A new strategy emerges
Facebook is THE social network. In fact, there is even a film about the origins of Facebook called “The Social Network”. So when Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Facebook shops recently, it was big news. Facebook has always been a huge advertising platform, being in the top 5 most used websites in the world, but the adverts on the site alway lead through to the retailers or a third-party website.
But now, Facebook shops give the business an opportunity to have a store-front on their social media page without the need for a third-party like Shopify.
How is this different to Facebook pages?
Even if they do not operate online, you would find it difficult to find a company that does not have a Facebook page. Pages is a way for businesses to connect with their customers, show basic business details, promote events, and show pictures of products. Some companies who do not even have a website still have a Facebook page as a minimum, which can be linked to Facebook Marketing Partner like Shopify. When products are featured on a “page”, the customers would need to go through to the retailers actual website to buy, so a third-party link would need to be provided.
The difference between pages and shops is that now with Facebook shops, customers can check out using Facebook, rather than go through to the third-party website.
(Facebook now lets users checkout on their site - Source: TechCrunch)
How is it different to marketplace?
Facebook marketplace is not aimed at businesses and it does not give users the option to checkout on the Facebook site. It is aimed more at people selling their personal belongings, so it is more of a listing site in competition with websites like Gumtree or Craigslist.
Where will this be available?
Shops will be available on both Instagram and Facebook, as Facebook owns both social networks. The single online store will tie both together and offer in-app purchases. In the US, Facebook will also soon be featuring an “Instagram Shop” tab, which will work in a similar way to the current “Explore” tab and will likely make suggestions based on previous user behaviour. Facebook have also announced that there will soon be an option for users to shop directly within Instagram or Facebook live videos.
What does this mean for businesses?
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak having such a huge impact on physical retail sales, it’s little wonder Facebook have come up with something that puts them in competition with the likes of Amazon, eBay and Shopify. With the feature roll out coming so quickly, it’s likely that Facebook has accelerated the timeline while E-Commerce in general is so busy, due to people being stuck at home during their countries respective lockdowns.
This is good news for any small businesses that have been unable to quickly set themselves up for online sales, but it does mean that now, more than ever, it is vital for businesses to have a good social media monitoring strategy and domain monitoring strategy. The question is: how will fake sellers end up using Facebook shops? Newer platforms tend to find it hard to keep up with brand protection, so what will Facebook implement to stop this happening? Nothing about the costs have been published yet, and with Google offering free listings, it’s likely if it is expensive it will not be that popular.
Visit our website to find out how we can help protect your brand on Facebook shops.