Facebook is upping the ante when it comes to social shopping, largely in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Facebook-owned Instagram already has its shopping tool Checkout that allows followers to purchase items they see in a post, however, the world’s largest social network is seeking to drive users back to its main platform with the addition of Facebook Shops. Through this feature, businesses will be able to create one shop that is streamlined across all the apps that Facebook own, making it easier to manage potential sales as well as allow for extra customisation with colours and cover pages.
Although this may prompt a more convenient way of shopping online, the social network could face challenges engaging willing customers due to concerns about privacy and data collection and will need to work hard to reassure potential customers that their business information is secure. Nevertheless, Facebook is endeavouring to personalise the experience and connect people with the small businesses they care about, with the intention of creating a “strong open ecosystem” of business tools.
Currently only available in the US, this feature will be arriving on our shores soon and will enable customers to communicate with businesses through WhatsApp, Instagram Direct or Messenger to ask questions and track orders. An omni-channel approach such as this is necessary when trying to be heard above the noise, and being across all the ways your customers can reach out and engage with you is critical for the increasingly digital customer service experience.
Helping small businesses is also beneficial to Facebook’s bottom line, as it generates revenue through ad dollars.