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Launch of Facebook Shops

Bring more businesses online

Facebook has further developed its shopping features on Facebook and Instagram and has just announced the launch of its latest product: Facebook Shops. Along with the introduction of a handful other updates, this is the company’s latest strong signal of its commitment to online shopping and commerce.

Br24 Blog Launch of Facebook Shops: View of Shops at Facebook
Image: © Facebook

Support for small businesses

With Shops, Facebook aims not only at big brands and companies, but specifically at small businesses and retailers who are struggling right now in times of a global pandemic. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said “This is really the first very major push that we’re going to be making into that next step around commerce,” and described the move as a way to help businesses suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and to expand e-commerce in order to begin rebuilding the economy. “If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people,” he said in a live stream. “We’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time.” He also suggested, that this will be useful in the future, after the pandemic: “I do think we’re going to continue living more of our lives online and doing more business online.”

So, what exactly is Shops?

From the beginning on, people are using Facebook and Instagram for social commerce. Both already support a certain level of e-commerce. Facebook, for example, has Marketplace. Instagram enables shoppers to buy products in posts and ads. Since 2019, Checkout on Instagram is available in the US.

Br24 Blog Launch of Facebook Shops: View of Shops at Instagram
Image: © Facebook

With Facebook Shops, businesses are now able to set up a single online store that customers can access via Facebook and Instagram. The creation of Shops is free. Businesses can upload their products one by one or import existing product catalogues. Facebook states, that they are partnering with third-party e-commerce services, including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics. Products can be summarized in collections, the look and feel of the shop and the products can be customised with a cover image and accent colours. Users can them find Shops on businesses’ Facebook pages or Instagram profiles and can browse through the products, save them and place and order; either on the business’ website or without leaving the app. Customer support can be handled via Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp. For the future, Facebook plans to enable the display of Shops and purchases directly in the chat window.

Br24 Blog Launch of Facebook Shops: View of the commerce manager
Image: © Facebook

More to come

The company also plans to launch more shopping features. Instagram Shop will allow users to discover and buy products in Instagram Explore, later even with an integrated shop tab in the navigation bar. Shopping in real time from live streams at Facebook will be made easier. Brands an creators can tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalogue before going live and those products will then appear on the bottom of the live video. And last but not least, Facebook is also working to integrate loyalty programs with Shops.

The roll out of Facebook Shops has already started, and it will be more widely available in the coming months.

 

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