On 19th May, Mark Zuckerberg announced through Facebook “We’re launching Facebook Shops today – the basic idea is that any small business can easily start a shop (online store) to sell things directly across our apps. If you visit someone’s shop, you’ll be able to see that small business’s story, see their featured products, and buy them in our apps.”

Facebook Shops, new e-commerce service from Facebook, with the primary aim of helping smaller businesses and brands, allows them to sell directly from the Facebook platform. Facebook Shop, which has already partnered with third-party services, including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics, are designed to turn Facebook into a top-tier shopping destination.

During this Pandemic, thousands of small businesses are struggling and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online. Facebook Shops will provide customers with a seamless shopping experience and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand.

Is Facebook Shop Free to open?

Creating a Facebook shop is free and simple. Businesses can set up a single online store for customers from their Facebook page or Instagram profile, and customers can access the products via both Facebook and Instagram, or discover the products through stories or ads. Let’s have a look on the below a Facebook Shop example.

Facebook Shop Example

How can i create a Facebook shop and sell products?

In a Facebook Shop, Customers can then browse the full collection of products; save the ones they are interested in, place an order and checkout – just like in a regular e-commerce purchase platform. On the other hand, businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their Facebook shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand. This allows any seller, regardless of size or budget of the shop, to bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them. 

Customers will also be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries and more. Facebook also plans to enable a customer to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct.

Moreover, Zuckerberg says “we’ll also be launching new Live shopping features across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time. Lastly, in the near future, Shops will use our AI and augmented reality tech to create better shopping experiences. We’ll automatically identify and tag products in feeds so people can easily click-through to purchase when they find things they like”. This whole list of add-ons culminate into a powerful user experience and businesses can decide how well they want to serve their customers.

This means small businesses will be able to customize their storefronts in a dynamic way that first show products that are most relevant to customers and use augmented reality to let them virtually try on things like sunglasses, lipstick or makeup to see how they might look on them even before buying, or what furniture might look like in their room.

Lastly, Mark Zuckerberg says “We hope these tools can relieve some of the pressure small businesses are facing right now and help businesses of all sizes prepare for the future”.

“Facebook Shops” is the biggest step Facebook has taken to enable e-commerce across their family of apps. From ‘Connecting to friends and family’ to ‘Connecting to products and brands’, Facebook has taken a giant leap towards e-commerce – one that could rattle even the strongest of competitors and the timing of the launch could not be more perfect.

What do you think of the features of Facebook Shops? Let us know in the comments!

The writer is a sophomore in Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.

You can reach him: [email protected]

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