Shopping in a Post COVID World: Facebook Launches New Ecommerce Capabilities

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Facebook’s new ecommerce capabilities to provide customers a unique digital experience

Facebook yesterday announced new ecommerce features within the app and on Instagram. The launch comes as consumers increasingly go online to meet their purchase needs. Facebook’s new ecommerce features have been designed for retailers of all sizes – from small independent business to large multinationals; everyone can use the platform to grow their business.

Facebook has released a slew of user monetization capabilities over the past few months – from Facebook and Instagram shops to paid online events.

“Today we’re introducing Facebook Shop, a new place to discover businesses and shop for products in the Facebook app. Facebook Shop makes it easy for people to find products from businesses they love, discover new ones, and make purchases, all in one place,” said the company in a blog post.

The company said that in the United States, it’s started testing a new section called Facebook Shop — like Instagram Shop, it’s basically a shopping destination where you can find products from a variety of different businesses. (This is distinct from Facebook Marketplace, which is designed for peer-to-peer sales.)

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In addition, the company is announcing new tools for businesses running Facebook Shops, including new design layouts, the ability to see a real-time preview of collections, the ability to automatically create Shops if you’re a new seller and new data in Commerce Manager. Shops will also feature a new messaging option for customers to send sellers a message through Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram Direct.

Chat interface for connecting sellers with shoppers on Instagram
Chat interface for connecting sellers with shoppers on WhatsApp

The company has also been testing a live shopping experience, where businesses can show off products in a live video, while consumers can browse the highlighted products and make purchases. Instagram Live Shopping should now be available to all sellers using Instagram Live Shopping in the United States.

“With Live Shopping, we’re making it easier for people to shop in real time. We’ve been testing this feature on both Facebook and Instagram, and now Facebook Live Shopping includes new features to help businesses easily set up a live experience featuring products from their Shop and sell directly from the video,” said Facebook.

Facebook: The Next Big Thing in Ecommerce?

To adapt to new customer expectations, businesses are considering both online and physical storefronts (BOPIS) which are becoming vital for the future of retail as we get closer to the holiday season. According to a recent survey by Facebook, an average of 56% of global holiday shoppers surveyed care about the ability to BOPIS when shopping, up 19% from 2018-19. Gen X and Boomers surveyed have similar expectations, with a global average of 56% and 45% surveyed respectively caring about the ability to buy online and pick up in-store when shopping.

Also Read: New Revenue Channel for SMBs on Facebook: What Apple and Android Users Must Note

Facebook’s ecommerce capabilities combined with their ability to deliver powerful messaging solutions – position it as a serious contender in the ecommerce industry. And that’s reflected in the way people have responded to the brand on Wall Street. The company’s gains sky rocketed on Wednesday, sending shares higher on expectations around its ecommerce growth potential.

Facebook’s stock closed at a record high of $303.91, rising for a third consecutive day. Already a leader in advertising, the company, could quickly become mainstream contender to existing ecommerce giants like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay.