If you work in or around eCommerce, you have probably heard about Facebook Shops, the eCommerce solution Facebook is planning on officially releasing later this year, and that they have already started to make available to select small businesses in the US.
Facebook is attempting to introduce shops as a mobile-first shopping experience, where small businesses (native D2C eCommerces or otherwise) can quickly create an online store, for free. Shops will be accessible from Instagram and Facebook, and sellers will be able to connect with buyers through Whatsapp and Messenger.
This article summarizes all we know to date (Q2 2020).
Facebook Shops release date
Facebook has started to roll out Shops in the US this May, and will continue to give small businesses access to the platform in the coming months. At its current state, Shops allows you to create product listings, track orders, and connect with your customers through live chat. More features are to come.
Instagram Shops will be available in the US this summer. That includes the integration with Facebook Shops, which would allow sellers to get set up on both platforms quicker.
Facebook Shops fees
Getting set up on Facebook/Instagram Shops is entirely free. There are no monthly plan or fixed costs.
On every order, Facebook will take a selling fee of 5% or a flat fee of 0.4% for orders of $8.00 or less. Said selling fee includes taxes.
Comparatively, Shopify Basic (the most popular plan among small businesses) will set you back $29 per month, plus a 2.9% + $0.30 selling fee on every order, and has an arguably much higher set up cost.
Facebook Shops sign up
Facebook Shops should already be available to select small businesses in the US. As the rollout continues, the product should be available to an increasing number of companies, first in the US, then in the rest of the world.
If you have access, you should see a ‘Shops’ tab on the left side of your Facebook Business Manager. If you can’t see it there, you may have to wait until Facebook gives you access. Having a Facebook Business Manager may increase your odds of being selected, so you may want to create it if you don’t have one.
Facebook Shops API
As part of their rollout, Facebook plans to add full API support and integrations with Shopify, Magento, Woocomerce, and over a dozen other popular eCommerce platforms.
According to their official communications, they are already working with all these platforms on the core functionality of Facebook Shops and these integrations. However, they are not currently available.
As Shopify said: ‘Merchants will be able to take control over their storefronts inside Facebook while managing their products, inventory and orders from Shopify.’.
Facebook Shops Set up
Once given access, business owners will be able to transition their Facebook business pages to Facebook Shops in a couple of clicks. They will then have the option to design their shop based on their brand identity, set up billing, and start adding products.
Alternatively, they can import all SKUs from Shopify, Woocommerce, Magento, and almost a dozen more eCommerce platforms.
Instagram Shops Livestream Shopping
Livestream shopping is an incredibly popular trend in Asia, particularly Korea and China. Over there, many brands operate 24/7 shopping live streaming channels where they introduce and showcase their products with viewers being able to purchase said product right then and there, with a couple of taps.
The Chinese livestream commerce market is estimated to be worth CNY 112 Billion, roughly $16 Billion.
Facebook is trying to introduce the concept to the western market through Instagram Livestream Shopping, which will be part of Shops.