Facebook Shops for Small Businesses
Facebook has been doing everything they can to help small businesses get back on their feet during the small business during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now they have really outdone themselves with Facebook Shops!
This new feature will allow businesses to build an online shop where they can sell their products to the community. It will also allow businesses to sell through Instagram Direct, Messenger, and Whats App, be accessible from stories and ads, and give you the ability to tag products in live broadcasts!!
The shop will be free although Facebook is planning to collect a small commission on purchases made through the tool in the future.
Facebook Shop has been introduced following Facebook’s release of its State of Small Business Report showing that 31% of small businesses have ceased operations due to the corona virus. Of course, this is bad news for Facebook as small businesses fuel most of their revenue.
Most businesses are keeping afloat by moving operations online. Facebook has done everything they can so far to support them by introducing Gift Card, Food Delivery and Support Small Businesses stickers to Instagram and with the introduction of Facebook Shop,it will hopefully make it much easier for businesses who lack an online presence to set up and start selling.
Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of this feature and how it will work.
Businesses will be able to create a Shop section on their Facebook Page or Instagram profile. A catalogue of products/services will be created to allow visitors to browse, share, save and make a purchase. It is easy to use, fast and can be integrated across Facebook’s apps.
Facebook has partnered with Shopify, Woo, Channel Advisor, BigCommerce and plenty more brands. Businesses will be able to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook shop.Although Facebook shops is free some of the third party platforms will have a monthly cost.
“Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfilment directly from within Shopify.” - Shopify
One of the customisation features will include augmented reality tech that will allow you to try on products,similar to Instagram’s augmented reality shopping feature. If you have any questions about the products you will be able to message the business for support just like if you were in a store asking the floor staff questions. Facebook is also working on introducing the ability to view a shop and make a purchase within a chat.
A loyalty program is also in the works as Facebook explores ways to help create, manage, and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops.
The Shop feature has been released in the US and will hopefully come to Australia soon.
This will be a great feature for those who are starting off and don’t currently have an online presence however there are concerns this is just another way Facebook is taking over the world! Will Facebook Shops become a necessity for all businesses? Will you have no option other than to set up another selling platform for your business? Will this new feature take traffic away from your website? It will be interesting to see how the billions of Facebook users adopt this technology and the direction it will take online shopping. Get ready Perth businesses for this BIG change!
Familiarise yourself with the steps of setting up a shop so you are ready for the rollout: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/238403573454149?id=206236483305742