Social media giant Facebook is now coming up with a market place of its own. Christened as ‘Shop’, this will be a service that will allow users and businesses to display and sell products on its platforms, the company said on Tuesday.
Shops is being positioned as a means to expand the markets for small businesses – many of which have been forced to close down stores and shops and try and move their business online because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
This was announced by Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Launched in 2916, currently Facebook allows users to sell personal belongings to each other, much like Craigslist, on its feature called the Marketplace. But the Shops feature is primarily aimed at businesses wherein the sellers will be allowed to sell their products to customers on the app. This new feature is a possible challenge to commerce rivals such as Etsy and Amazon that have in recent times benefited from the increase in online sale because of the closure of physical stores due to restrictions and lockdowns prompted by efforts to contain the spread of the novel coornavirus pandemic all across the world.
The latest launch of the new Shops feature is a follow up of the social media giant’s last year launch of a feature that allows for limited shopping options on the photo-sharing app Instagram and on its messaging app WhatsApp. The company had also announced the digital currency project Libra in 2019, which is now struggling, which could be used for the in app transactions.
It is being estimated that the new Facebook Shops will bring together and combine some of those efforts together at the least and would allow businesses to set up a single online store that can be accessed through Facebook and Instagram. In-app purchases will be possible via a checkout feature.
“Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” Zuckerberg said in a video announcing the new product.
Just like the other e-commerce features on the platform, businesses can access Facebook Shop for free and can expect boosting of consumer engagement and ad sales by using the tool.
“Our business model here is ads,” Zuckerberg said. “So rather than charge businesses for Shops, we know that Shops are valuable for businesses. They’re going to in general bid more for ads and we’ll eventually make money that way.”
Another feature that will connect loyalty programs and a shopping feature that will show product tags underneath live videos is also being rolled out by Facebook. This will allow viewers to make direct purchases from the app while watching.
The new Facebook Shops can be accessed in some of the markets starting this week while the company plans to make a global launch in the coming months,
(Adapted from TheGuradian.com)