Facebook is not what you’d call the champion of listening to its users’ woes – just think of the “dislike” button that millions have asked for since the very beginning and that hasn’t been implemented to this day (all we got was the “Angry” reaction to a post but… that’s better than nothing, right?). Still, Facebook did listen to the sound of the times: after implementing dark mode in Messenger, it rolled out the feature on the Facebook app and website as well.
The dark mode is not the only new feature Facebook rolled out this year, though. There are two others that may not be as universally welcomed as the dark mode but they are much more useful – especially for some.
More than Marketplace
Today’s world is so infused with the digital realm that an online presence has become vital for every merchant. Having an online presence is literally going where your customers are: as of this April, more than half of the world’s population is connected to the internet.
Facebook has already taken its first tentative steps toward becoming an online marketplace through the launch of “Marketplace” in 2016, a platform where its users could list their items for sale as they would on any other classified ads website – except with the reach and potential customer base of Facebook, of more than 2.6 billion active users today.
Facebook Marketplace is perfect for the general population to list an item or two they have for sale, and it was likely used by stores to reach more customers. This is probably what prompted the Blue Giant to implement a new tool: Facebook Shops.
A fully-fledged online store
Facebook Shops is a storefront aimed at small businesses integrated into the social network. Its backend will be powered by well-known services like Shopify, WooCommerce, and others, so users of these engines will be able to get on Facebook Shops quickly and easily.
Facebook’s major push into eCommerce comes in the context of the ongoing pandemic, where businesses that never had an online presence are suddenly forced to reach out to their customers online due to the many restrictions they have to face in real life. “If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “We’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time.”
Facebook Shops will be free to create for the sellers. Businesses will be able to implement payment solutions and buy ads for their stores on Facebook, targeting them with never-before-seen precision. Customers will be able to save their payment details in one place – their Facebook account – and use them on any Facebook or Instagram storefront without any hassle. They’ll be able not only to buy stuff through a business’s Facebook page but get in touch with the sellers via Messenger or Instagram. Overall, Zuckerberg said, Facebook Shops will improve on the online shopping experience.
Facebook Shops has already started rolling out in the US, coming to other areas in the coming months.