Recognising that many small businesses are struggling and having to close brick and mortar stores and look to sell online amid the outbreak of Covid-19, Facebook has announced the launch of a new ecommerce platform – Facebook Shops. The company began rolling out Facebook Shops earlier this week (19 May) and said that the function would be more widely available in the coming months. It said that it hoped the introduction of these tools would help relieve some of the pressure small businesses are facing right now and help businesses of all sizes prepare for the future.
Speaking of the new ecommerce platform, Facebook said that it wanted to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use its apps to connect with customers.
People have long used its apps to buy and sell things. And now, with the introduction of Facebook Shops, the company is making it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram.
Businesses will be able to easily create a Facebook Shop for free, choosing the products they want to feature from their catalogue and then customise the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand. This will mean that any seller, regardless of its size or budget, will be able to bring their business online.
People will be able to find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, they can browse the full collection, save products they’re interested in and place an order – either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US.
Facebook Shops customers will also be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries and more.
And in the future, Facebook will make it possible for customers to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct. Plus, Facebook is also investing in features across its apps like Instagram Shop, live shopping and more that will be integrated with Facebook Shops to help customers discover products they’re interested in and make purchasing easier.
To find out more, click here.