Facebook takes on Amazon with new 'Shops' feature

Facebook takes on Amazon with new ‘Shops’ feature that turns business pages into online storefronts to help rebuild the economy during the coronavirus pandemic

  • Facebook launched ‘Shops’, which lets business owners sell their products
  • The feature is an online storefront that can show the businesses’ brand
  • The storefront is on Instagram as well and items can be sold in livestreams
  • Facebook is set to let businesses sell items in WhatsApp and Messenger  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Facebook is taking on Amazon by letting small business owners set up online storefronts to sell their goods on the platform and Instagram.

The new feature, called ‘Shops’, displays product listings in an uploaded catalog that are customized to show the brands own look and feel.

Users can browse through the full collection, save items and place an order using a checkout inside of the platform.

The new addition was announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg who hopes the feature will help business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Facebook is taking on Amazon by letting small business owners set up online storefronts to sell their goods on the platform and Instagram

Zuckerberg spoke during an online stream about shops saying: ‘If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people.’

‘If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people.’

The coronavirus has forced hundreds of thousands of small businesses to close their doors with 11 percent noting they many never reopen if the situation doesn’t change in the next three months.

Facebook has enabled businesses to sell products on the platform and Instagram in the past, but Shops allows them to customize a storefront that reflects their brand.

Facebook has enabled businesses to sell products on the platform and Instagram in the past, but Shops allows them to customize a storefront that reflects their brand

In the future, businesses will be able to sell their products across Facebook’s different apps – WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct messaging.

They will also be able to tag products in livestreams – all customers have to do is click on the tag and they are redirected to a product ordering page.

It’s one simple and consistent experience across this family of apps, which means it is easier for people,’ Zuckerberg said.

‘That of course means there’ll be higher conversions and more sales for small businesses.

Although this will be a great opportunity for business to get their products out to the masses, the move also provides Facebook with additional revenue streams.

Businesses owners can purchase ads for their Shops and Facebook receives a fee when people purchase items in the checkout option.

The new feature, called ‘Shops’, displays product listings in an uploaded catalog that are customized to show the brands’ own look and feel. Users can browse through the full collection, save items and place an order using a checkout inside of the platform

It’s one simple and consistent experience across this family of apps, which means it is easier for people,’ Zuckerberg said in a live stream on Facebook.

‘That of course means there’ll be higher conversions and more sales for small businesses.’

Facebook has partnered with Checkout, which will complete transactions on the site.

The social media giant will charge a fee, but has not shared the amount.

‘We hope these tools can relieve some of the pressure small businesses are facing right now and help businesses of all sizes prepare for the future,’ Facebook shared in a statement announcing Shops.

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