Small businesses are among the hardest hit sectors during the Covid-19 shutdown. Unlike many national chains and big box stores that have remained open, while also experiencing a surge in online sales, small merchants have seen a staggering loss of business. Many small retailers may never re-open. But E-commerce can be a lifeline for small businesses as the recovery begins. So Facebook is launching its Shops platform to make it easier for businesses to list and sell products on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook also announced that Shops will partner with existing web marketplace platforms including Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. How this will work from a competitive standpoint remains to be seen. But with the current and future spike in E-commerce sales, there should be enough business to go around.
The following TechCrunch article reports more on this topic which is excerpted below:
Starting today, you’ll be able to browse and buy products directly from a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile. Both Facebook and Instagram already supported a degree of e-commerce — for example, Facebook has its Marketplace and will likely make a bigger push through its Libra cryptocurrency initiative, while Instagram allows users to buy products featured in posts and ads. But the company’s new tools go further, enabling businesses to create a full-fledged Facebook Shop.
After all, the pandemic has probably made consumers even more likely to treat Facebook and Instagram profiles as the go-to source of information on local restaurants and stores — if your favorite store has changed their hours, or switched to online delivery/curbside pickup, they’ve almost certainly posted about it on Facebook or Instagram. So why not allow visitors to make purchases without having to leave the Facebook and Instagram apps?
It’s also worth remembering that the pandemic’s economic fallout is already hurting and killing off many small businesses — businesses that post and advertise on Facebook. So the company has a stake in helping those businesses survive in any way it can.
Overview provided by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group.