Facebook Shopping will revolutionise the way consumers shop online
As of the 19th May, 2020 you will be able to browse and purchase products straight from a business’ Facebook or Instagram in the USA. There is currently no release date for the UK, but this feature is expected to be coming soon.
Facebook has had some e-commerce functionality such as Facebook marketplace for a while, and instagram also allows consumers to buy products from featured posts and ads. Facebook shopping will now go even further, enabling businesses to create a fully fledged Facebook shop and connect with existing followers.
“Yesterday, we released our survey on the state of small business, and one finding was that 31 percent of small businesses have stopped operating. It's important to recognise that a lot of these aren't just businesses. They're pillars of our communities. People have poured their lives into a family run bookshop or the local butcher shop or or your favourite restaurant that you go to with your family.’
No matter if you have a website or not, you will be able to create a Facebook shop for free; all you have to do is upload your products, choose which products you want to feature then customise it with a cover image and accent colours. Visitors can browse, save and order products straight from Facebook. While Facebook does say that the Facebook shop will be free, there will of course be a small commission on each purchase. This will be small in comparison to the huge value this will bring to thousands of small business owners.
Mark Zuckerberg also said:
“So we're seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time. And we're seeing small businesses that had online presence now make this their primary way of doing business. And this is going to make up for all of the lost business. But it can help lots of small businesses during this period. This is the difference between staying afloat or going under. There are actually more than 160 million small businesses around the world that use our services today across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. And the vast majority of them use our services for free. ”
Later on this summer, Facebook will release the Instagram shop which will allow users to browse products from the Instagram explore feature and further down the line they will be able to experience the Instagram shop from the app’s main navigation tab. One of the more revolutionary features that we can’t wait to see is when merchants will be able to feature and link products from their Facebook stores into their live video. At some point consumers will also be able to connect loyalty programs to their Facebook accounts.
Facebook stated that it is partnering with some of the following e-commerce giants:
Businesses will also be able to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook shops as well as paid advertising associated with those platforms.
Shopify has said:
“Merchants will get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify. Consumers will be able to easily find, browse, and buy products through a purpose-built, immersive experience in these apps they use every day. Checkout will be powered by Shopify for merchants, with Shopify also offering Instagram Checkout to select merchants testing the new feature.”
When will Facebook Shopping be available in the UK?
There is no release date yet for the UK but we estimate that it would be around summer 2020.
What we’re most excited about:
- Live shopping on Instagram
- Artificial intelligence shopping
- Checkout directly on Facebook & Instagram
- Loyalty program on Facebook
If you’re a small business owner and would like some guidance on Facebook Shopping, schedule a call with us today and we’ll be glad to help.