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08/26/2020

Facebook expands shopping features

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Facebook is releasing new tools to help retailers and consumers conduct digital commerce on the Facebook and Instagram platforms.

These tools include Facebook Shop, a new way for customers to discover and buy products from a single location within the Facebook app. Facebook also offers a complementary shopping destination called Instagram Shop on the Instagram platform.

Within the Facebook and Instagram Shop solutions, Facebook is also offering Live Shopping, a function designed to make it easier for consumers to shop in real time. The social media giant has been testing this feature on both Facebook and Instagram, and now 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. Instagram Live Shopping is now available to all businesses and creators using Instagram Checkout in the U.S.

In addition, Facebook is expanding availability of Facebook Shops, a feature that aims to level the social retailing field for small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Initially released in May 2020, Facebook Shops is designed to enable SMBs to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram.

In the coming weeks, Facebook Shops will be made available to any eligible business with new customization features, messaging, and analytics to help measure results. These include new design layouts for featuring single products or groups of products, real-time preview of collections as they are designed, the ability to automatically create Shops for new sellers, and new insights to measure results in the Facebook Commerce Manager platform.

Furthermore, a new messaging button on Shops is designed to streamline customer messaging of businesses via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct. Customers can view products within the chat, enabling them to share products with friends and family to get feedback before making a purchase. Facebook is testing this feature on Messenger and Instagram Direct now, and will start testing it on WhatsApp soon.

We want to make shopping easier for people and empower anyone, from an entrepreneur to the largest brand, to use our apps to connect with customers and grow their business,” Facebook said in a corporate blog post. “That’s why we’re creating new ways for people to shop on our apps and providing tools to help businesses sell online.”

Facebook is waiving selling fees for retailers through the end of the year to reduce the cost of doing business online during the current economic crisis.