''We remain committed to small businesses and will continue to explore new ways to support them.''
Mark Zuckerberg went live on Facebook today, to address the negative effects of Covid-19 on small businesses, and he also announced the launch of a new Facebook feature; Facebook shops.
‘’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,’’ posted in a blogpost by Facebook.
Facebook Shops makes it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free . Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop. 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 in the US.
And just like when customers are in a physical store and need to ask someone for help, in Facebook Shops you’ll 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, customers will be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct.
Facebook Shops will start to roll out today, and it will be more widely available in the coming months
Facebook is working with partners like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics to give small businesses the support they need.
‘’These organizations offer powerful tools to help entrepreneurs start and run their businesses and move online. Now they’ll help small businesses build and grow their shops on Facebook and use our other commerce tools.’’
Facebook is also launching features across Facebook 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.
Instagram Shop will be introduced starting this summer in the US, as a new way to discover and buy products in Instagram Explore. You can browse selections from their favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks they love all in one place. And later this year, they’re adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so users can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap.
Live Shopping Features
‘’People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, we’re making it easier to shop for products in real time.’’
Soon, sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase. The feature will be rolled out more broadly in the coming months.
Connecting Loyalty Programs to Your Facebook Account
Facebook’s also testing ways to make it easier to earn rewards with businesses, by enabling users to connect their loyalty programs.