Facebook Shops: A brand new feature to promote e-commerce on the social networking platform. This feature allows businesses to create free store fronts on Facebook and Instagram.
It was announced on Tuesday night and several e-commerce initiatives were also announced in the company’s proprietary apps. The new feature Facebook Shops will further improve Facebook’s advertising-based business and hit online commerce companies such as Amazon, eBay and others.
Today we're introducing Facebook Shops, which will make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store on both @facebookapp and @instagram, and soon @messenger and @WhatsApp too pic.twitter.com/bBloRGBFzP
— Facebook (@Facebook) May 19, 2020
In a live stream, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said that expanding e-commerce is essential to rebuilding the economy during the Coronavirus Pandemic. He said that even if people can’t open a shop or a restaurant, they can still deliver goods with online orders.
The feature Facebook Shops has been introduced in a time when e-commerce sales have skyrocketed in various parts of the world, while small businesses have been hit hard.
Businesses will be able to buy ads for their stores and will be charged when people use the Facebook checkpoint option. Small businesses will be able to find users on Facebook pages and Instagram profiles, and their ads will also appear on Facebook or Instagram stores. The products they offer for sale will appear in the Shop feature and consumers will be able to place or order them in Save Items.
Some businesses will be able to sell items directly on Facebook Shops, while others will have to create a business website for it. Similarly, companies will be able to provide customer support through Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, while Facebook wants to gradually ensure the purchase of items in the chat window.
The company has been working on e-commerce features since 2016, introducing the first marketplace to help buy and sell items within the app. Two years later, Instagram started working on an autonomous shopping app, which was later postponed, and last year Instagram added an in-app checkpoint.
The Shops feature is being introduced in the US from Tuesday and will be available on Instagram in the next few weeks. The feature will be added to the navigation bar as a shopping tab and will be introduced in other countries.