In a bid to help struggling small businesses, Facebook has fast-forwarded the release of its new feature ‘Facebook Shops’ on Instagram and Facebook.
Here’s what the new launch brings.
Pushed Forward by Covid-19
The initial stage of the rollout was pushed forward due to Covid-19, as many businesses are looking online to recapture some of their lost revenue before they go bust.
“Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online. Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers. That’s why we’re launching Facebook Shops and investing in features across our apps that inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.”Facebook.com
Shop Without Leaving the Platform
Up until now, Facebook and Instagram shops have been available but, when it comes to adding making the purchase and completing the transactions, users have in most cases been directed to an external website to finalise everything. Now it will all be done on the platform without having to leave.
“You can go much deeper now without having to leave the app.”Facebook’s Layla Amjadi said.
Here’s how easy they want to make the purchasing process: https://www.facebook./watch/?v=557995641521125
Free of Charge
Almost 1 million businesses in the UK and across the world can now set up a single online store to sell products, free of charge, on Facebook and Instagram.
Why would they offer the service without charging any fees? Because they predict they will see increased revenue from ad spend on its platforms as a direct result of the new features.
It’s also likely that a significant number of the small businesses that face bankruptcy are regular Facebook ad spenders, so helping them survive is in Facebook’s long-term interest.
The Facebook Shop sections will appear on Facebook business pages as well as on Instagram business profiles. This marks the first of a number of changes to the Facebook shopping experience.
Other changes will include a loyalty scheme, that can be used by businesses to reward loyal customers. And a shop button where brands can display their offerings in a visually appealing manner.
On the customer service side, people will be able to message the business on Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. This is something that can improve the speed of problem-solving and in some cases save a sale that otherwise would have been lost.
Live Shopping is another feature that will be hitting the platform. It will allow for easier access to products showcased in live videos such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live. So when an influencer or a business talks about a product during a live video, viewers will be able to click on to the product during the broadcast.