Facebook has been trying to make a big change in the eCommerce for years, and the COVID-19 global
pandemic has acted as a catalyst to motivate Facebook to bring a bigger change in the system as it
brought many updates and tools to cover up and facilitate the social media mechanism. But yesterday,
it brought the biggest change by launching ‘Shops’ on both Facebook and Instagram.
“Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on
both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the
products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with
a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or
budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s
convenient for them”, as conveyed by Facebook.
Facebook shall bring out a link to a new ‘Shop Builder’ platform which shall be an extension of the
existing Facebook Page tools to the eligible and potential businesses. The businesses will be allowed to
upload their product listings systematically or connect to their existing eCommerce provider in order to
navigate through their current catalog through Shop Builder. They are currently seen to be working
with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and
Feedonomics to cater this process.
The main focus of them shall be to make this process convenient to increase business take-up of the
Shops option. Brands shall be facilitated to build their Shops on both Facebook and Instagram from a
single platform. It is important to note that this option won’t be available to everybody as of now and
involve some related process.
Facebook states :
“Starting today, we will begin a phased roll out of shops to all businesses globally on Facebook and
Instagram Shopping. We will start with eligible businesses who use Instagram Profile Shops and will
expand access over the next few months. Eligible businesses will receive an email when their shop is
ready to start customizing.”
There is no specific information on the availability of this option in which region and/or business but
Facebook shall notify Page managers when brings as in when it shall be open to more businesses.
To give a good on-platform shopping experience to the customers, they shall make it easier to
message businesses from their shop listings, via WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct Message. Also, customers shall also be made able to view a business’ shop to make purchases from within a
messenger stream in the near future.
Facebook is looking after better and efficient methods in order to facilitate eCommerce via message in
India. It is eventually expanding and the connection between the new Shops process and messaging will
make it much convenient for other businesses to opt for this method, and help build a better network
with more potential shoppers over its various apps.
Also, Facebook is adding new video connection tools to provide a backbone towards the eCommerce
As per Facebook: “People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from
shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, we’re
making it easier to shop for products in real time. Soon, sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag
products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the
bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.”
Facebook is also working on various methods in order to connect customer loyalty programs and
specially help SMBs build loyalty schemes within the new shopping options. This would be a lot of help
in providing better ways for businesses to establish ongoing connection with their audiences.
It is noted that Facebook has launched a pilot program of this new way out with Sephora in March which
shall help to provide another way to introduce a brand’s existing data profile with its customers through
Facebook identity. Thus, this would help to gain engaged shopping activity on platform, along with
catering businesses to achieve a better target customers through their offerings.
Also, Facebook is also adding a new ‘Shop’ section to Explore on Instagram to boost the product
“You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favorite brands and
creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks you love all in one place. And
later this year, we’re adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so you can get to Instagram Shop in
just one tap”, as per Facebook.
Facebook is still working to final its plans and methods. It is seen that Facebook apps are on the edge to
get a lot more shoppable by opening to many direct buying options, and a lot more brands shall be
competing for the publicity and branding.
Facebook is constantly working since many years to get more shopping options online. In 2015,
it was trying on-platform shopping with the introductions of Canvas ads, ‘Buy’ buttons with a
Shopping feed which was accessible via the lower function bar.
This was followed by taking up many strategies which includes Messenger bots initiative, the merging of
its messaging functions, integrating Instagram into the mix, and its Libra cryptocurrency project. All
these options were initiated for the advancement of eCommerce.
Facebook is hoping for a better reach in countries like India and Indonesia with Facebook Pay, which
shall help to gain more on-platform commerce. The rise in eCommerce activity due to the COVID-19
lockdowns is seen to exist in long-term leading to change in trend.
E-commerce sales have seen a steady rise and the lockdowns have pushed the scale upwards which
would lead to rise in online purchasing with the upcoming years. Facebook being a highly social platform
would prove to cater this trend.
Facebook is seen to be benefited by its three main elements, which are: audience, offering and
Facebook has almost 3 billion monthly active users across all of its ‘Family of Apps’, and Shops as its
offering is soon to make way in the social platform. The key, and challenging, step is functionality.
Facebook has looked out for alternate ways for the payment methods, via Libra and other means, which
have worked to improve the functionality of its Marketplace listings in order to encourage eCommerce
Facebook Shops can cause a major shift in the online commerce space if it turns out to be convenient for
businesses to create, and if it provide a great customer experience.
This shall lead to immediate implications for brands and also, much larger reaching impacts on the
broader online marketplace.