Facebook Shops is a new feature that allows you to create e-shops on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Shops was officially presented as a tool to help small businesses sell online. The Covid-19 emergency certainly gave a further push to the finalisation of a project that would link together the most used social networks with the potential of e-commerce.
Moreover, Zuckeberg has always wanted to enter this market and the idea of transforming the audience of social users into buyers is certainly not new. Just think about the marketplace that generates a turnover of 40 billion dollars.
Facebook Shops: how it works
The novelty of Facebook Shops consists in giving the user the opportunity to create a real e-commerce, highlighting their brand. Unlike the Showcase, where the products are only presented but the transaction takes place on an external site, with Facebook Shops everything remains within the social platform.
We can imagine the buyer’s journey of the user who browses on Facebook or Instagram, he/she browses the products, saves them in a list of favourites and then places the order. Maybe the buyer wants to have more information and in this case all chats like WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct are already included in the platform.
Among the features that could be added in the near future there are purchases through messaging channels, thus completing the options that are already present in the bots.
One of the novelties that will attract more who does marketing with influencers is the Live Shopping function, i.e. the ability to tag a product during a Facebook or Instagram Live to sell it immediately.
How to activate Facebook Shops
Facebook Shops is not currently available to everyone, among the eligibility criteria there are: having a physical store that sells products and having already activated the Shops functionality on Instagram, Facebook or both.
From the official Facebook’s page we know that the user will be explicitly informed when he/she will have the opportunity to build his/her own e-commerce by receiving a link.
Instagram Shops will be introduced in the USA this summer, while in the following months all the innovations that have been presented will be implemented.
Other functionalities under beta-testing
The main objective of Facebook Shops is making the shopping experience simple and fast, maintaining the focus on the brand identity. It will be possible to synchronise the collections on Facebook and Instagram and take advantage of the full screen images.
The engineers of Menlo Park are also testing the possibility of inserting loyalty programs with the collection of points and prizes. The collaboration with partners such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics also guarantees the fast and safe import of product feeds that are present on these platforms.
Another novelty in the processing phase is the use of augmented reality to allow user to “wear virtually” the products, thus reproducing a shopping experience similar to the one in a physical store.
Facebook Shops vs Amazon
In 2022 the e-commerce market is expected to reach a turnover of 900 billion dollars. Considering the current dominant position of giants, such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba and the over 2 billion active users on Facebook, it is obvious to think that the future will see a battle among these competitors.
Unlike Amazon, where you pay for both your account and a percentage of transactions, Facebook Shops is free.
A small reflection, however, must be made always taking into account users.
Amazon is the most famous marketplace, users access the site either to buy or at least to inquire about the products.
Facebook is a social network where shopping is just one of the many possibilities it offers. Building an e-commerce on Facebook does not mean automatically connecting to millions of potential customers; but it would be a mistake to miss this opportunity.
The best way to highlight your brand and exploit its potential is thinking about a truly effective Facebook marketing campaigns. And as we all know in this field, videos are able to attract the attention of a user distracted by dozens of posts and notifications.
This is not the end for the traditional e-commerce
Facebook Shops must be seen as an additional opportunity, both for those who have never managed an online store and want to try this form of business, and for those who already have an e-commerce and want to increase their sources of contact with their potential Clients.
However, there are products that cannot be sold on Facebook Shops, such as: services, alcohol, digital products, etc.
The introduction of this platform will undoubtedly lead to significant transformations: users will use mobile tools even more for purchases. They will get used to have a very fast e-commerce and with a simple and straightforward purchase path.
They will expect a quick interaction via chat.
All these aspects must be properly studied and implemented in the websites in order to hold a candle to competitors.