When Facebook Shops was introduced in May 2020, it was meant to be a tool to enable small businesses to sell products directly inside Facebook. However, some of the larger brands are benefiting as well because they find that the platform is a useful showroom for their wares that drives people to their own stores in order to complete purchases.
Facebook allows merchants to make use of several different payment options, including PayPal and Shopify’s Shop Pay. However, the social media giant also allows Facebook Shops to link out to third-party websites. By making use of this capability, brands are utilising their Shop as a top-of-funnel tool as opposed to a place to transact despite Facebook’s encouragement to transact within its own apps.
What Is Facebook Shops?
Facebook Shops is a free tool which allows business page admins to create a Facebook or Instagram-based mobile-optimised online store which highlights products or collections of items.
According to Facebook, setting up a Shop is simple and can be done on a desktop. Once a Shop is created, Facebook or Instagram Business Page followers on desktop or mobile platforms can visit the same universal store and make purchases from the app’s they’re on.
On top of linking to business pages on Instagram and Facebook, Shops can also be integrated into a Facebook Business account’s Messenger or a WhatsApp Business account so audiences on all major Facebook platforms can make purchases.
What Are The Benefits Of Facebook Shops?
At the moment, Facebook Shops is limited to a small number of businesses that use Page Shops. In the near future, that will expand and more Facebook Page shops will be converted to the new-look Facebook Shops.
Besides creating a Facebook merchant account and then connecting third-party platforms such as Shopify, there isn’t anything unique about the sign-up process. According to Facebook’s policies, not every business needs to be verified in order to have a Shop page. The incentive for verification is extra features such as showing a confirmed page owner or using developer tools.
Facebook wants to expand business opportunities for as many SMMEs as possible. Many have used Facebook to start selling merchandise for the first time because of COVID-19 and are reaching customers outside of their local area. While Facebook Shops can help SMMEs to get through this time, they need to remain careful and leverage Facebook’s existing reporting features in order to prevent bad actors from piggybacking on this positive move.
Facebook Shops will do a lot to help struggling SMMEs through this difficult economic time. The programme is quite small at the moment now, but brands should keep an eye on the situation in order to safeguard their interests as well as ensure that they reap the benefits of this exciting new feature.
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