Facebook Shops looks to help small businesses during global lockdown

Facebook Shops looks to help small businesses during global lockdown

"We're starting to test this with businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and we'll roll it out more broadly in the coming months", said the company.

Facebook has launched Shops to help businesses set up online storefronts to tide over the losses caused due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers", says Facebook. Shops will be aimed primarily at businesses, allowing them to sell to customers on the app and potentially posing a challenge to commerce rivals such as Etsy and Amazon, which have profited from the increased online sales that have come with Covid-19 lockdowns.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a live stream that it is important companies start thinking of re-establishing the economy.

"Our mission is about giving individuals the power to bring people closer together".

"If you visit someone's shop, you'll be able to see that small business's story, see their featured products, and buy them in our apps".

Setting up an ecommerce platform could boost advertising revenue for Facebook from these businesses looking to reach new customers across its ecosystem.

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.

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Orders can be placed either on the brand's website, or on Shops in case the business has enabled Facebook's checkout feature, now only available in the US.

Once the business owners set up their Shop, it will be available on both their Facebook page and Instagram profiles. In the future, customers will be able to view a business' shop and make purchases within chats in WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct. "Considering how deep rooted Facebook is in our lives, Facebook Shops will allow small businesses to focus all their efforts on one platform whilst ensuring that the consumer has gone through the entire purchase funnel with the brand".

Facebook already has a 'Marketplace' and lets businesses tag products in their posts.

As we have mentioned, in summer it will premiere Instagram shop, a new way to buy through Instagram Explore.

With this new tool, merchants will be able to advertise the products they have for sale through the company's social networks, which include Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Levy described this as a "build and render anywhere" solution, with Shah adding that "the shop itself will be very consistent, whether it's on Facebook or Instagram".

This feature will allow consumers to keep track of their points and rewards with retailers.

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