Note: We’ll be updating this blog as more details become available.
Times are changing and consumers are changing the way they shop as well. The latest stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to record sales for e-commerce companies. Through these developments, Facebook has announced a new feature to help eCommerce businesses run their stores in a more streamlined manner— Facebook Shops.
Facebook Shops is set to revolutionize the way consumers shop and the way merchants sell, with a ‘social-first’ shopping experience. Let’s dive into how this feature works and how it affects different players in the Shopify ecosystem.
Disclaimer: Facebook Shops will become available for all businesses across Facebook and Instagram over the coming months.
How Facebook Shops Affects Merchants
Facebook is a sales channel that is enabled by many merchants. This allows merchants to add their product catalog within Facebook and even Instagram. Currently, when shoppers click on a product on Facebook or Instagram, they are shown a button that takes them to the store’s website.
With the new (and free) Facebook Shops that will be rolling out soon, the entire shopping experience will be within Facebook or Instagram. This way, shoppers won’t have to click through to another page to purchase your products. Instead, they can view a product within your image, click and learn more about the product, and proceed to purchase the item, all without leaving the social media platform.
Features of Facebook Shops
1. Turn your Facebook and Instagram page into a storefront.
2. Import your Shopify product catalog into Facebook Shops easily.
3. Consistent experience across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. A cart added on Instagram will be visible on Facebook when the shopper switches its platform. It makes it easier to communicate and keep your marketing and sales aligned.
4. Native and fast experience. This is built directly into the social media platform so that shoppers don’t have to navigate away from Facebook or Instagram to buy the item.
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5. Secure and private shopping. Details about the order will be kept private and won’t be shared with friends or family.
6. Shopping tab on Instagram: This tab works just like the Explore page to allow shoppers to browse through different products available within different categories. Optimizing your Facebook Shop can help you increase visibility on this page.
7. Story Swipe-Up: If the Facebook Shop is available, shoppers can swipe up from a story featuring a product and place their order directly. Or, they can view the collection of products and easily shop from here.
8. Live video shopping: Shopping can be enabled directly through Live video. Audiences viewing a live video can be shown products and they can shop through the live video in real-time.
9. Marketplace on Facebook and product tags on Instagram are already available and these features will add to the Facebook Shop experience.
10. Build an in-store experience through Facebook Shop. Add collections, discounts, and more and enrich shopping through this sales channel.
11. Enable loyalty programs right within Facebook Shops. Shoppers will be able to see their earned rewards, what they used, etc. This can allow you to engage shoppers and retain them successfully.
12. Wishlisting: Shoppers can wishlist a product just like they save posts.
13. Personalization: Shops will be equipped with AI to automatically recognize and tag products through photos. Shoppers will be shown items based on their preferences, ensuring a better shopping experience.
14. Augmented reality: Shoppers can test our products and see how they would like it on them. They can test makeup products on their face or see how furniture items would look in their home.
Why are Facebook Shops helpful for merchants?
With such an integrated shopping experience, you can reach your audience even better. The added sales channel will cater to consumers who prefer shopping via Facebook and Instagram. By setting up Facebook Shops for your eCommerce business, you’ll be able to tap into this new audience set.
Your marketing efforts will be much easier, as you can promote a specific product and instantly nudge your shopper to shop the item. This seamless integration between your marketing and sales will help you capture shoppers better.
Since Facebook and Instagram have such a large audience, it is especially helpful for merchants who want to be more discoverable. Facebook Shops is especially helpful for small businesses who are still making them mark and attracting an audience.
This feature will also change the way offline retailers take their stores online. Since they would already have a social media presence, they can tap into this audience by providing the means for their social audience to buy their products within Facebook. This is sure to simplify how brick-and-mortar stores move their business online.
Facebook Shops will also make it easier for new merchants to launch their eCommerce business and start selling. Shops will also allow advertisements through feed posts and stories and new merchants can set up brand awareness ads that directly lead their audience to the merchant’s products.
The added feature will help you align your communication about your store to your consumers. Since your consumers will already be following you on Facebook and Instagram and you can ensure that they get instant information about your store, like time changes for store pickup, delivery delays, etc.
Get Your Shopify Store Ready for Facebook Shops
While the feature is not available yet, there are a few ways to prepare for it. By preparing and providing a shopping experience on Facebook and Instagram, you can easily turn your social pages into storefronts when the feature launches.
- Install the Facebook sales channel on your Shopify store.
- Connect your account and add your product catalog.
- Enable the ‘Shop’ page on your Facebook profile so that audience can get used to your store’s presence.
- Install the Instagram sales channel and tag products on Instagram.
You can read more about the feature and how Shopify merchants can enable it on Shopify’s blog.
How can I access Facebook Shops today?
For now, Facebook Shops is still in the works. If you’re already set up your product catalog on the social media channel and able to use product tags on your Instagram posts, you’ll automatically receive access to the feature when it’s available.
How much does a Facebook shop cost?
Merchants will be charged a small transaction fee on each purchase made through this sales channel.
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. (Shops can also be featured in ads and stories.)
Where can I learn more about Facebook Shops?
Here are a few resources to help you fully understand the feature and its scope:
- Introduction to Facebook Shops for all merchants
- How Facebook Shops will work with Shopify
- Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of Facebook Shops
- AI on Facebook Shops
How Facebook Shops Affects App Developers
This functionality is sure to impact the Shopify partner ecosystem in many ways.
For one, existing app developers need to find ways to deliver their functionality within Facebook Shops. App developers may need to rethink their product functionality to include this new channel. This may include reworking or adapting existing features to work with Facebook Shops.
Shopify apps providing Facebook and Instagram-related functionalities will also have to stay vigilant on any new development so that they can adapt their app accordingly. The Facebook Shops feature will take time to roll out so this is a good time to plan ahead.
The new feature will also open up opportunities for app developers to build new apps around Facebook Shops. So, that’s a big YAY!
Once launched, merchants will need help setting up the Facebook Shop for their eCommerce business. App developers who are already providing Facebook and Instagram related functionalities can offer additional services to help merchants set up their Facebook Shop. This can also be a new service that Shopify Experts can add to the list of jobs they specialize in.
Besides implementation, merchants will also want to learn more about the different use cases of the new feature. App developers should consider creating helpful content related to this. You can create content about how Facebook Shops can be used along with your app and its functionalities. You can also write about using Facebook Shops to cement your image as an expert within the industry.
Using content, you can rank for keywords that merchants are already using to learn about Facebook Shops. This will ensure that
Looking for ways to create content about your app? Let’s talk!
Facebook Shops will revolutionize online shopping
This social-first shopping experience is sure to change the way consumers shop and the way merchants sell.
We hope this blog helped you understand the scope of Facebook Shops. There’s a lot more to understand and there are many more features that we are yet to learn about. It’s important to prepare your store and keep an eye on further developments to help you adapt your business strategy accordingly.
This article was co-written by Asiya Nayeem. She is a content marketing manager who works with me to help B2B startups use words to grow their business. You can mostly find us talking strategies, content ideas or discussing pizza. Want to join in? Reach out to us here.