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Shopfronts Have Gone Digital: Facebook Shops Paving the Way for the Future of SMB Ecommerce

In a statement from Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook mogul himself addresses not only the health impact COIVD-19 has brought the world, but also the devastating impacts it has had on the economy; deeming it “the biggest economic shock of our lifetimes.”

As people are being told to stay home, small businesses are having a hard time staying open and millions of people are losing their jobs.

Despite these restrictions, many small businesses are finding ways to be creative and stay open to keep serving customers…  however for some it’s just not enough.

In a reaction to findings that 31% of small businesses have stopped operating, Facebook unveiled some big news that could potentially change the ecommerce digital landscape, forever.

Facebook searched for a solution to make it easier for small businesses to sell things online to consumers and ta-da, just like that Facebook Shops was born. 

Even Shopify has rallied behind the new experience with full-integration to ensure your products and inventory stay in perfect sync with your Shopify store.

Now you’re probably wondering – what makes this shiny, new vehicle different from marketplace and shoppable tags? 

No shortage of features here.

Facebook Shops pulls inspiration from the experience of browsing a physical store – without the annoying sales assistant asking you every five minutes if you need help finding something. 

This new product packs a variety of features that ensures a much smoother user experience than other platforms. 

Shops allows you to bring your brand story to life with customisable colours and fonts. 

You also have the flexibility to pick and choose which items you wish to feature online and how they appear. Connecting with shoppers is possible via Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram DM, making it easy to offer support, tracking information and answer any questions.

The roll out will be a gradual one and is set to start in the coming weeks.

Facebook announced it would be rolling out Shops immediately.

However, a few things need to happen before you can start directing your customers to get purchasing. 

If you don’t already have a Facebook channel for Shopify, setting this up right now could give you a head start. 

Currently implementing product tags on your Instagram posts? 

Well, you’re on the right track and should automatically receive Facebook Shops access soon.

But wait… there’s more!

There are talks of integrating loyalty programmes to give businesses more opportunities to drive retention; just like the points program at your local cafe, but minus the stress of forgetting your crumpled up punch card to rack up free coffees.

Facebook also intends to mix in a live shopping experience, as livestreaming is becoming a growing trend in mobile-first markets across the globe. Live commerce combines the convenience of instant interaction with live video to provide a seamless experience for both buyers and sellers.

This summer (in America only – those lucky buggers!) Instagram Explore is getting a new makeover – introducing Instagram Shop. 

This new and improved take on shoppable tags gives users the opportunity to discover and buy products. Later this year, a shop tab will make its way to the navigation bar, giving users access to any shop with just one tap.

We don’t know about you, but we’re hoping we’ll see this trend make its way down under… and soon!

So how are SMB leveraging the new feature?

There are plenty of ways SMB can leverage Facebook Shops. 

For those new to the digital ecommerce space, this free medium is the perfect excuse to dive right in.

If you’re a business that already allocates spend towards digital marketing – ramp it up! 

Facebook Shops could further enhance your digital marketing campaigns, adding an extra layer of personality to your social media platforms.

This is the future people! And if you’re in ecommerce and not planning to take full advantage of all Facebook Shops has to offer – let’s talk.


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