Facebook Rolls Out Small Business Shop Feature

Facebook launches ecommerce platform

The past few months have seen more and more people turn to online shopping, and many businesses have now shifted their attention to ecommerce. After all, if you can do everything from play at a mobile casino to order food, why shouldn’t you buy all your essentials – and non-essentials online too? In response to this, Facebook is rolling out a new Shops feature that should make selling and buying goods online easier for all concerned. 

According to the social networking giant, the new feature will also be accessible on Instagram. The company added that the Facebook Shops feature, which launched in May, can direct users to the small businesses’ websites, and it allows for in-app purchases.

The company said that approximately one million businesses had expressed interest in the feature, many of which are small businesses that, like their customers, are having to navigate difficult circumstances due to the global health crisis.

A Closer Look At The Feature

Quoted in a report about the new Shops feature, the company’s vice president of adverts and business platform, Dan Levy said that merchants can set up a Facebook Shop for free. The company would also not charge merchants for sending users from the social media platform to their own websites.

However, the company will charge merchants a payment processing fee if customers make purchases using Facebook’s checkout option. In addition to the processing fees, Levy said the company also expects to generate some income through the sale of Facebook ads to businesses that use the feature.

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Buying online

Businesses that use the feature can upload catalogues to their Shops, and to group various products into sets or collections, which makes it easier for potential customers to browse their wares. There also are customisable elements that businesses can use to personalise their Shops, such as uploading cover images and selecting a colour scheme that matches the brand colours. The company said it is working with eCommerce platforms such as Shopify to make it possible for merchants to set up Facebook Shops from their accounts on those platforms.

While it is not yet a feature of Facebook Shops, the company is developing the means to allow businesses to highlight products during live streams on the platform. If the current thrust continues through to the launch of the option, it will display the selected products below live streamed content on Facebook as well as on Instagram. Among other possible future developments are loyalty programmes, as well as the inclusion of shopping features on Messenger and Whatsapp.

Works With Instagram

Facebook Shops will work in conjunction with Instagram in other ways. According to reports, users of the photo editing app can use the Explore tab to access shopping recommendations.

The personalised recommendations will be a result of Facebook algorithms that make suggestions based on the accounts followed by users, as well as previous Facebook Shops activity and browser history. This is set to be introduced to the Instagram app in June, July, or August.

Setting Up A Facebook Shop

Merchants can follow a relatively simple 5-step process to set up a Facebook Shop. However, before doing that, they should ensure that they meet a few requirements.

Before they can set up a Shop, merchants will need a Facebook account as well as a Facebook page for their business. Their businesses must sell physical goods, as the new feature does not support downloadable or digital products. Merchants also will need to agree to the relevant terms and conditions, and they will need to provide a tax number as well as a link to an active bank account

When it comes to setting up a Facebook Shop, merchants first will need to go to their business’ Page, where they can select the Shop page option. Next, merchants can enter the details of their shop, such as a description of what it sells as well as contact details. After adding details to the page, merchants can configure the payment options, and then they can upload a catalogue of products. The final step is to manage their orders.

According to Levy, the concept behind the Facebook Shop feature isn’t exactly new. He explained that the company had explored various options and products on Facebook as well as on Instagram. Levy added that the company accelerated the new feature due to requests it had received from its clients.

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