To enable businesses to more easily list their merchandise on its social media platforms, Facebook has unveiled Facebook Shops. The free feature will allow companies to place product listings on their Facebook Page, Instagram profiles and stories, or in ads, CNBC reported.
The social media company had allowed companies to list items on Instagram and Facebook in the past. However, Facebook Shops allows them to put their catalogs online to make them viewable throughout all of Facebook's various apps.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, per the outlet, “It’s one simple and consistent experience across this family of apps, which means it is easier for people. That of course means there’ll be higher conversions and more sales for small businesses.” And in the long haul, Zuckerberg noted that shops and other online shopping offerings could power additional ad sales.
While Facebook Shops will allow businesses to simply list their products on the social media platform, in many cases, customers will have to visit a business' website to finish a purchase. Only companies that work with the select Facebook Checkout pilot program can handle transactions via the social platform.
Facebook Shops will reportedly let companies sell directly to clients via the chat functions on Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp.
In separate news, it was reported in March that Facebook is aiming to assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) weather the pandemic by providing $100 million in grants to 30,000 firms in more than 30 nations.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a blog post and on her Facebook page that the social media company sought to “do our part” to aid with the “enormous challenge in front of us.”
Facebook had also opened a hub to assist SMBs amid the pandemic and was planning virtual training via its complimentary eLearning training program, Blueprint. It said its goal was to assist firms “in this new and unsettling environment."