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May 28, 2020

Facebook & Instagram Launch “Shops” to Promote E-Commerce

Facebook Shops is the latest e-commerce feature designed to help small businesses through the coronavirus crisis. Businesses will be able to set up “Shops”, or online stores, on Facebook and Instagram platform to sell products.

Facebook hopes that moving online will help small businesses around the world make it through the pandemic. Rather than stopping operations completely, companies will be able to connect with consumers and sell products through Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

facebook and instagram shops

Setting up your Shop

Small business owners can build “Shops” on their Facebook Business Page or Instagram profile. Just like in-person stores, these shops come complete with an entire catalog of products and services for consumers to browse and purchase. As an online store, users have the added benefit of being able to save and share items.

Not only are Facebook Shops completely free, but they are also completely customizable. Small businesses can upload a cover image and choose featured products to highlight from their catalog. Companies can even choose accent colors and color schemes to match their brand identity.

Brand identity encompasses all the visible elements of a brand, including logos, colors, typography, and messaging. These design elements help build and distinguish the company in the consumer’s mind. Without brand identity, users would not be able to successfully recognize a company or its products.

Facebook has also announced that it will be partnering with a variety of distinguished e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, and Feedonomics. If a small business is already using one of these third-party platforms, they will be able to manage their Facebook and Instagram Shops directly from the platform. Owners will also be able to manage inventory, orders, fulfillment, and other customer service aspects.

Once you set up your shop, it will be available across all of Facebook’s platforms and services, including Instagram, stories, and advertisements. It is important to note that Facebook plans to charge businesses a small fee for each purchase made through Shops.

User experience within the Shop

Using these Shops will also allow small businesses to take advantage of Facebook’s high-quality technology like never before, including artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

Shoppers will be able to use Facebook’s augmented reality shopping feature to virtually try on products. Since a majority of individuals are not able to try products on in-store at the moment, they are more likely to purchase and return products. AR allows users to see if the product is right for them before checking out. This means trying on different lipstick shades, sunglasses, or even hats. It also means individuals can see how a piece of furniture looks or fits in different spaces of their house.

Any small business owner knows it is important to take any help you can get, especially during these difficult times. Thankfully, Facebook’s AI software allows companies to set up automated messages and responses through WhatsApp, Facebook Messager, and Instagram Direct. That way, consumers can get immediate answers to frequently asked questions, customer service requests, shipment updates. Or if you prefer to respond to each message directly, companies can set up an “Away” message that informs the user you will respond as soon as possible. This is a great way to keep users engaged and happy while saving valuable time.

Companies will also be able to personalize their virtual storefronts to fit the wants and needs of each individual user. For example, you can show your women’s collection to women and your men’s collection to men. By showing products that are most relevant to the user, businesses will be able to improve user experience and boost conversion rates.

The future of Shops

As you know, Facebook is always updating features or releasing new ways to make their platform better. As for Shops, users will be able to do much more than communicate with small businesses within chat features. Soon, consumers will be able to shop catalogs and make purchases within WhatsApp, FB Messenger, and IG Direct.

Small businesses will also be able to boost brand loyalty and strengthen relationships through loyalty programs. Facebook is currently working on creating these programs and finding a way to connect those rewards to the user’s Facebook account.

While Facebook Shops have already begun to roll out, Instagram Shops have yet to be launched. The app will feature a permanent button on the navigation bar for Instagram Shops. This will allow users to browse brands, filter by categories, and purchase products.

Facebook and Instagram also both have big plans for the future involving “live shopping.” Small businesses will be able to go live on the platforms to discuss products. Each product will be tagged to allow users to easily learn more and purchase.

If you would like more information about Facebook and Instagram Shops, need help transitioning to e-commerce, or other digital marketing services, please contact us at (410) 696-3305, email us at info@pinkdogdigital.com, or visit us on the web at www.pinkdogdigital.com.

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