From the 19th May 2020, Facebook & Instagram have made a brand new ‘Shops’ feature available to its users.
This is possibly one of the biggest developments to have happened in the eCommerce industry in years as it facilitates a new way through which businesses can sell their products online to one of the largest audiences available.
With ‘Shops’, businesses can build a free online storefront which can easily integrate with third party services including Shopify, Woo & BigCommerce to automatically update to reflect the products they have available for purchase.
Having been reported that eCommerce companies like Amazon have had their best ever recorded sales due to the covid-19 pandemic, this new feature could potentially help aid businesses across the world who have struggled due to the pandemic.
Facebook believes that other social networking platforms will soon follow suit and completely change the way that consumers go about searching for products.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced via live stream “If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people,”.
“We’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time.”
On a mission “to contribute to the survival of a bunch of these businesses.” Product Manager George Lee said that the new ‘Shops’ feature had been in the pipeline for at least half a year, with its launch having been brought forward in response to recent events.
Whilst ‘Shops’ is free to create, it is likely that the company will eventually use the platform to create new business opportunities for Facebook advertising as well as to promote Facebook payments.
Rolling out from today on Facebook Business accounts in the United States, it will soon become available on Instagram business profiles in Summer 2020.
Through Business profiles, companies are able to set up their own online store via the new Facebook shopping tab & Instagram shopping tab. This shopping tab will then be accessible for a user/customer to browse through the company’s catalogue and make a purchase via the chat window.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook & Instagram have consistently released new features to support struggling businesses. On May 4th, Instagram announced their live donations for fundraising via Instagram live, which was a result of Worldwide lockdown order.
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