Facebook on Tuesday unveiled free tools for retailers hit by the pandemic to create online storefronts. The initiative will help merchants set up shops on Facebook and Instagram, customise looks and display products.
“This is the biggest step that we’ve taken yet to enable commerce across our family of apps,” said Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. “If you’re running a small business or if you’re thinking about starting one even from your living room, you have a whole suite of tools available that can help.” The primary focus of Facebook’s “Shops” is to make it easy for businesses to have online storefronts to survive and ride the online shopping trend into the future.
“We really hope that our commerce solutions help businesses not only survive but thrive during coming months, and adapt to new consumer behaviour,” said Instagram Shopping product lead Layla Amjadi.
Facebook is already involved in e-commerce, with a Marketplace for selling goods and as a venue where businesses court customers through pages at the social network or Instagram. Businesses have an option to buy Facebook ads to direct customers to their online shops. Sales can be consummated at websites of the social network. Merchants in the US can use a Facebook checkout service to handle transactions, paying a nominal fee.
Shops will roll out in coming months to some 160 million businesses that already use the social network.
Virtual dressing rooms
Zuckerberg said information about what people buy will be kept private unless shoppers want to tell friends about purchases. Facebook plans to eventually weave Shops into its Messenger and WhatsApp communication platforms. It is also working on ways to sell products hawked during live video broadcasts, a popular form of content at the social network.
“Now, we’re making it easier to shop for products in real-time. I hope that we can at least help build some of the infrastructures that businesses need not only at this moment but going forward as well.”
Facebook is also working on free tools including augmented reality to let shoppers see how they will look in outfits, cosmetics or other items for sale.
All images: Courtesy Getty
This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.