Facebook introduces Shops to bring small businesses online

Facebook introduces Shops to bring small businesses online”

Canadian e-commerce company Shopify has partnered with Facebook to help businesses operate online via the social media platform. At first it will only be possible to buy from the store page, but in the future Facebook will allow you to buy directly from a WhatsApp chat, for example. "That of course means there'll be higher conversions and more sales for small businesses".

"We're not going to tell anyone what you're buying or your shopping history across our services without your permission, and that's not really a big part of this experience", Zuckerberg said. Businesses that have the checkout feature enabled will be able to finalise transactions within the app, and Facebook says it will extend the new ecommerce tool to allow users to view a business' shop and make a purchase within WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct.

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.

The company says that Facebook Shops makes it easier for businesses to set up a single online store for customers across both its platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Any seller, big or small, can now "bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it's convenient for them". "If you can't physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people", he said.

Buyers will be able to message directly with businesses using Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram, all integrated as they are all Facebook properties.

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The CEO explained that businesses will also be able to tag products during Facebook and Instagram live streams.

"Soon, we'll also be launching new Live shopping features across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time", Zuckerberg added in his post. Items that are available for purchase will appear within the shop. Later this year, a shop tab will be added in the navigation bar of Instagram as well.

Almost a million businesses in the United Kingdom and around the world can now set up a single online store to sell products, with no fee, on Facebook and Instagram. The features will be rolled out in the coming months.

In a statement, Facebook said that it wanted to help businesses get through this particularly hard trading period. "These organisations offer powerful tools to help entrepreneurs start and run their businesses and move online".

According to Tech Crunch, while the platform will charge "small fees" on each purchase made from Shops, "the real monetization will come from driving more advertising".

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