Beth Thompson
20/05/20

Facebook and Instagram are turning business profiles into storefronts

For a while now, consumers have been able to shop via shoppable posts on Instagram, where the post would take you away from Instagram to complete the purchase on the business’ eCommerce site.

Yesterday, Facebook and Instagram announced the release of new tools that will enable businesses to create a Facebook and Instagram Shop. This will allow page followers to purchase and pay directly in the Facebook or Instagram app. For businesses, this means they will be able to process and fulfil orders and payments directly within the Facebook Business Manager tool. Facebook Shops are starting to be rolled out as of the 19th May, and will be widely available in the coming months.

Facebook have reported huge spikes in users across its family of apps due to recent events. Consumers are using social media as an information source and to stay connected allowing businesses the functionality to sell directly via the Facebook and Instagram apps was the logical next step.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, commented that while he was not claiming this new release will “undo all the economic damage”, he sees this as a method to help suffering businesses during the Coronavirus outbreak, stating that he believes consumers will continue to shop online at a high rate, more so than we did before the global pandemic.

How will it work?

It will be free for businesses to create a Facebook Shop, however, Facebook will charge small purchase fees and the stores will appear on business pages, Instagram profiles and targeted ads.

Once created, a business will be required to upload a cover image and brand colours, upload their product catalogue and choose the products they want to be featured.

What’s coming next?

Facebook have announced that Instagram Shop will be coming this summer, which will allow consumers to browse directly from Instagram Explore, and eventually be able to enter into a shopping experience from the main navigation.

At some point in the near future, merchant’s will also be able to feature and link products in live videos from their Facebook stores and connect loyalty programs to their accounts.

Head of Social at Visualsoft, Dan Dixon, stated “the next logical step for Facebook was to bring eCommerce into their headline platforms, further removing friction in the customer purchase journey by keeping them in-app to complete purchases. Users are likely to be able to save their preferred payment methods and delivery addresses, meaning users will be able to check out on a product in just a few short clicks. This offers retailers the opportunity to bring their products closer to users by not only tagging live products in their organic and paid content but directly promoting their store through advertising.”

As Visualsoft is a Preferred Facebook Marketing Partner we are working closely with the team on the UK rollout and will provide updates accordingly.

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