Facebook has today announced the launch of “Facebook Shops”. The companies new product that will give small businesses tools to create online stores on Facebook and Instagram Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in a Facebook Live appearance earlier today.
Shops will provide business owners with the ability to create a central “Shop” that is accessible from Facebook and Instagram, which will be later rolled out to WhatsApp and Messenger. This will reduce much of the friction that comes with online shopping, such as being redirected to a store’s website and being asked to enter payment and shipping information. Users payment methods and shipping addresses will already be stored. Facebook will then partner with e-commerce companies to handle logistics.
According to Zuckerberg, Shops could become the primary online presence for many small businesses. Including some of the 160 million small businesses that already use Facebook to market their products.
Facebook Shops are free and easy to create. When you start a shop, it will appear on Facebook and Instagram feeds. Shops are native and fast, which means no more app switching. On Facebook Shops, users’ payment methods and shipping addresses will already be stored.
“We are also working with partners like Shopify, BigCommwerce, WooCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics. The partnership will so allow the small businesses to integrate into a strong open ecosystem of tools. That will help them manage their customer journey end-to-end, and it’s up to the business to decide what level of integration they want” said Zuckerberg
Later, Facebook plans to leverage its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct apps to let consumers shop and make purchases while chatting directly with the businesses.