Facebook Launches New E-Commerce Initiative, Facebook Shops

Shopify partners with Facebook to help more businesses sell online | Venture

The new Shops feature, will be free for business, but is bound to create additional revenue for Facebook from advertising and other services. "From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you're interested in and place an order - either on the business' website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the United States.", says Facebook. Additionally, Facebook is also allowing users to connecting their loyalty programmes to their Facebook account.

"If you're running a small business or if you're thinking about starting one even from your living room, you have a whole suite of tools available that can help". Shoppers can then browse merchandise directly within the social media apps and quickly either navigate to the business's website to make a purchase or check out within the Facebook apps, depending on the merchant's preference.

The company said about 160 million businesses use its apps every month and claimed that many of them are being forced to change their model and adapt to selling online.

"We're seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time", he added.

People can find Facebook Shops on a business' Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads.

Shops preview on FacebookSource The Verge
Shops preview on FacebookSource The Verge

Facebook Shops allows businesses to create digital storefronts on the social network, where they can host "catalogs" of their products, and will either link out to places to buy the products or allow users to purchase them directly on Facebook.

Facebook, which is launching Facebook Shops Tuesday with roughly one million businesses on board, says that it anticipates that it will be a boon to small merchants, many of which are adjusting alongside their customers to doing more business online as storefronts remain closed due to legal restrictions and safety concerns.

Eventually, Zuckerberg says, these Shops will be accessible across the Facebook family, including Messenger and WhatsApp, giving retailers a way to reach Facebook's almost 3 billion users with one product catalog. Through this, they will be able to easily track their points and rewards. They will also be able to tag products during Facebook and Instagram livestreams, so customers can click through to ordering pages. "People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks". "So rather than charge businesses for Shops, we know that Shops are valuable for businesses".

Facebook has partnered with Checkout, which will complete transactions on the site.

The company also plans to combine live video with shopping - a feature that's coming to Instagram and Facebook "in the coming months" - which will essentially enable an influencer-lead version of QVC. A limited number of shops are now live, with the product rolling out more widely soon.

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