Facebook has expanded its ecommerce features with a new ‘Shop’ bookmark that gives users in the UK and Canada the ability to browse virtual storefronts.
The move follows the launch of its Facebook Shops platform for business last year. Facebook users will now see ‘Shop’ featured as a bookmark on the Facebook menu bar and in the mobile app.
People will find curated collections, products, and recent posts from businesses and will also see personalised content from brands in their news feeds, and through in-product notifications or small business favourites they follow.
With the rollout to consumers, Facebook has introduced new features for businesses, including additional design layouts, real-time previews of collections, the ability to automatically create a shop for new sellers, and more insights to measure results in Commerce Manager.
There’s also now a messaging button on Shops to make it easier for consumers to message businesses through Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to online shopping has rapidly accelerated, with an estimated 85 per cent of people worldwide now shopping online,” said Steve Hatch, VP for Northern Europe at Facebook. “We’ve been doing a huge amount this year to ensure small businesses in particular can successfully pivot their businesses to online and protect jobs. Through tools like Shops we’re helping empower anyone, from an entrepreneur to the largest brand, to use our apps to connect with customers and grow their business.”
‘A new social shopping wishlist’
Chloe Cox, Global Social Media Consultant at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said: “With 65% of consumers expecting to use digital shopping channels even more in the future, Facebook’s new shopping tool announcement further demonstrates the importance of brands and retailers thinking about how to utilise their social channels and capture the attention of the shoppers. Coupled with virtual storefronts, which many brands and retailers have been experimenting with since the launch of Facebook Shops last year, this new tool aids and simplifies the customer experience. For customers, bookmarking their favourite items will feel like they are on the site itself – almost serving as a ‘wish list’ – allowing customers to save their favourite items as they browse, removing any unnecessary friction and providing a smooth path to sell, save and buy.
“Whatever happens in the future, social media platforms have performed a key role throughout the pandemic, with shoppers spending more time on social media channels. This is unlikely to dwindle; Facebook’s play here is a boon to the burgeoning era of social sellers who are looking at taking advantage of audiences of more than 3 million daily active users on Facebook in the UK to grow their business. Undoubtedly, social channels will become even stronger when it comes to commerce, not just for inspiration and search, but for transaction too – digital commerce leaders even cite its importance, with 70% saying they already had a social commerce strategy in place. This new development makes total sense, and further proves how the social channels are competing with the ‘traditional commerce giants’ to seize more of the eCommerce market.”