Facebook and Instagram roll out Shops, turning business profiles into storefronts – ProWellTech
Starting today, you will be able to browse and purchase products directly from a company’s Facebook Instagram page or profile.
Both Facebook and Instagram has already supported a certain level of e-commerce – for example, Facebook has its own Marketplace and will likely make a bigger boost through its Libra cryptocurrency initiative, while Instagram allows users to purchase products featured in posts and announcements. But the company’s new tools go further, allowing companies to create a full-fledged Facebook store.
After all, the pandemic has probably made consumers even more likely to treat Facebook and Instagram profiles as the source of reference information on local restaurants and shops – if your favorite store has changed the time or switched to online delivery / home collection, they have almost certainly published posts on Facebook or Instagram. So why not allow visitors to shop without leaving the Facebook and Instagram apps?
It is also worth mentioning that the economic fallout from the pandemic is already damaging and killing many small businesses – companies that publish and advertise on Facebook. So the company has a stake in helping those companies survive in any way they can.
Today, in a Facebook Live session, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described this as a way to help companies suffering from COVID-19, although he acknowledged that it will not “undo all economic damage.”
He also suggested that this will remain useful after the pandemic: “I think we will continue to live more of our lives online and do more business online.”
Meanwhile, Instagram’s vice president of product Vishal Shah told me this as a great global functionality test, with nearly 1 million businesses already registered.
These companies will be able to create a Facebook shop for free: they will simply upload their catalog, choose the products they want to present, then customize it with the cover image and accented colors. Visitors can then browse, save and order products.
Facebook’s vice president of advertising, Dan Levy, said that while the company will charge “small commissions” on each purchase, real monetization will come from promoting more advertising.
Levy described it as a “build and make it everywhere” solution, with Shah adding that “the store itself will be very consistent, both on Facebook and Instagram.” What will differ is the way consumers discover stores, either through the Facebook Marketplace or a product tagged in a photo on Instagram.
The company also plans to launch another experience called Instagram Shop this summer, allowing users to browse products directly from Instagram Explore and eventually launch into a shopping experience from the app’s main navigation tab. There will also be ways for merchants to present and link products from their Facebook stores in their live videos and for consumers to link loyalty programs to their Facebook accounts.
As part of this announcement, Facebook has claimed to partner with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics. Merchants will be able to use these third party platforms to manage their Facebook stores as well as advertisements related to those stores.