Facebook and Instagram are set to change the way we shop online dramatically. The introduction of a new ‘Shop’ feature will make it easier then ever before to browse and purchase products online. Instagram and Facebook Shops could change the world of e-commerce drastically.
WHAT IS FACEBOOK SHOPS?
Facebook and Instagram Shops will allow businesses to sell their products directly to users without having to leave the app.
Anyone selling on Facebook Shops will be able to create their own online store and develop a catalogue of products. They’ll be able to customise it’s look with a choice of colours and a cover image to fit their brand.
Users will be able to discover online stores on Facebook and Instagram business pages, stories and advertisements. From there a user can browse products and purchase without having to leave the app. Users will also be able to directly contact the business with any questions about products, deliveries etc.
Eventually, you’ll even be able to purchase a product within a WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram chat! On top of this, you’ll even be able to purchase products while watching a live-stream of an influencer or business showcasing that product.
WHY ARE FACEBOOK FOCUSING ON SHOPS?
Created as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Facebook realised small businesses were struggling to reach customers while the world was in lockdown. Facebook Shops is their response to help small businesses reach customers globally no matter the weather (or pandemic).
However, the more likely and less noble reason for Facebook’s new shops feature is the monetary potential and power of ‘Social Commerce’. As Facebook has grown over the years, they have constantly researched ways to expand the platform, Shops is an example of this.
Let’s take a look at Amazon: the worlds largest online retailer. Selling 4000 items per minute and boasting a whopping 2.5 million active sellers.
Next, there’s other E-Commerce platforms such as Shopify. In June 2019, 820,000 merchants used Shopify as a platform to sell their products with total platform sales standing at $100 billion to date. Overall: E-Commerce is HUGE and in 2019 accounted for 13.7% of retail sales worldwide.
The power of E-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Shopify can not be underestimated and Facebook Shops is their way of grabbing a piece of that E-commerce pie.
WHY FACEBOOK SHOPS IS A GAME CHANGER:
Facebook currently has 2.7 billion active monthly users with Instagram over 1 billion. Many B2C brands already use these platforms to sell products, harnessing the power of social advertisements to target relevant audiences and interested customers.
Most people find products and buy them because of social media advertisements, however many drop off due to the sometimes lengthy process of having to visit a new website, enter personal information, delivery addresses, payment details and more. All of this and more regularly results in a tedious checkout process.
People want to shop with ease, and if the process of finding a product and purchasing it is simple and efficient, they’re more likely to buy.
If a business can target potential customers with effective advertisement campaigns and allow them to purchase a product without having to leave the Facebook/Instagram app, It would be a massive game changer for the E-commerce world, marketing funnels and advertisement campaigns all together.
IMPORTANCE OF CONTENT FOR FACEBOOK SHOPS:
Being present and implementing social media marketing strategies is already vital for any B2C business, however the introduction of Facebook and Instagram Shops only means social media marketing is even more important than ever before.
Brands will effectively be able to advertise and sell products to highly targeted consumers, creating various pieces of tailor-made marketing content to different groups of their audience that they know will respond well to. Arguably making it more important for businesses to create engaging marketing content more than ever before. Facebook Shops also makes it possible for a business to run without having a website at all.
Businesses marketing strategies will drastically change, with the opportunity to advertise and sell solely via Facebook and Instagram, businesses will move even more marketing spend to social media. It could even be worth creating live streams to showcase products and encourage viewers to buy.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FACEBOOK SHOPS:
The impact of Facebook Shops should not be underestimated, while the feature is still in it’s test phase. Once it’s released and available worldwide it’s likely we will see a large move from E-Commerce to Social Commerce.
For example, even Walmart are investing in e-commerce, securing a deal with TikTok and Oracle to focus on the e-commerce possibilities of TikTok. The idea being that if someone sees someone wearing a certain piece of clothing in a TikTok video, the viewer could just buy it right there and then.
Businesses that already advertise heavily on social media will now be able to sell their products their too. How big of an impact Facebook and Instagram Shops will have is uncertain, but it’s definitely something business owners and marketers will be keeping a close eye on moving forward.