Facebook has launched its latest eCommerce feature – Shops – which will enable businesses to set up an online store for customers to access across Facebook and Instagram. The company says that it is investing in features that inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.
This comes at a time when many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social and economic activity. One way that they’re able to survive is by taking their stock online – something that Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg says they’re seeing a lot more.
“If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time.”
Facebook Shops is designed to make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalogue and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand.
This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.
People can 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.
And just like being in a physical store and needing to ask someone for help, in Facebook Shops people will be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries and more.
Facebook says that it will begin rolling out Shops in the US today and it will be more widely available in the coming months.