Facebook Inc is launching Shops, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on the world's largest social network's platforms, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said.
The move to build up e-commerce offerings follows Facebook's launch in 2019 of limited shopping options on photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp.
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What is Shops?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a live stream said, "The launch of Shops is directly related to the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook has seen a lot of businesses either start online shops or get online for the first time, likely to endure the pandemic. So, with Shops, it's helping more local businesses come online. If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people.”
How does Shops work?
Shops can be available on Facebook pages and Instagram profiles of businesses’ . They will also appear in stories or in ads.
Businesses can choose what they want to feature from their store. They can customise the look of their shop with a cover image and accent colours. Items that are available for purchase will appear in the shop.
The full store collection can be browsed, you can save products you are interested in and place an order on the business’ website or the Facebook or Instagram apps.
Also read: Facebook to launch new shopping feature across apps
Your payment credentials will be stored by Shops and that can be used over all Facebook's apps. Shops also lets you message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, and track deliveries.
You will be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Facebook also plans to enable shopping from live streams, allowing users to tag items from their stores so that they appear in live videos.
Facebook is working to integrate loyalty programs with Shops so people will be able to keep track of your points and rewards.
Is creating and using Shops are free
Although businesses will have the option to buy ads for their Shops, creating any business at Shops is free; so are using and browsing at Shops
You will be charged when you use Facebook to checkout. Purchases directly on Facebook will be allowed by some businesses but, to complete the transaction, some businesses will take you to their website.
Certainly, for Facebook there are several revenue generation options through Shops.
When will Shops be available?In the US, from May 19, Facebook Shops is starting to roll out. Rollout will start sometime this summer on Instagram. Dedicated shopping tabs to the navigation bar will be added by Instagram later in 2020. In the coming months, Shops will be widely available.