All You Need To Know About The Facebook Shop Update.
By kazeem Razaq
Facebook, the biggest social media platform in the world, recently announced it’s intention to launch Facebook Shop update, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on its platform. During a significant push for eCommerce and social marketing, Facebook is launching Shop to bring online lots of small businesses that are struggling due to the Coronavirus pandemic. According to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, on his live stream announcing the launch of the new feature, he said, “If you cannot physically open your store or restaurant, you’ll still take orders online and ship them to people,” adding that “we are seeing loads of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time.” Shops which will enable businesses to open up free stores and live shopping tabs on Facebook and Instagram is the tech giant’s plan to restart the world economy by enabling commerce.
Shops are going to be directed primarily at businesses, allowing them to sell to customers on the app and potentially posing a challenge to commerce rivals like Etsy and Amazon, which have profited from the increased online sales that accompanied the COVID-19 lockdown. Facebook Shops will tie at least a number of these efforts together, enabling businesses to establish one online store accessible via both Facebook and Instagram. A checkout feature will enable in-app purchase.
As with Facebook’s other e-commerce features, Shops are going to be free for businesses to access, with the expectation that the tool will boost consumer engagement and ad sales. Facebook is additionally rolling out a tool to attract loyalty programs and a shopping feature showing product tags underneath live videos, allowing viewers to initiate purchases directly while watching.
Facebook Shops will make it easy for businesses to set up one online store for buyers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and easy. Businesses can choose the products they need to feature from their catalogue then customise the design and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand. It means any seller, regardless of their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them. Notably, a brand new ‘Instagram Shop’ tab is going to be coming to the lowest bar tab of the app this summer which will replace the Activity tab that might attract resistance from some users. The company will also bring shopping to both Facebook and Instagram Live videos. Other features that are within the works include a customer loyalty program. It is the most recent effort from Facebook in its strategy to unify its platforms and it comes after recently launching group video chat software with Messenger Rooms which will also come to all or any of its services.
We strongly believe this is a step in the right direction, particularly for a niche like social commerce that has remained untapped till date. It may be the most important announcement Facebook has made since the acquisition of Instagram back in 2012. The timing is also flawless as Facebook gets to enjoy the reputation as the saviour of small businesses during the pandemic, while also driving up ad revenue and creating new revenue opportunities from customer support and loyalty features. Some have said that this can pose as a threat to the big guys in the E-commerce space like Amazon, Ali Express, Esty, e.t.c.; this could be the death knell for the normal retail store, unless, of course, they adapt quickly.