Facebook makes a big play for social commerce with free storefronts

Pic Facebook

Shopify partners with Facebook to help more businesses sell online | Venture

Facebook announced today the launch of Shops, new functionality that allows businesses to set up an online storefront accessible via Facebook and Instagram.

Amid the pandemic, Facebook is making a push into e-commerce with an initiative named Facebook Shops.

"COVID has not just been a health emergency, it's been a real economic crisis that is putting a lot of strain on small businesses and what we're seeing are a lot of small businesses are moving more of their business online", Zuckerberg told CBS.

Thirty-one per cent of small businesses have stopped operating due to the pandemic, according to a Facebook survey.

Instagram, which helped businesses with its application called "Small Support" about 10 days ago, has increased this support.

Currently, there are currently more than 160 million businesses using Facebook.

Once the business owners set up their Shop, it will be available on both their Facebook page and Instagram profiles. "We'll eventually make money that way".

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

Users can seek inspiration from @shop, browse selections from their favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home and complete a purchase all in one place.

The social networking giant also announced to invest in features across its family of apps to inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.

According to Business Insider reports, Mark Zuckerberg's company has been accelerating the development of the integration of third-party stores on your Facebook platform, to offer businesses another channel to market their products in these hard times, which will compete with Amazon, Etsy and the like.

As with Facebook's other e-commerce features, Shops will be free for businesses to access, with the expectation that the tool will boost consumer engagement and ad sales. 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.

In addition to exploring how to help businesses create, manage, and promote their loyalty programs on Facebook Shop, Facebook is testing ways to make it easier for businesses to connect their loyalty programs with their Facebook account.

Businesses can create a "Shop" section on their page and create listings from there. And anyone can browse and use Shops for free.

"Facebook has always been about connecting you to what you love", said the company in a statement. The company, however, is planning to bring it to WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram Direct in the near future. Earlier this year, Facebook updated its live streams to include a donate feature. The Instagram rollout will start sometime this summer.

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