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Facebook and Shopify’s master plan just might save small businesses

Many small businesses have had to close their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Shopify and Facebook have announced their master plan to bring more businesses online in the form of Shops.

The Shops service will help platforms like Facebook and Instagram to become top-tier shopping destinations, allowing consumers to buy and sell products directly on both channels, without having to leave the app, page or experience. Using new tools, brand creators will also be able to sell during Instagram and Facebook live streams.

Following the chat trends that we highlighted late last year in our gaming Mindset report, creators and companies will be able to set up a single online store on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. The Facebook store will launch today, while we’ll have to wait until the summer for Instagram.

Both platforms will have prominent buttons on navigation bars to highlight the feature to all users.

Wondering how this will benefit SMEs? In a statement, Facebook said: “We hope these tools can relieve some of the pressure small businesses are facing right now and help businesses of all sizes prepare for the future.”

As well as getting small businesses off the ground, Shops is set to have a huge impact on big businesses by allowing them to engage with users who would normally ‘bounce’ or be hesitant to click shopping links on social.

By keeping all shopping within the platform, users can enjoy a seamless experience and won’t have to worry about being redirected to different pages and links. Put simply, they can buy as they see it without interrupting what they came to the app for – content consumption.

Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke said: “I am really excited about Facebook Shops. The future is multi-channel and social has to be near the core of everyone’s strategy.”

What will happen to e-commerce? How will this change how we shop? Reach out for the answers and email joeh@rbh.co.uk

Written by Joe Hepburn

Head of Insight at RBH Creative Communications. Helping your brand work smarter.

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