When we think of e-commerce technology, the first things that come to mind are either platforms like Amazon and eBay or software such as Shopify. Until recently, social media platforms haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, even though they have hundreds of millions of users who are potential buyers.
That’s changing, though.
Facebook launches Facebook Shops
In April, Google announced that sellers can list products for free on Google Shopping, and Pinterest added new features for online shopping. On the same tune, Facebook recently launched Facebook Shops to keep up with competitors. Facebook did have a marketplace since 2016 but it was more an alternative to Craigslist than a real e-commerce platform.
Facebook Shops allows sellers to create a store from scratch or connect to existing platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and OpenCart. Creating a store though is difficult than you would imagine. First, you need to navigate to Business Manager in the Commerce Manager section and provide all kinds of details, including bank account details and State Tax Registration Number (or social security number for individual businesses). Then, there’s another section of Business Manager where products can be added. All this makes Facebook Shops seem much more complicated than other similar tools, which allow users to create a shop in minutes, like Square e-commerce.
On the bright side, the documentation for Commerce Manager and Catalog Manager is quite detailed and it seems that there are lots of things that you can do with your Facebook Shop. For instance, you can use a Facebook Pixel to import and update products from your website.
It’s too soon to tell how effective Facebook Shop will be. It may be a good alternative for small companies that do not have an online store. Companies that already sell online may also benefit from Facebook’s massive user base. Either way, sellers may need to invest in Facebook Ads to attract buyers.
Gabriel’s background includes more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of business software selection and implementation. His research work has involved detailed functional analyses of software vendors from various areas such as ERP, CRM, and HCM. Gheorghiu holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest (Romania), and a master's degree in territorial project management from Université Paris XII Val de Marne (France).