Facebook moves further into ecommerce with Facebook Shops

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 22, 2020

Although they're powered by third parties like Shopify, Shops effectively turns Facebook into a full-on e-commerce platform. Facebook Marketplace operates much like Craigslist, allowing communities to sell items locally.

Businesses can interact with customers using Facebook Messenger, Instagram Chat or WhatsApp.

The move comes as Facebook expands its core business to accommodate those affected by the pandemic. It is not clear yet if Facebook Shops will end up competing with JioMart.

While the COVID-19 crisis has hit hard on the world economy, bringing sleepless nights for businesses and companies in general, the most suffering are the small businesses.

"We're seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time", he added.

Facebook's vice president of ads Dan Levy said that while the company will charge "small fees" on each purchase, the real monetization will come from driving more advertising.

The clearest competitive advantage is price.

In addition to exploring how to help businesses create, manage, and promote their loyalty programs on Facebook Shop, Facebook is testing ways to make it easier for businesses to connect their loyalty programs with their Facebook account. And for every one of those 160 million there are people earning livelihoods and customers using products or services.

According to the company, Facebook Shops has been in development for over six months and can provide a digital window for businesses to sell their products via multiple platforms owned by the company.

Merchants can establish a shop accessible on Facebook and photo-sharing app Instagram. After all, as Facebook has found via research conducted with the Small Business Roundtable, at least 30% of them have stopped operations during the pandemic, and 11% of them fear imminent failure. "And later this year, we're adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so you can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap". The blog post further says that "you'll be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries, and more".

For the average Facebook user, "this will be a really seamless experience", Ms Amjadi said.

And while Facebook Shops starts rolling out today, Instagram Shops will make its debut this summer in the US. This feature will let users discover and buy products they love on Instagram Explore.

Facebook shares moderated slightly to $229.97 as at the time of writing this report. The tech behemoth announced that starting yesterday, May 19, it releases its new "Facebook Shops" feature across its platforms: the Facebook and Messenger apps, as well as the Instagram and WhatsApp subsidiaries.

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