Facebook Shops To Drive Accessible ECommerce In 2020
With the recent COVID-19 pandemic causing both devastating human and economic losses around the world and shutting down business as we know it, businesses are speeding up their online transition. Whilst somewhat opportunistic, this is the perfect time for Facebook to pitch in and announce their entry into the world of e-commerce with ‘Facebook Shops’ geared towards making buying and selling online easier.
Announced by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on May 20th, the social media giant has officially entered the eCommerce world and is all set to provide a mobile-first shopping experience to its users direct from Facebook business accounts.
How will Facebook Shops operate?
Given its prevalence over the past decade, Facebook is not an alien user experience for the majority of users. We all know how it works and what you can do with it. The biggest challenge for Facebook developers when creating the ‘Shops’ feature has been keeping the Facebook experience and seamlessness intact.
Facebook Marketplace, implemented back in 2016, has been a peer-to-peer sales platform similar to Craigslist and Gumtree. The addition of the business-to-consumer Facebook Shops platform will likely look quite similar to Marketplace, smoothing the transition period.
When setting up Shops on your Facebook page, you will be able to showcase your product catalog and collections on the page itself. Not just that, Facebook is tailoring its B2B product to allow for the customization of how the shops so you can make it unique to your brand.
Facebook Shops will allow you can choose the products you want to feature from the catalog and the ability to customize the looks of your shop with the right cover image and colors. It is clear that Facebook has given more attention to customization unlike Amazon, where all product pages look the same.
While consistency is key to Amazon, Facebook has taken a different approach by allowing small business owners to customize their shops. Facebook users will be able to shop on the Facebook Pages and Instagram profiles. You will be able to check out the entire product collection on the Facebook App itself and even have the power to save the products and place the order whenever you want to.
On an interesting note, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook Shops feature will not just stay on Facebook and Instagram. The social media giant is planning to roll out similar features on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp as well!
‘Real-time Shopping Experience’ is what Facebook Shops aims to achieve. Zuckerberg said that Facebook wants its user to enjoy a seamless real-time shopping experience where the products they are interested in appear on the newsfeed and people can easily purchase things in a matter of a few taps on the screen.
To make eCommerce a reality with Facebook, Zuckerberg is working with popular brands in the eCommerce industry like Shopify and Bigcommerce. Facebook is also working on bringing other third-party services into the team to improve how Facebook Shops work over the course of next few months.
And don’t forget about customer support. Customer support is arguably the biggest factor when customers are purchasing products online. Facebook realizes that and is working to improve the ability of the platform to come up with customer support solutions like asking questions, tracking the order, getting online receipts, and more.
Why now & how Facebook stands to gain
This is not the first time Facebook has tried to push into eCommerce. Their previous eCommerce quest, Facebook Store, was also intended to bring in the eCommerce like features onto Facebook, but never took off the way they wanted to.
Facebook Shops, however, is all set to bring in small business owners and make them sell their products on Facebook. They will be able to create their own stores on Facebook and make use of the large user base this social media giant has. We are talking about direct selling here. ‘Shops’ owners will be able to directly sell their products through Facebook and Instagram. Converting these social media platforms into online shopping stores is what Facebook Shops aim at.
The feature will be free to use for small business merchants who will enjoy great store exposure on their Facebook Page and Instagram Profile.
Also, the Shops feature is all set to boost Facebook’s ad revenue for the upcoming month. The ad revenue has been flat all through the month of April due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s the perfect chance for Facebook to kickstart their biggest source of revenue with Shops. With Shops launched, Facebook also aims to compete with Amazon for eCommerce supremacy, which we believe take time.
What will it cost to operate a FB shop?
Well, this eCommerce solution is virtually free of cost. If you have a Facebook Page, you can create Shops anytime you want and you will not have to pay anything to get it set up for you. However, the online merchants will have to pay Facebook whenever they make a sale on it.
That’s right. We are talking about a transaction fee that Facebook has set to 5% of the sale. This is mainly because merchants will be using the Facebook checkout features to handle all transactions on its platform.
How to make the most of Facebook's new feature
The Facebook Shops feature is quickly being rolled out in many different parts of the world for a trial. It has been rolled out in the U.S. but only on Facebook. Instagram rollouts might happen later in the year as the social media giant plans to make Facebook Shops go global. We highly recommend you to check this feature out if you have a brick-and-mortar business and planning to go online.