Facebook has launched a shopping feature called Shops, where businesses can showcase and sell products online. The move is thought to help businesses struggling during the pandemic by giving them another platform to sell their wares.
Shops will be free for businesses to use with the hope that the service bolsters consumer engagement and ad sales. There will be a check-out function to enable in-app purchases and stores will appear on business pages, Instagram profiles and through targeted adverts.
“Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said in a video announcing the new product.
Facebook launched Marketplace in 2016 where users can sell personal belongings. Shops, meanwhile, is targeted at businesses who want to broaden their online offering. Other digital stores including Amazon and Etsy have reported sales increases over the course of the pandemic as consumers are forced to shop online.
Facebook Shops has been in the pipeline for the six months, and the initial launch has been moved forward due to covid-19.
“Obviously, given the current situation, we have accelerated a lot of our efforts,” said Facebook product manager George Lee. “We’re in a unique position to be able to contribute to the survival of a bunch of these businesses.”
From Harper’s Bazaar UK