The new Facebook Shops will become available to retailers around the world in the next few weeks as the social network announces a range of new features and customisation options. Facebook is moving quickly to roll out the social commerce solution after testing began with U.S retailers in May, followed by the launch of the connected Instagram Shops in July, and more individuals spend time shopping online.
This means both Facebook and Instagram Shops are likely to play a prominent role in online shopping over the 2020 holiday season. To help retailers gain exposure to the billions of people using both social networks, Facebook is already testing a new Facebook Shop section on its mobile app, matching an earlier trial on Instagram.
A further big announcement for retailers is that Instagram Live Shopping should now be available to creators and sellers in the U.S, followed by Facebook Live Shopping. By allowing products to be displayed prominently throughout live videos, customers can make purchases without disrupting the viewing of their favourite social media celebrities and influencers.
Streaming live video is already a core marketing channel for many retailers in industries such as fashion and beauty. The introduction of Live Shopping will now open more sales opportunities for impulse purchases from new and existing viewers.
Other important developments which will be visible to retailers, rather than consumers, include new design layouts to feature single products of groups, the ability to preview product collections during the design phase, and new analytics insights for sellers. These build on top of existing integrations with the largest eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Magento to enable easier onboarding for new retailers.
Facebook is also introducing a new messaging button for customers to connect with businesses through Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp. This will not only allow businesses to provide more personal assistance and customer service, but consumers will also be able to view and share products from within the messaging apps.
It won’t be long before successful features become available globally. Facebook has rapidly increased the pace of existing plans for new retail solutions in response to the massive growth in online shopping during 2020, alongside the other large tech companies (for example, the rollout of free Shopping Ads on Google product listings). Research recently shared by Facebook also shows that new products and services are more likely to be trialled by shoppers over the holiday period, in addition to the disruption triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. What do you think of the new feedback and customisation options? Let us know via the comments section.