Facebook’s introduction of its ‘Shops’ feature is a real boost to e-commerce, one that should have a lasting impact beyond COVID-19.
Social media giant Facebook has announced Facebook Shops, a new e-commerce feature that allows businesses to list their products on their Facebook page, Instagram profile, stories or in ads. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it will make it easier for companies to list their products on the social networking platform, as well as on Instagram.
The new feature will eventually also allow businesses to sell products to customers through the ‘chat’ features of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct, while also tagging products during Facebook and Instagram live streams, so customers can click on the tags and be taken to a product ordering page.
The innovation has arrived at a time when Facebook is re-upping its efforts to bolster small businesses during the coronavirus, with Zuckerberg adding that he was directly involved with Shops’ development.
With small businesses making up a significant majority of Facebook’s eight million-plus advertisers, they will be encouraged to keep actively engaging with the social media site.
With 30% of all retail sales of late having to be done through e-commerce, consumers are finding new ways to get the goods and services they need through online means. The increase is mostly due to COVID-19, so, these moves by Facebook make a great case for the continued use of e-commerce beyond the pandemic.
As the founder of flexible payment options app Four, I see this latest retail innovation from Mark Zuckerberg and Co. as entirely praiseworthy – in a time where businesses are looking for easier avenues to their consumers, this is a great way for them to give their shoppers new ways to interact with their products.
My own business is based online, and I’ve found that with 30% of all retail sales of late having to be done through e-commerce, consumers are finding new ways to get the goods and services they need through online means. The increase is mostly due to COVID-19, so, these moves by Facebook make a great case for the continued use of e-commerce beyond the pandemic.
Facebook noted in its announcement that it has been working with Shopify, BigCommerce and others in its efforts to bolster small businesses. As a small business owner, I only see moves of this nature as positive ones. I’m not alone, as many of my colleagues – start-up owners among them – generally see the overall positives in terms of what Facebook Shops represents, and what it means for retail moving forward.
Shopify and Facebook are increasing the possibilities for businesses to succeed in a time when retail and other areas have taken a major hit. This new Facebook Shops release opens up new avenues for brands to reach their consumers.
At a time when consumer confidence is low, anything that bolsters people to better engage with the retailers of the world is a good one.