First it was Facebook Shops, now it’s Facebook Shop live in the app, as the social media giant continues to roll out new features to support ecommerce and draw in sellers more familiar with established competitor marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.
After launching Facebook Shops in May, a way for merchants to quickly and easily set up storefronts across Facebook and Instagram, Facebook is now integrating a Shop section on its main app while also redesigning the Shop section of its Instagram property.
Facebook Shop has just started testing in the U.S., while Instagram Shop launched in July. In both cases it’s a shopping destination where the tens of millions of users of both platforms can search for, discover and purchase products right in the app.
The company is also updating Facebook Shops, making it available to any eligible business and adding customization features, messaging and insights for measuring results. It’s also expanding checkout on Instagram to all U.S. businesses.
New features of Facebook Shops include new design layouts for featuring products or product groups, real-time preview of collections, the ability to automatically create Shops for new sellers and the ability to measure results in Commerce Manager.
Facebook Shops has also added a feature that lets buyers and sellers communicate through a messaging button, so consumers can view products through the chat, share them with others and engage with associates for assistance. It’s being tested Messenger and Instagram Direct and will start testing soon on WhatsApp.
“Messaging through Shops combines the in-store experience of being able to ask a salesperson questions with the convenience of online shopping,” the company said in a blog post. “It allows businesses to provide personalized assistance so people can make more informed decisions about their purchase.”
Facebook is also expanding Instagram checkout from a by-permission-only beta to general availability for eligible U.S. sellers, enabling in app transactions in a few taps. By eligible, Facebook means any business on Facebook Shops that also uses Facebook Commerce Manager or partners Shopify or BigCommerce.
“We’ll support more platform partners soon,” Facebook said in a blog post. “We’re also waiving selling fees for businesses through the end of the year to reduce the cost of doing business online, especially given the current economic crisis.”