Introducing Facebook Shops: Helping Small Businesses Sell Online

Facebook has always been about connecting you to what you love. That means friends and family, but also products, brands and businesses. For years, people have used Facebook’s apps to buy and sell things from the early days of posting a photo of a bicycle with the caption “for sale,” to selling your coffee table on Marketplace and now shopping styles from your favorite brands and influencers on Instagram. It was the people who use these apps who envisioned social commerce. Facebook are helping them make it a reality. 

Facebook want to give people a place to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying. And they want to help small businesses adapt and make it easier for people to discover and shop for things they love.

Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online. Facebook’s goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use their apps to connect with customers. That’s why they’re launching Facebook Shops and investing in features across our apps that inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier. 

Introducing Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customise the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.  

People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order  either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US. 

And just like when you’re in a physical store and need to ask someone for help, in Facebook Shops you’ll be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries and more. And in the future, you’ll be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct.  

Facebook are starting to roll out Facebook Shops on 20th May, and it will be more widely available in the coming months. You can learn more about how we built Shops with privacy in mind here

They are also investing in features across their apps like Instagram Shop, live shopping and more that will be integrated with Facebook Shops to help customers discover products they’re interested in and make purchasing easier.

Instagram Shop: A New Place to Discover Products and Brands

This summer, starting in the US, Facebook are introducing Instagram Shop, a new way to discover and buy products you love in Instagram Explore. You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks you love all in one place. And later this year, Facebook are adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so you can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap. 

Live Shopping Features 

People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, Facebook are making it easier to shop for products in real time. Soon, sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase. The platform is starting to test this with businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and plan to roll it out more broadly in the coming months. 

Connecting Loyalty Programs to Your Facebook Account

Facebook are also testing ways to make it easier to earn rewards with businesses you love by enabling you to connect your loyalty programs, like the points program at your local cafe, to your Facebook account. You’ll be able to easily see and keep track of your points and rewards. And they area also exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops. 

Working with Partners

The platform is also working more closely with partners like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics to give small businesses the support they need. These organisations offer powerful tools to help entrepreneurs start and run their businesses and move online. Now they’ll help small businesses build and grow their Facebook Shops and use Facebook’s other commerce tools.

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