Here’s more good news if you’re running a U.S.-based business in the e-commerce space.
Facebook and its adoptive child Instagram are expanding shopping and checkout features.
Why? Because of the pandemic.
Lots of retailers turned e-tailers now rely on cyber-shopping. And wouldn’t it be great if consumers could shop not only from the convenience of their own homes but also from the convenience of their favorite social media platforms?
Yep. And Facebook responded to that demand.
A Shift to E-Commerce
Here’s Facebook’s statement about the new features:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to online shopping has rapidly accelerated, with an estimated 85% of people worldwide now shopping online.
We want to make shopping easier for people and empower anyone, from an entrepreneur to the largest brand, to use our apps to connect with customers and grow their business.
Let’s take a look at the new ways that Facebook makes it easier for you to build your business on social channels.
The Facebook mobile app now includes a Shop tab. Users can tap on it to find products they’d like to buy.
According to Facebook, the new tab “makes it easy for people to find products from businesses they love, discover new ones and make purchases, all in one place.”
Users can check out the new feature by tapping the menu icon and selecting Shop from the options that appear.
Soon, all eligible businesses can put up a virtual storefront via Facebook shops. They can also track the performance of their stores and even send messages.
Additionally, Facebook will give e-tailers access to customization features, such as:
- Design layouts for single products or product groups
- WYSIWYG design features for collections
- The ability to create Shops for new sellers
- Additional insights in Commerce Manager
Soon, all businesses in the U.S. will have access to Instagram Checkout.
As the name implies, it’s a checkout system that enables customers to purchase your products without leaving the Instagram platform.
If you’d like to use Instagram Checkout, though, you’ll need to have a Facebook Shops set up. You’ll also need an active account with Facebook Commerce Manager.
Additionally, you can use Instagram Checkout if you’re already a Shopify or BigCommerce user.
Finally, and perhaps the best news: Facebook will waive selling fees through the end of 2020 so businesses can get up and running without worrying about their margins.
Shopping With Messaging
You’ve heard of the shopping cart, but what about the shopping chat?
Yes, your customers can soon message you via WhatsApp, Instagram Direct, or Facebook Messenger.
Even better, though, they can view products in chat and share them online. They can also ask trusted advisors for their opinions about a particular product.
Keep in mind: this feature is currently in test mode.
QVC Meets Social Media
Ready to set up your own home shopping network? You can do that with a live stream.
Facebook Live Shopping enables you to promote and sell your products directly from video.
And it’s not just Facebook that will let you do that. Soon, you can play Lori Grenier on Instagram as well.
Wrapping It Up
The COVID-19 pandemic really hurt a lot of small-to-medium-sized businesses. Heck, even some large businesses still struggle to generate positive cashflow.
However, savvy marketers found a haven in e-commerce. That’s because plenty of consumers still want to buy products without risking the hazards of going to the local store and bumping up against a Coronavirus-positive fellow shopper.
Facebook noticed that opportunity and updated its platform accordingly.
Now it’s time for you to update your marketing.