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Facebook Shops: How will they Empower small businesses with e-commerce?

The year 2020 opened Pandora’s box and a chain of mishaps followed. The COVID-19 virus, which was first detected in China, didn’t take much time to achieve the label ‘Pandemic’ and has infected people in 188 countries. Economies around the world have been hit brutally leaving people counting costs and wondering what recovery could look like. Small businesses around the globe have been hit the hardest. This blog post will explain how Facebook Shops can assist small businesses.

As a measure to rescue these SMEs, Facebook has launched Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops as a way and tool to cater to small businesses. SMEs, on these social media platforms, can scale their businesses by taking them online. This new service is designed to improve consumer’s online shopping experience amid the pandemic while helping businesses get back on track. 

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Facebook is recognizing e-commerce as a rapidly growing area and focusing on unlocking its potential. Facebook is making it easier for businesses to sell their products on its platform. This will create a better shopping experience for users and increase revenue streams beyond advertising. “Shops” is a recent feature that allows local businesses to set up storefronts on the platform for free. Third-party services like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Woo will power Facebook and Instagram shops. The shops aim to provide a top-tier shopping experience on a virtual front.

The pricing factor will play a crucial role as E-commerce companies have very aggressive pricing policies. But this wouldn’t be a possible scenario for Facebook and Instagram shops as each shop takes part in this process. Merchants can showcase their exclusive merchandise systematically in these shops. Sales depend on factors like delivery and customer service. Amazon and Flipkart have faced challenges due to managing returns and distribution of fake products from their numerous suppliers. Poor control of shop owners and fake products also endangers other platforms. To solve this issue, controlling millions of shop owners and addressing product returns and fake product distribution requires more effort.

To handle customer support queries, the businesses will use Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messaging, and WhatsApp Messenger. As the store rolls out, the company plans to let customers browse through store catalogs, and purchase chosen items directly from the chat window. Facebook will also allow brands and creators to tag exclusive items from their catalogs that appear in live videos. The company will also allow customers to shop said tagged items from the live stream directly. Talk about convenience!

Another feature that Facebook is working on is to integrate loyalty programs with Shops. In a blog post, the company said that through the loyalty program customers will be able to keep track of their points and rewards. Additionally, they remarked, “We’re exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage, and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, recently advised small business owners to shift their focus towards online commerce and take orders online. He suggested that despite the closure of physical stores and restaurants, businesses can still ship their products to customers. This could help them stay afloat during these challenging times. Many small businesses are now embracing online commerce for the first time. Expanding e-commerce is necessary to rebuild the pandemic-affected economy, according to him. In these times, people prefer organic and personalized products. If the world had continued its normal pace, local businesses would have had the perfect opportunity to thrive. However, with the emergence of E-commerce platforms like Facebook and Instagram Shops, small businesses are now able to establish a virtual presence and mark their presence in the digital world. Here’s to hoping this will be a successful push in reviving the economy back to its feet.

Also read: Google Algorithm Update May 2020: How can it affect the position of your business on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?

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