Facebook is rolling out a new tool for small businesses to sell their products and services online amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses can now create a ‘Facebook Shop’ to set up an online store for customers to access on Facebook and Instagram. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the feel of their online shop.
“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,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.
Users can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook page or Instagram profile. They can also be discovered through stories or ads. Once users get to the shop, they can browse the collection of products, save the ones they like or place an order.
Facebook has tried to mimic the experience of a real store in different ways. For instance, it outlines that just like when you’re in a physical store and need to ask someone for help, you can message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct.
“In the future, you’ll be able to view a business’ shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct, Facebook notes.
It’s interesting to see Facebook expand its e-commerce efforts, beyond its Marketplace and buying options available through ads on Instagram, into full digital shops.
Since people are already using Facebook and Instagram to learn about businesses that may have temporarily closed or changed their hours, this new tool lets them make purchases straight from the apps.
The social media giant told TechCrunch that nearly one million businesses around the world have signed up for the tool. Facebook tells MobileSyrup that it does not have any Canadian numbers to share at the moment.
Image credit: Facebook