In his announcement last month, Mark Zuckerberg discussed the ways that Facebook was working to help small businesses stay afloat. Early into the pandemic, Facebook helped businesses by providing them with the information needed to apply for government aid. As it became clear that the pandemic was wreaking havoc on businesses even with government aid, Facebook created a $100 million fund to help small businesses stay afloat.
Most important in his announcement was the unveiling of “Facebook Shops” a new service that Facebook will be rolling out to its family of apps, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. With Facebook Shops, consumers can purchase directly from their favorite brands through Facebook's apps. No longer will consumers have to click through or find their brands website, as businesses can start selling directly to consumers on Facebook Shops.
According to Zuckerberg, the creation of Facebook Shops will help streamline the purchasing process, increasing sales for businesses. For small businesses that have little to no e-commerce presence, Facebook Shops is an exciting and easy solution to getting an online store up and running.
For many in the e-commerce space, Facebook’s further expansion into online selling makes sense. In as early as 2016, Instagram (owned by Facebook) began allowing users to shop directly on the Instagram platform. By integrating the shopping feature into the Facebook platform itself, Facebook is allowing its flagship product to catch-up with Instagram.
Tucked within his announcement of Facebook Shops, Zuckerberg also announced the new partnership between Facebook and Shopify. To help Facebook Shops run effectively and to increase the ease with which small businesses could sell, Shopify and Facebook agreed to partner in the effort to create Facebook Shops. This means that businesses operating with Shopify can easily integrate their shops into Facebook Shops, among many other benefits.
What does this competition mean for your small business? Expect e-commerce service providers to begin offering lower prices, lower commissions, and more enticing benefits. Facebook Shops could be the beginning of a large scale fight for e-commerce dominance.
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