In response to the changing retail world after COVID and taking cues from the success of both Marketplace and its business advertising platform, Facebook announced the release of Shops in May of this year. Unlike Marketplace that is an open community buying and selling platform, Shops caters specifically to retail businesses and allows them to create a virtual storefront on both their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Facebook released the following statement regarding their motive for creating Shops: “We want to give people a place to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying. And we want to help small businesses adapt and make it easier for people to discover and shop for things they love… 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.”
How To Shop
So, how do you access these Facebook and Instagram Shops? Simply navigate to the brand that you want to browse and a View Shop button will be clearly displayed on their account page.
Below are some snapshots of Facebook Shops as seen on the desktop site (please note I used the New Facebook in Dark Mode as opposed to Classic Facebook).
As an example, I searched for Ink Meets Paper, a stationery store. A blue View Shop button is clearly seen directly below their cover image, on the right.
After clicking on View Shop, I was taken to the Shop home page. As you can see, the store has created different featured collections. Below those are more individual items that can be scrolled through.
When you click on a single item it brings up the product shop page. You can scroll through different images by clicking the arrows, and see all product details and customer reviews on the righthand menu. To buy the item, simply select the desired quantity and click “Checkout.”
And shopping on Instagram is just simple. As with Facebook, you’ll just head over to the brand that want to shop. On their page, you’ll see a View Shop button above their feed. Click that and you’ll land on their Shop! (Note – Shops are only available for brands that have set them up. If your favorite retailer doesn’t have a Shop setup, we suggest sending them a message and letting them know that you’d love to see one become available!)
Planned Future Enhancements
We have to hand it to Facebook; they did a great job in creating a platform that empowers business owners to seamlessly integrate their social accounts into their overall e-commerce strategy. They’re currently undergoing testing and development to roll out even more useful features, like the ability to connect an existing loyalty program to the Facebook Shop.
As any typical consumer, I know this will be a very compelling feature for me when browsing my favorite shops. I am personally a member of multiple loyalty programs across a wide spectrum of brands and love it when my purchases bring back some kind of return.
In conclusion, Facebook and Instagram Shops integrate seamlessly into both the business’s commerce stack and the consumer’s user experience on social media. We honestly can’t believe it’s taken them this long to roll this feature out. Whether you’re a business that’s looking for additional avenues to merchandise your product, or you’re a buyer who loves a convenient way to browse your favorite stores, Shops is a win/win!
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