E-CommerceTechnology

Facebook Rolls Out Shops To Bring Small Businesses Online

Social media giant Facebook is all set to open ‘Shops’, a platform to help businesses struggling to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. Facebook said that the platform will help businesses to open their online stores on the social media platform and Instagram. The platform enables businesses to choose the products they want to feature, and customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that convey their brand ethos.

Both Facebook and Instagram already supported a degree of e-commerce — for example, Facebook has its Marketplace and will likely make a bigger push through its Libra cryptocurrency initiative, while Instagram allows users to buy products featured in posts and ads. But the company’s new tools go further, enabling businesses to create a full-fledged Facebook Shop.

Those businesses will be able to create a Facebook Shop for free — they just upload their catalog, choose the products they want to feature, then customize it with a cover image and accent colors. Visitors can then browse, save, and order products. Facebook’s vice president of ads Dan Levy said that while the company will charge “small fees” on each purchase, the real monetization will come from driving more advertising.

Users can discover Facebook Shops either on the brands’ Facebook or Instagram page or through Stories and ads on both platforms. They can browse through the full selection of products and save the items they wish to purchase.

Orders can be placed either on the brand’s website or on Shops in case, the business has enabled Facebook’s checkout feature, currently only available in the US.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the new feature during a live-stream. A Shop would function on a business‘s page or profile, from which a customer could browse their collection of goods. A business could, in theory, have their whole shopping mechanism on Facebook. Shops will be supported by third-party software like Shopify and BigCommerce, and businesses will also be able to implement customer loyalty programs in the future.

Facebook is planning to launch the Shops to its Messenger and WhatsApp platform to earn more while helping businesses to sell their products. The social media giant is also looking to sell products via advertisements on live video broadcasts. “People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, we’re making it easier to shop for products in real-time,” Facebook said.

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