Between stay-at-home orders and the resulting loss of sales, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on businesses of all sizes. However, small businesses have been especially hard hit.
Now there is a new opportunity for these companies to launch or broaden their online sales. On May 20, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Shops, a new – and free – feature that allows businesses to set up product listings on their Facebook Page, Instagram profile, Stories, or in their ads. Plans for the near future also call for Facebook Shops to enable businesses to sell products through WhatsApp, Instagram Direct, and Messenger and to tag products during Facebook and Instagram live streams. Customers will be able to click on tags to go directly to a product ordering page.
During a livestream appearance announcing Facebook Shops, Zuckerberg said that, during the pandemic, “We’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time, and we’re seeing small businesses that had online presences now make them their primary way of doing business. This isn’t going to make up for all of the lost business, but it can help. And for lots of small businesses during this period, this is the difference between staying afloat and going under.”
Facebook previously permitted businesses to list products on Facebook and Instagram, but Facebook Shops provides the added ability to make their products accessible across Facebook’s various apps. Small businesses make up the majority of Facebook’s more than 8 million advertisers, and, earlier this year, the company launched a $100 million support program for small businesses that includes grants and a way to sell gift cards through Facebook.
Facebook is collaborating with Shopify, BigCommerce, Channel Advisor, Woo, CedCommerce, Tienda Nube Cafe24 and Feedonomics to help small business owners manage their customized Facebook Shops. Customers will be able to message a business with questions and to track deliveries. Although creating and using Facebook Shops is free, the social media network plans to collect a commission on orders made through the new tool.
If you are looking for other ideas to not only survive this tumultuous time but thrive, please register for our upcoming Rise and Lead Women webinar.
Join us for the upcoming webinar presented by UPS in collaboration with Rise and Lead Women on how to “Build and Market Your E-Commerce Store”.
This webinar is designed to help Benelux small business owners to reposition their businesses amidst the Covid-19 pandemic using digital marketing strategies and online tools.
Topics to be covered during the “Build and Market Your E-Commerce Store” webinar are:
- Setting up an e-commerce store and choosing the right product to sell and scale online
- Digital tools to manage and track your shipments
- Ways to deal with challenges regarding shipping, logistics and returns
- Low-cost online advertising and promotional strategies
- Reactivating past customers through email marketing
- Reaching and acquiring more leads through content marketing
Ebere Akadiri is an accomplished entrepreneur and an advocate for women in leadership. Her passion to inspire others to achieve their goals drove her to found Rise and Lead Women along with her co-founder, Poonam Barua. Their mission is to inspire women to take the lead in closing the gender gap in workplaces and in business.