Will Facebook’s New Shopping Portal Help Small Sellers?

Will Facebook's New Shopping Portal Help Small Sellers?

In mid-May, Facebook launched a new tool for sellers so they could set up a shop on their Facebook business page or Instagram profile and feature those “Facebook Shops” in stories and ads.

Today, Facebook announced a shopping portal called Facebook Shop in its mobile app so shoppers can find products and businesses. It only recently started testing Facebook Shop in the US.

“Facebook Shop makes it easy for people to find products from businesses they love, discover new ones and make purchases, all in one place,” it explained.

The nomenclature is annoying – sellers showcase products on “Facebook Shop” through their “Facebook Shops.” But the launch of a shopping portal means sellers who don’t have a big following on their Facebook business pages may have an incentive for setting up a Shop, though it’s too early to tell what kind of exposure a small seller’s products will get on the portal.

Facebook said its intention is to empower sellers – “from an entrepreneur to the largest brand” – to use Facebook apps to connect with customers and grow their business. “That’s why we’re creating new ways for people to shop on our apps and providing tools to help businesses sell online,” it said in today’s announcement.

In the coming weeks, Facebook Shops will be available to any eligible business, and it’s adding customization features, messaging and new insights to help businesses measure results.

New features include the following:

  • New design layouts for featuring single products or groups of products in Shops
  • Real-time preview of collections as they are designed
  • The ability to automatically create Shops for new sellers
  • New insights to measure results in Commerce Manager

It also added a new messaging button on Shops.

Facebook has also been testing Live Shopping on both Facebook and Instagram, and “now Facebook 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 checkout in the US.”

Check out the full announcement on the FB.com corporate website to learn more about Facebook Shop, the expanded Checkout on Instagram, and other ecommerce features.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She’s a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.