4 New Features From Facebook That Could Change the Landscape of Online Shopping
On May 19th 2020, Facebook announced a new online shopping feature to be added to the site – Facebook Shops.
Facebook Shops is a way for small businesses to utilize Facebook and its subsidiaries – Instagram and Whatsapp – to create a free online store.
Given that so many businesses have been forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also that there is a rising trend in e-commerce, having a free and easy way to create an online store provides crucial benefits to small businesses.
People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, customers can browse the full collection, save products they’re interested in and place an order either through direct messaging or via a link that leads to the business’ website checkout page.
Here are some of the benefits of opening an online store via Facebook Shops:
One Shop Across All Apps
When you create your online store on Facebook Shops, it syncs to Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger so your customers have a seamless experience and you can tap into Facebook and Instagram’s wide user base.
When you post your content on your Facebook or Instagram story, people can simply swipe up to buy it or to see the full collection in your store.
And because Facebook Shops is built into the app, it loads instantly, adding to the seamless user experience.
You can choose the products you want to feature from your catalogue and then customize the look and feel of your shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase your unique brand.
You can also have your own loyalty program where your customers can connect and keep track of their points and rewards on their Facebook account.
Personalized Shopping Experiences Using Artificial Intelligence
Facebook’s powerful AI software assists your online store from several angles.
Facebook can automatically tag your products, for example, tag a shirt as a shirt, so they’re organized across the platform.
Another AI feature is recognition – if a male person is browsing your clothing store, Facebook can automatically direct them to the male shirts and pants.
The most impressive tool Facebook is looking into rolling out is a preview option using virtual augmentation so that customers can see what an appliance would like in their own home, or what a particular makeup product would look like on their skin, before making a purchase. This use of virtual reality gives a unique online shopping experience.
Privacy and Security
Most importantly, Facebook Shops protects customers’ privacy and never reveals to their Facebook friends what they’ve been purchasing or looking at on your online store.
If a customer uses their credit card to checkout an item from your store, they have the option to securely store their credit card information with Facebook Shops so it’s always available whenever they wish to make another purchase.
Facebook is stepping up to the task to serve small businesses in a world where e-commerce is becoming a necessity for businesses to thrive. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen your business’s digital presence.
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