfortunately, it comes as Facebook is accusing the Australian, the United States and British governments of demanding the tech giant to remove encryption from its WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger platforms.
The encryption removal requests were made in a joint letter by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, US Attorney-General William Barr, acting US Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and British Home Secretary Priti Patel.
In response, WhatsApp boss Will Cathcart and Messenger boss Stan Chudnovsky wrote, ‘the ‘backdoor’ access you are demanding for law enforcement would be a gift to criminals’.
‘Creating a way for them to enter our systems and leaving every person on our platforms more vulnerable to real-life harm’.
‘That is not something we are prepared to do’.
Luckily for retailers, Facebook seemingly has your back when it comes to protecting your private information.