The Facebook Shops : Helping Small Businesses Sell Online is a Game Changer

Facebook Shop 01
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Good News! Facebook Shops is now LIVE!

Starting today, you’ll be able to browse and buy products directly from a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile using the Facebook shops. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook just announce it few hours ago.

Yes… yes… yes……

Mark Zuckerberg announced a set of new features aimed at making Instagram and Facebook true shopping destinations, by offering struggling brick-and-mortar shops new options to sell to customers online. If successful, the initiatives would make it easier for Instagram and Facebook users to discover and buy products right from the apps. This could also boost Facebook’s business since it offers retailers of all sizes even more reasons to buy ads on the two giant social networking apps.

Facebook really wants us to go from “Like” to “Buy.” Isn’t it exciting? As an online marketer owning a number of drop-shipping sites is a pretty damn good news to me.

Words from Mark Zuckerberg

I just announced that we’re launching Facebook Shops today – the basic idea is that any small business can easily start a shop to sell things directly across our apps. If you visit someone’s shop, you’ll be able to see that small business’s story, see their featured products, and buy them in our apps.

I think this particularly important right now because so many small businesses are moving online to deal with the economic fallout from Covid-19. As people are being told to stay home, physical storefronts are having a hard time staying open and millions of people are losing their jobs. I’ve been personally working with our teams on Facebook Shops every day for the last couple of months so we could accelerate launching it to small businesses who could use tools like this now.

Facebook Shops are free and easy to create. When you set up your shop, it will appear on your Facebook and Instagram accounts to start and soon on Messenger and WhatsApp too. Shops are native and fast, which means no more app-switching to a slow mobile web browser where you have to reenter your credit card when you tap on an interesting product you see in feeds. We’re also working with partners like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics so that small businesses can easily integrate into a strong, open ecosystem of tools to help them manage their customer journey end-to-end, and it’s up to the business to decide what level of integration they want.

On top of that, we’re building a bunch of features across our apps to help people discover things from small businesses that they might want to buy. We’re building a dedicated shopping tab on Instagram and a destination inside Explore where you can find and buy products you might be interested in. Soon, we’ll also be launching new Live shopping features across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time.

Lastly, in the near future Shops will use our AI and augmented reality tech to create better shopping experiences. We’ll automatically identify and tag products in feeds so people can easily click-through to purchase when they find things they like. Small businesses will also be able to personalize their storefronts to first show products that are most relevant to you and use augmented reality to let you virtually try on things like sunglasses, lipstick or makeup to see how they might look on you before buying, or what furniture might look like in your room.

This all adds up to something quite powerful. If you’re running a small business or you’re thinking of starting one – even from your living room – you now have a whole suite of tools available that can help you serve people. You can build out your online presence across Facebook and Instagram. You can use Messenger and WhatsApp to communicate with your customers. You can reach new customers through our ads. And now, you can also set up a full online store experience with Facebook Shops. All of these tools are open for business, even when your physical storefront can’t be. Hopefully, this helps relieve some of the pressure that small businesses are facing right now and helps them prepare for a more online future. I look forward to getting Shops into the world more widely — let us know what you think!
– Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook and Instagram

Both Facebook and Instagram already supported a degree of e-commerce — for example, Facebook has its Marketplace and will likely make a bigger push through its Libra cryptocurrency initiative, while Instagram allows users to buy products featured in posts and ads. But the company’s new tools go further, enabling businesses to create a full-fledged Facebook Shop.

Now a days, Facebook and Instagram occupies most of the time of every individual because of this COVID-19 pandemic. All of us that are in Facebook and Instagram spent much of our time either just looking for fun, news or even buying food or just normal items.

On the other hand, for businesses that are not online close shops.

In a Facebook Live session today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described this as a way to help businesses suffering in the wake of COVID-19, though he acknowledged it will not “undo all the economic damage.”

He also suggested that this will remain useful after the pandemic: “I do think we’re going to continue living more of our lives online and doing more business online.”

Introducing Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops make 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 and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand.

This means 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.

Facebook Shop Screen Layout
Facebook Shop Screen Layout

Those businesses will be able to create a Facebook Shop for free — they just upload their catalog, choose the products they want to feature, then customize it with a cover image and accent colors. Visitors can then browse, save and order products.

How can Facebook earn money?

Facebook’s vice president of ads Dan Levy said that while the company will charge “small fees” on each purchase, the real monetization will come from driving more advertising. (Shops can also be featured in ads and stories.)

Levy described this as a “build and render anywhere” solution, with Shah adding that “the shop itself will be very consistent, whether it’s on Facebook or Instagram.” What will differ is how consumers discover the shops, whether it’s via the Facebook Marketplace or a product tagged in a photo on Instagram.

Benefits of a Facebook Shop

Shops have different features depending on your location. They can be valuable to you because you can:

  • Add as many products as you want: You don’t need to upload a product catalog anywhere else first, and there’s no limit on how many products you can add.
  • Customize your product inventory: You can organize your products into different collections so your customers can browse your shop by category.
  • Communicate with customers: Your customers can message the shop on your Page with questions.
  • Get insights: You can see views, clicks and purchases for each of your products.

What are the Future Plans?

The company also plans to launch this summer another experience called Instagram Shop, allowing users to browse products directly from Instagram Explore and eventually to jump into a shopping experience from the app’s main navigation tab.

There will also be ways for merchants to feature and link in their live videos products from their Facebook Stores, and for consumers to connect loyalty programs to their Facebook accounts.

Facebook Partnership with the Big Guns

As part of this announcement, Facebook said it’s partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo Commerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics.

Facebook is working with several e-commerce companies that make software specifically for online retailers. The biggest of them is Shopify, the $80 billion Canadian software company that counts more than a million online retailers as customers globally.

Shopify recently made its own splash to get its businesses in front of more shoppers, by rebranding the Arrive package-tracking app it owns into an app called Shop that shows you products from Shopify merchants located nearby or from which you’ve made a purchase before. Shopify actually started working with Facebook five years ago on shopping features, including those so-called “Buy” buttons.

For me, this is a game changer.  A lot of us, Online Marketers especially those that are doing drop-shipping business such as mine which is a Beach Apparels would surely benefit from the Facebook Shop.

By Trish Johnson

My name is Trish Johnson. I am frustrated with my weight. I love myself but I hate my body figure. I want my old body. I want to wear size 10 again. I want to wear bikini again in the beach. I decided to do research and do reviews about weight loss programs, products, diet & among others. Please bare with me. I only write on what i know and hope it make sense to you. 

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