MAKING THE ONLINE MOVE EASIER
Earlier last week saw the highly-anticipated roll out of Facebook and Instagram’s new “Shops” feature, a mobile-first shopping experience which allows you to browse and purchase products directly from a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, for free. The new feature allows businesses to display merchandise and fully customise their online stores with fonts and colours in order to sell their products, using Facebook’s tools to communicate with existing and prospective customers.
In recent years, both Facebook and Instagram have supported a degree of e-commerce via their platforms, offering tools for businesses to connect with customers such as chat features with WhatsApp and Messenger, however, they have never before synthesized their apps into a fully cohesive shopping experience, open to all businesses.
To help this new development come to fruition, Facebook have announced their partnering with e-commerce software companies such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, CedCommerce, Channel Advisor, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics, in order to support businesses with back-end needs to get their shops up and running. Currently, Shops are rolling out to businesses using Instagram Shopping and Facebook Page Shop, but will soon be available to others.
Shops provide you with the same tools to build and operate your online storefront that global brands have. Using Shopify, or any business back-end tools, with a small number of clicks you can import your inventory and create a Shop across Facebook’s services.
Sellers will be able to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook Shops, as well as the ads tied to those Shops. Shopify said, “Facebook Shops allows Shopify merchants to get control over customisation and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify.”
UNIQUELY VALUABLE FEATURES
Taking to a Live Facebook stream, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, shared the new product developments that Facebook are introducing in order to help the economic recovery surrounding covid-19, as well as their continued efforts to help small businesses. The recent Facebook Survey on the State of Small Business found that 31% of small businesses have stopped operating as a result of the current pandemic; one of the ways that small businesses are surviving during this period is through moving online.
It’s free and easy
Shops is the biggest step that Facebook has taken yet to enable commerce across the existing family of apps. The basic idea is that any small business can easily start a Shop to sell things directly, freely and easily.
One Shop Across Multiple Apps
The good news is that you only need to set up a Shop once! Then, that same Shop will be available across Facebook, Instagram as well as integrations through WhatsApp and Messenger. This makes things nice and consistent across all platforms, for sellers and buyers alike.
Native and Fast
Ever had the problem where you find a product on Facebook, you click on it, and you’re redirected to a mobile website that is slow, none of your details are saved and most of the time, you end up clicking out of the tab? Shops makes things native and fast, making the shopping experience a lot faster and easier to make a purchase.
3D Product Images
As part of their new feature, Facebook are testing out a new 3D image option, enabling sellers to provide a full, motion-picture view of their product listings. Facebook announced, “We’re introducing Rotating View, a state-of-the-art 3D-like photo capability that allows anyone with a camera on their phone to capture multi-dimensional panoramic views of their listings on Marketplace. This feature allows any seller with a camera phone to turn regular 2D video into a 3D-like interactive view.”
With these new and innovative integrations making it easier than ever for small businesses to build and operate an online storefront, this feature is bound to be a huge disruptor to the market. With the previous version of Shops simply being a placeholder for a businesses website, Facebook have made huge strides, allowing Shops to be fully native and integrated to social platforms; it’s simply never been easier to create a strong online presence for your business.
Are you a small business that could benefit from leveraging the benefits that this new Shops feature can provide? If you think Shops is right for your business, and you’d like to explore the potential business opportunities that online commerce holds, then the team at Colehouse are more than happy to help you set up shop. Get in touch for a free, no obligation chat where we can find out more about what you need and how we can help!