Facebook and Instagram roll out Shops, turning business profiles into storefronts

Shopify partners with Facebook to help more businesses sell online | Venture

Shopify partners with Facebook to help more businesses sell online | Venture

In a significant push for ecommerce and social commerce, Facebook is launching Shops to bring online millions of small businesses that have been struggling due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"We hope these tools can relieve some of the pressure small businesses are facing right now and help businesses of all sizes prepare for the future", Facebook said.

The platform enables businesses to choose the products they want to feature, and customise the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that convey their brand ethos. From there, consumers can browse a store's collection, save products they're interested in and place an order (either on the business' website or without leaving the platform if the business has enabled Facebook Checkout in the US).

After all, the pandemic has probably made consumers even more likely to treat Facebook and Instagram profiles as the go-to source of information on local restaurants and stores - if your favorite store has changed their hours, or switched to online delivery/curbside pickup, they've nearly certainly posted about it on Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook says it's also introducing Instagram Shop, beginning in the US, to help users buy products they encounter via the app's Explore tab.

Later this year, Facebook will add a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so that people can get to it in just one tap. Instagram is already focussed on promoting stuff and people are making lots of money on the platform.

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Facebook is also working on free tools including augmented reality to let shoppers see how they will look in outfits, cosmetics or other items for sale, according to Zuckerberg. One of the highlights of the feature is that you simply need to set up one storefront - via Facebook. Instagram also allows users to buy products featured in posts and ads.

Stores on Facebook allows any business, from a small business to a global brand, sell your products through Facebook.

The business will start testing this with businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and will roll it out more broadly in the coming months.

The initial stage of the Facebook Shops rollout has been brought forward and extended because of Covid-19.

Customers in the U.S. will be able to check out within Facebook but this feature is yet to be rolled out in Australia and New Zealand. Users can send messages to a company through WhatsApp, Instagram Direct or Messenger to ask questions or track their order. The company did not comment on when Shops will be launched in India, its largest market for products like Facebook and WhatsApp.

Facebook is also rolling out a tool to connect loyalty programs and a shopping feature showing product tags underneath live videos, allowing viewers to make purchases directly while watching.

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