Facebook announced today the launch of Shops, new functionality that allows businesses to set up an online storefront accessible via Facebook and Instagram.
People can find a business' Facebook Shop through the business' Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, consumers can browse a store's collection, save products they're interested in and place an order (either on the business’ website or without leaving the platform if the business has enabled Facebook Checkout in the US). Consumers will even be able to message a Shop through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries and more.
According to Tech Crunch, while the platform will charge “small fees” on each purchase made from Shops, "the real monetization will come from driving more advertising."
While this new functionality is very exciting for businesses and consumers alike, it is important to remember to maintain good e-commerce hygiene --including honoring refund and shipping policies and having the appropriate disclosures and product descriptions -- even in this new format.
“Our business model here is ads, so rather than charge businesses for Shops, we know that if Shops are valuable for businesses they’re going to in general want to bid more for ads,” Zuckerberg said. “We’ll eventually make money that way.”