Facebook just entered the e-commerce market, posing a threat to commercial rivals such as Amazon. The social network giant will enable customers to display and sell their products directly through the Facebook app. The idea of supporting small businesses moving online and setting up a store is why Facebook Shops has been launched.
Considering the economic fallout from COVID – 19, this couldn’t have come around at a better time. However, it is rumored that Zuckerberg’s actual motive is to push the Libra Cryptocurrency narrative. Let’s take a look at the details surrounding the new e-commerce entrant.
Facebook Shops as Business Storefronts
Starting today, you will be able to browse and purchase products directly through a Business’ Facebook page, or Instagram profile. Facebook and Instagram did have a hint of e-commerce within the applications earlier as well. You could sell your products through the Facebook Marketplace, and through posts and ads on Instagram. However, Facebook shops have taken the game to a whole new e-commerce level. At a time when e-commerce is booming, thanks to stay-at-home policies due to the pandemic, Facebook has capitalized and come up with a solution for small businesses. A Facebook store will enable the common man to support himself since physical shops have been closed down.
The shops are powered by third-party services, including Shopify, BigCommerce, and Woo. The aim is to turn the social network into a top-tier shopping destination. Facebook shops will not only help small businesses endure but will also provide a huge business opportunity for Facebook itself. The company will be able to generate a lot of revenue from advertising, payments, store purchases, and a checkout fee.
How does the shop work?
Facebook shops are free and easy to create and will appear on your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Mark Zuckerberg said that integration within Whatsapp and Messenger will happen. The browsing and buying process will be simple and easier for the customers by the implementation of various features. A separate shopping tab will appear on Instagram and a destination inside Explore where you can view and buy the products you like. Also, the launch of New Live shopping features will allow customers to shop on Live in real-time.
Businesses will also be able to handle customer issues easily through Whatsapp and Messenger. However, the most interesting feature is the integration of AI and augmented reality to create a better shopping experience. Most relevant products will be shown on the feed with a click-through purchase, and customers will be able to virtually try on things which is an amazing inclusion to the Facebook Shop.
Facebook Shops: Groundwork for Libra?
As we talked about business opportunities for Facebook through shops, let’s not forget about the controversial yet most prominent business opportunity for the company with this endeavor. And that is the platform to push the Libra Cryptocurrency narrative.
When Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement of the Libra Cryptocurrency and the formation of Libra Association, it instantly gathered hype. The idea of Zuckerberg controlling the economy and exercising his control through digital currency was scary to the majority. What followed this notion was immense international pressure and regulatory scrutiny that blocked its rollout. This led to the backing out of high-profile partners such as Visa, Stripe, and E-bay. However, Facebook soon secured a win with the addition of Shopify to the Libra Association. The company contributed $10 million to the project and operated a node that processes transactions for the Facebook-originated stable coin.
With Shopify a Libra Association member and a partner in Facebook shops, it is likely that the Libra currency is will see the light of day through the Facebook store. With a myriad of businesses to join the new e-commerce platform, this provides Zuckerberg the perfect opportunity to have Libra get through its blockage. One can even argue that the actual intent behind the Facebook store is the rollout of Libra.
Operating an e-commerce store can be quiet hard without a traditional bank account. Libra Wallet would serve two purposes here;
- Instant Payments
- Remove excessive credit card fees
Simplified payment procedure would make the e-commerce experience a whole lot better. So despite what Zuckerberg’s actual motive is with the store, this could actually make the experience better and smoother for the people.
Shops has been launched in the United States and will be coming to Instagram later during summer. It is the perfect opportunity for small businesses to get their operations up and running again. It is a brilliant initiative by Facebook, which I personally believe could easily take Facebook to a trillion-dollar valuation in the near future. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Read More: Mark Zuckerberg: Business & Lifestyle