Last week, Shopify announced a partnership with Facebook to help businesses create Facebook Shops, a new and free tool helping merchants create a customized online storefront for Facebook and Instagram.
Merchants will get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify. Customers will be able to easily find, browse, and buy products through the Instagram and Facebook apps. Checkout will be powered by Shopify for merchants, with Shopify also offering Instagram Checkout to select merchants testing the new feature.
A new unified Facebook channel was also launched. Merchants will be able to automatically connect their Shopify business to Facebook in one place, while making their customers’ shopping experience feel native to each individual app. This new channel is available for installation today, and will continue to grow in functionality throughout the year.
Facebook Shops is a simple version of your online store that lives inside the Facebook and Instagram mobile apps. This makes it easy for the users of those platforms to to find, browse, and buy your products.
You can bring your products to Facebook and Instagram's digital market with a shopping experience that feels native to each platform, on any device. Showcase your distinct brand and products by customizing the colors and layout of your Facebook Shop, and organize product collections into featured tiles to match the look and feel of your Shopify store.
Shopify merchants will be among the first to get access to this new channel, so they can quickly offer these new mobile shopping experiences to their customers in these times.
Here's what you can expect: If you already have access to product tags through the Instagram sales channel, Facebook Shops will automatically become available to you in the coming weeks and you will be directly notified. Facebook Shops can be created on Instagram, with a version for Facebook coming soon.
If you haven't set up product tagging on Instagram yet, Facebook Shops will be available to you in the coming months. To prepare your store, you can install Shopify's new Facebook channel today, which will be your new home to power all of your sales and marketing activity across the Facebook family of apps. Once you've synced your products through the Facebook channel, you'll automatically get access once Facebook Shops is available for your account.
People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order — either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US.
You can get a good idea of how to set up your collections for Facebook Shops by watching this two minute video.
Coming this summer, starting in the US, Facebook is rolling out Instagram Shop—a new way to discover and buy products in Instagram Explore. The idea is that customers will get inspired by collections from @shop, and they will be able to browse selections from favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase favorite looks all in one place. Later this year, Instagram has announced that they are adding a new shop tab in the navigation bar, so users can get to Instagram Shop in just one tap.
Instagram recognizes that users have been using live video to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, they're making it easier to shop for products in real time. Soon, sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase. They're starting to test this with businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and will roll it out more broadly in the coming months.
Facebook is starting to test ways to make it easier to earn rewards with most loved businesses by enabling connections to loyalty programs. This would look something like seeing your local cafe loyalty points connected to your Facebook account, with the ability to see and keep track of your points and rewards within Facebook.
Updates on Facebook and Instagram selling will be rolling out over the next few months.