Facebook has launched its new ‘Shop’ bookmark feature in the UK and Canada, allowing retailers to sell on its platform and to integrate selling from Instagram too.
The feature is aimed at business of any size – right down to one-person operations – and will allow retailers to create a single online selling presence on the platform and to sell from user’s feeds. It also will be closely allied to the company’s other social media selling tools on Instagram, which it launched last year.
In addition, Facebook is also rolling out a tool to connect loyalty programs and will be adding shoppable product tags to videos shown in its site.
“Merchants already sell on Facebook and Instagram, but now, Facebook Shop gives every business, whether that’s a major global brand or someone selling handmade jewellery out of their living room, the ability to set up a virtual storefront for free,” the company said.
With 85% of consumers globally now shopping online to some degree, Facebook is keen to tap into that as it shifts from being a communications tool to a much more commercially-focused sales platform.
This tool is the latest in a range of offerings that would shift Facebook into the realms of being a marketplace and could see it taking on Amazon and eBay.
Facebook Shop launched in the US in May 2020 and the UK launch marks a step up in the company’s move to being a retail platform.
The analysts view
Chloe Cox, Global Social Media Consultant at Wunderman Thompson Commerce comments: “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.”
She continues: “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.”
Cox concludes: “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.”