Facebook wants to sell products on its platforms through a new feature called Facebook Shops. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said small businesses will be able to set up shops to sell directly through Facebook and Instagram.
The idea behind Facebook Shops is to bring millions of small businesses online who have had to close their stores due to the coronavirus pandemic. Directly or indirectly, Facebook aims to compete with Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce store. The new Shops feature could help increase Facebook’s ad revenue. Facebook’s ad revenue in the first three weeks of April remained flat due to coronavirus pandemic.
“I think this particularly important right now because so many small businesses are moving online to deal with the economic fallout from Covid-19,” wrote Zuckerberg in the post. “As people are being told to stay home, physical storefronts are having a hard time staying open and millions of people are losing their jobs.”
Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook Shops.
What are Facebook Shops?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg aims to covert Facebook and Instagram into online shopping stores. Facebook shops are free for small business merchants, who want to sell their products on Facebook’s core platforms. These online storefronts will be visible on a Facebook page or Instagram profile.
How do Facebook Shops work?
Facebook Shops will be free to setup. When setting up a Shop, businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog, and they can customise the look of their shop with a cover image and accent colours. As consumers, Shops can be found on businesses’ Facebook pages and Instagram profiles. You can browse the full store collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order — either on the business’ website or without leaving the app.
Zuckerberg said the feature will also be rolled out on Messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook is also working on the ability to shop in real-time. In the near future, Zuckerberg said Facebook will automatically identify and tag products in feeds so people can easily click-through to easily purchase things. Facebook is working with Shopify, Bigcommerce, and other third-party services.
Interestingly, Shops also lets you message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, and track deliveries.
Are Facebook Shops free to create?
Shops are free for small businesses to create. Consumers who want to shop can browse and use Shops for free. As might expect, business will be able to buy ads from Facebook for their shops. Merchants can use a Facebook checkout feature to handle transactions by paying a nominal fee.
When will Facebook Shops be available?
Facebook has already begun rolling out Shops in the US. The Instagram rollout will happen sometime in summers. Facebook expects to rollout Shops globally in the coming months.
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