Facebook has chosen to expand its e-commerce capabilities by making it possible for businesses to sell products directly on their Facebook and Instagram page.

“As many businesses are creating and strengthening their digital presence, we’re building new tools to help make online shopping seamless. That’s why we’re launching Facebook Shops…“

These capabilities have culminated into what is called Facebook Shops, which is free to use. It’s designed to be a mobile-first shopping experience when it comes to both creating a shop and buying items.

Businesses that set up a Facebook Shop can choose which items to feature and highlight collections of products in individual sections.

Shops can be customized to an extent, so it’ll feel less like shopping on Facebook Marketplace and more authentic of an experience.

Facebook Shops are discoverable through a business’ Facebook page or Instagram profile. Shops can even be discovered through ads and stories.

Customers with questions can communicate with the business through Messenger, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp.

Transactions can be made directly through Facebook, or if they prefer, on the business’ website.

Facebook Shops has already begun rolling out and will be more available as time goes on in the coming months.

More shopping features is currently being worked on and will be brought to Facebook’s other app, like Instagram Shop, live shopping features and loyalty programs.

Instagram Shops, which is similar to Facebook Shops, is another way for customers to discover and buy products without leaving the app.

Users can discover Instagram shops through the Explore section. They can brows through their favorite brands’ products, filter by categories, and make purchases all in one place.

Instagram Shop will begin rolling out this summer in the US.

Instagram will also add a dedicated “Shop” tab in the navigation bar later this year, which will make it easier to find businesses’ online stores.

Facebook is working on ways for products to be sold in real-time through Facebook Live.

“People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years… Now, we’re making it easier to shop for products in real time.”

Pages, before going live, can tag products from their Facebook Shop, which will be displayed at the bottom of the video throughout the broadcast.

When people watch the live streams, they will be able to tap on the products to learn more about them and make a purchase.

Right now, Live shopping is currently in the testing stages with businesses on both Instagram and Facebook.. It will roll out to more markets in the coming months.

Facebook is also making it possible to earn rewards from businesses that they are shopping frequently at. They’re doing this by connecting loyalty programs to their Facebook account.

Users can earn as well as track their points and rewards. Businesses can connect an existing loyalty program to their Facebook shop, or even make one from scratch.

Loyalty programs are currently being tested in Facebook Shops, and isn’t widely available yet.

Facebook is working with a number of partners to assist small businesses, helping them build and grow their shops on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook’s e-commerce partners include:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • Channel Advisor
  • CedCommerce
  • Cafe24
  • Tienda Nube
  • Feedonomics

Some official Facebook Shops launch videos can be seen below:

SourceMatt Southern