The acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp by Facebook not so long ago led to a lot of speculation about what this meant in the social media industry. Well, now it looks like it just might pay off for business owners. In an announcement on Twitter… Don’t you just love how rivals come together for the good of everyone… Facebook announced ‘Shops’. A platform for businesses where they can set up a single online store on Facebook, Instagram and soon Messenger and WhatsApp.
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
The shift to online businesses especially during this pandemic has become prudent for all business owners, small and big. Facebook aims to make it an easy and smooth transition to online shopping, both for the business and customer.
During a Livestream, CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the new feature. Here’s how it works. A Shop would function on a business‘s page or profile. From here, a customer can browse through the business’ collection of goods. In theory, a business could have their whole shopping mechanism on Facebook. The businesses can be discovered either on their Facebook or Instagram profiles or from stories and ads.
According to Facebook, setting up your shop is pretty easy. ‘Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple.’ Businesses can:
- Choose the products they want to feature from their catalogue
- Customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand.
- Bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.
As for customers, with the integration of WhatsApp on the way, you will be able to chat with and give your feedback to the business owners directly.
Instagram Shop…coming this summer to the US 👛🙌 https://t.co/JXEGk80myq
— Instagram (@instagram) May 19, 2020
Once it rolls out on Instagram at around the last quarter of the year, they will also introduce live shopping. Where sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalogue before going live. Those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.
According to a survey by Facebook itself, a third of small business owners reported they wouldn’t be able to reopen due to a lack of income. More than half even said they won’t be able to retire their staff. In light of this, during the Livestream, Zuckerberg said that this would help stores keep a steady income and allow them to re-open when the lockdown lifts.