Mark Zuckerberg’s US firm has just launched Facebook Shops, a free online store service that allows brands to sell and cash out directly within the platform. This is a strategic move from the social network, which continues its e-commerce expansion at a very opportune time as online sales explode due to the epidemic crisis. Facebook is dreaming of becoming a mega application like Wechat.
The American company Facebook announced yesterday, Tuesday, May 19, during a live broadcast, the launch of Facebook Shops, a free feature for retailers that allows them to create online shops on the social network.
Simplifying e-commerce and helping businesses
Following the launch of Marketplace in 2017 to facilitate the sale of products between individuals, Facebook is taking the next step with a more extensive solution for “small businesses” who would like to sell their products directly from its social networks.
Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg actually explains that the health crisis and containment have had particularly harsh economic consequences for retailers and that as a result “many small businesses have gone online, even though they had no web presence before”. … trying to save their skins somehow.
It is therefore to support distressed businesses that the company has announced “Facebook Shops”, so that they can set up a digital showcase where their customers can browse freely and buy items directly from them.
From now on, brands and small businesses will be able to open a shop on Facebook or Instagram, as easily as possible, and sell their products with a catalogue and a fully customizable interface. After creating their shop for free, they will be able to choose the products they want to highlight, but also customize the shop by proposing a cover image.
Shops that will be accessible via Facebook pages or Instagram profiles, but also via stories and ads for maximum visibility.
Users will be able to save the products they are interested in, or purchase them through the merchant’s site, or directly via Instagram Checkout (in the United States only), which significantly facilitates the purchase process.
If they have any questions, these buyers will simply contact the seller directly via Messenger, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp and will be able to track their orders through these three group messaging services.
“Our goal is to make shopping easier and to ensure that everyone, from small businesses to international brands, can use our apps to connect with customers“, Zuckerberg says in a blog post.
Conquering e-commerce and extending the Facebook empire
The Facebook Shops rollout has already started and the partners are Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics.
A new project that shows that the giant Facebook is taking another step towards building a super app, based on the model of the Chinese application WeChat.
The leader in social networks is counting on small and medium-sized businesses to strengthen its power as it increasingly sees them as its main showcase: “Our business depends on the success of small businesses, so this is a time when we believe we are well placed to defend the interests of small businesses and support the important infrastructure they will need to evolve online“.
Investing in their digital presence is therefore a way for Facebook to transform itself into a super-application capable of becoming a true commerce platform.
Against this backdrop, 35-year-old multi-billionaire Mark Zuckerberg wants to continue building a high-performance platform that would offer its 3 billion subscribers not only calls, messages and video chats, but also business, payment and commerce, like the Chinese giant WeChat.
This summer, the company will launch another dedicated Shop tab on Instagram that will showcase brands, designer collections and other trendy products filtered by category (clothing, beauty, home, etc.).
An obvious strategy to develop a mega-app, versatile, with a constant flow of new services and new features, wherein it will soon be possible to “do it all” and which will be particularly relevant as the use of social networks has more than doubled since the beginning of the crisis.
Facebook: the promise of a plethoric ecosystem, the occidental version of WeChat.
Featured photo : © Facebook
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