Millions of businesses worldwide are being affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus contingency. Small businesses especially are struggling to maintain their operations. E-commerce can be the solution of many and Facebook wants to support it through Shops.

The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new tool through which companies will be able to create their free stores on Facebook and Instagram, social networks that, he assured, will become first-rate shopping platforms.

Zuckerberg noted that e-commerce will be key to start rebuilding the economy as the pandemic continues. “If you can’t physically open their store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and send them to people.”

However, as many small businesses that never had online businesses go online for the first time, Facebook Shops wants to support them in their digitization process as the company is convinced that bringing local businesses to the internet will help them last. One of the functions that will be available through Facebook Shops is that users can save their payment information so that it is easier for them to buy in any of the stores available on Facebook and Instagram. Stores can be found on companies’ Facebook pages and Instagram profiles, and can also be featured in stories or promoted in ads.

Items will appear within the store profile so that users can save or place an order. Some companies allow users to make purchases directly on Facebook, while others will take you to the company’s website to complete the transaction. Also companies can manage customer service through Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Eventually the company plans to make catalogs of stores available on these platforms and make purchases directly from the chat window. According to some media, Facebook also plans to enable shopping on live streams, allowing brands and creators to tag items from their catalogs to appear at the bottom of the videos.

“And we are exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage and display a loyalty program in Facebook stores,” the company noted. In turn, for Facebook this means that their social platforms will generate new commercial opportunities in advertising, payments and other services because companies will be able to buy ads for their stores, and when users use the Facebook payment option, a fee is charged. .

Shops will start rolling out on Facebook starting this week in the United States and will hit Instagram sometime this summer. No details have been given as to whether this tool will reach other countries.

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