The pandemic has made people change a lot of stubborn habits; the change from conventional to online shopping is one.
A lot of people are shifting towards e-commerce due to the pandemic and, very rightly judging the consumer mindset, Facebook has rolled out a major feature.
‘Facebook shops’ allow the businesses to turn their business profiles into their storefronts on Facebook and Instagram. This is indeed a generous step by Facebook to allow businesses to grow online.
The company plans on utilizing the full potential of their direct messaging platforms like Messenger and Whatsapp to make shopping online as pleasant an experience as possible.
It is also very brave of Facebook to go up against tech giants like Amazon that already have great hold in the market. What Facebook has done so cleverly is that it has integrated social media with e-commerce, making online shopping feel like shopping with friends in the mall. It is not only getting people to spend more time on its platforms, it is also earning a lot of revenue in ad dollars by helping a lot of small businesses.
The idea of integrating e-commerce with social media isn’t new to Facebook. The platform has a ‘Marketplace’ where sellers can interact with buyers and make purchases. Instagram has a similar ‘Checkout’ option. It also promotes young businesses with ads and business pages.
Facebook Shops lets businesses have a single business front across all Facebook platforms, making it very easy to manage. Facebook also gives these businesses tons of customization options to better appeal to their customers. What Facebook has done is that it has enabled a single business with so many platforms to interact with customers and still kept it simple and manageable at the back end.
Another area where Facebook Shops shines is that it stores the users’ payment credentials in the same place and they can still make purchases across all Facebook platforms.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook, has called this pandemic “the biggest economic shock” that people have felt in their lifetime. Facebook has already done a lot in helping small businesses grow. These shops are free to set up and easy to maintain, and that is quite the package for small businesses struggling with the pandemic. Getting reach is also easy through stories, they last 24 hours and are available across all platforms.
Facebook has been in hot waters regarding privacy in the past; although, it has made it clear in a blog post that no identifiable information shall be shared. The company will only share aggregated data to keep a track of its business and traffic.
Shops has begun to roll out in the United States and is soon coming to Instagram. Facebook also plans to add a shopping cart to its navigation bar. The main idea behind this feature is to create a “strong open ecosystem”of business tools.
While health concerns posed by the pandemic are of utmost importance, the economic aftershocks are also expected to be felt for quite a while. A lot of small business are hanging on by a thread in these difficult times and Facebook Shops is without a doubt quite the morale boost for them.