It is evident that the COVID-19 crisis has made it very clear for all the businesses that they need to have a digital presence. We have seen so many stores doing well pre-COVID and now they are closed, the most common reason behind all of them was they didn’t have any digital presence or an online store where people can buy their stuff. With this in mind, two major giants of the digital world Google & Facebook are taking some great initiatives to support small businesses by providing financial support by applying ad-credits to their accounts or bringing major change to their platforms which will make it easier for small businesses to expand digitally.
Having said all of the above, in this article, I want to talk about Facebook recent updates to their platform. Facebook launches Facebook Shops, in some way this new launch is the direct competitor of big e-commerce giants like Amazon & eBay.
Analyzing the trend, the timing of this launch gives them a lot of advantages as most of the population is now resorting to e-commerce shopping, with a database of more than 2.6 billion active users a lot of businesses would want to jump onto Facebook Shops.
Let’s dive a little deeper into Facebook Shops and I will explain what it is, how you can set it up & what are the benefits etc.
What is Facebook Shops?
Facebook Shops are customisable online storefront that businesses can set up on Facebook. This will come under your Facebook Business Page or Instagram business profile. The best part about this new update is that the users will be able to browse and make a purchase within the app.
Facebook also mentioned on their bulletin board they are working very closely with partners like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, CedCommerce, Cafe24, ChannelAdvisor, Feedonomics and Tienda Nube to bring this to life.
How to set up a Facebook Shop?
Facebook Shop is relatively very easy to set up on both Facebook and Instagram. Businesses need to select the products they want to host in their shop, add them and then they can customise the look and feel of the shop as per their own requirement. Businesses can also select a cover image for their store to make it align with their brand.
Now comes the best part, Shops will be accessible through your Business Page and they will be discoverable via Facebook Stories or Instagram Stories, and ads. You can tag your shops or products on stories and send your users directly to your Facebook Shops.
Facebook Shops will allow users to place the order within the application and complete the transaction on Facebook or businesses can choose to send the user to their own website to complete the checkout process. However, on-facebook checkout is only available in the U.S at the moment, they will be rolling out this all across the globe soon.
This means that no matter how big or small your business is, you can set up a shop and expand your business online. You do not have to spend thousands of dollars in developing an app or website to set up your e-commerce shop.
The best part about this is you can use Whatsapp, Instagram Direct or Facebook Messenger as a means to provide customer support which means you no longer need to worry about creating or subscribing to another platform to provide customer support. You can connect with users on these platforms for delivery confirmations, order confirmations, support, delivery tracking etc.
If everything goes as planned, Facebook is also planning to make Shops available on Whatsapp, Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger. Users will be able to browse or shop directly from Whatsapp, Instagram Direct or Facebook Messenger.
Wait…Wait….there is something else that Facebook is working on.
Apparently, Facebook also intends to bring this e-commerce update to their Facebook and Instagram Live, where people can shop in real-time. Businesses, creators or influencers will be able to tag the products from the Shops in their live videos before starting and the products will be shown at the bottom of the live video screen and people watching it will be able to get more information about the products and purchase it.
However, this update will take more time to come…maybe it will take some months before it is available for everyone.
When can we set up our Facebook Shop?
As per Facebook, Shops will be rolling out in coming weeks, as there is no specific time-frame or weeks. As per previous trends, it looks like this update will first roll out in the U.S and then it will be rolled out in other countries.
It is amazing to see how Facebook is updating and adapting to the trends so quickly.
Social Media Marketing is getting very exciting and it will be an exciting decade to watch out for digitally.
However, let’s not forget that we as human beings still need to take care of our planet and each other. Please follow all the social distancing rules and regulations in your district and stay safe and healthy.