Need to Know
- Facebook Shop is a new tab available directly in the Facebook mobile app and via browser.
- The tool will display merchandise collections that are curated by Facebook alongside those of individual stores and merchants, which Facebook users can follow within the Shop tab.
- Purchases can be made directly through Facebook Shop using Facebook Commerce Manager, Shopify, or BigCommerce.
- Merchants can monitor customer behavior directly in-app, using Facebook’s Commerce Manager analytics tool.
Facebook is making it easier for shoppers and merchants to buy and sell directly within the social network, unveiling Facebook Shop, a new retail hub available directly within the Facebook app and browser version.
Facebook Shop, which is an offshoot of Shops, which Facebook revealed in May, is a centralized location for merchants who have set up storefronts within Facebook. Accessible through a new tab on Facebook, Facebook Shops will feature themed merchandise collections curated by Facebook, as well as individual merchant shops organized by category.
In addition, Facebook has unveiled new features for merchants that allow them to better customize their Shops, including new layout templates, the ability to preview collections to customers as they’re designed, and the ability to track customer behavior within Customer Manager, an analytics tool.
Facebook Shops has added several functionalities that allow the purchasing journey to exist entirely within the Facebook ecosystem. Facebook Shops allows customers the ability to purchase items directly within Facebook, using Facebook Commerce Manager, Shopify, or BigCommerce. Additionally, customers and merchants can communicate directly with one another via Messenger.
The new Facebook tools are being complemented by an expansion of shopping functions within Instagram. Most notable among them is Instagram Live Shopping, which allows customers to purchase products that are being showcased in a merchant’s live video. These purchases can be made via Instagram Checkout, which means customers can buy products without leaving the Instagram app.
Facebook’s product launches have recently shown the company’s strategic emphasis on ensuring that users of their various tools and platforms remain within the Facebook ecosystem. Earlier this month, the company launched Facebook Financial, which will oversee Facebook Pay and Facebook’s other financial initiatives, Libra (Facebook’s own cryptocurrency network), and Novi, the digital wallet created for Libra. This product is being positioned as a competitor to Venmo and CashApp: users will be given the option to transfer funds directly within Facebook, by sending links through Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and can engage in Facebook Shops without utilizing third-party finance apps.
Facebook has been consistently innovative in offering shopping options within its platform and via Instagram, which it purchased in 2012. But a number of its competitors are offering similarly innovative options: Google, for instance, which began offering e-commerce integrations in 2002 and launched Google Shopping in 2012, launched video shopping in July of this year. Shoploop, which is Google’s video shopping platform, allows users to scroll product reviews and testimonials in video form. If a user is interested in a product, they can then click on the video to buy directly through Shoploop, or save the product for later.