For years, ecommerce businesses have been accustomed to publicising their products on Facebook before channelling users towards a separate site for completing the purchase. However, the boundary between Facebook and traditional online stores is now blurring in an unexpected way.

What is Facebook Shops about?

The concept of selling goods through Facebook is, of course, not entirely new. Perhaps you know someone who, in Facebook’s early days, posted a photo of a used bicycle captioned “for sale”, or you have yourself sold an old, slightly damaged iPhone over the Craigslist-style Facebook Marketplace.

The big difference with Facebook Shops, however, is that the social media site is now strengthening its partnerships with established providers of ecommerce solutions – think the likes of Shopify and WooCommerce. This setup will let you more easily integrate your online storefront into Facebook’s interface.

We can expect Facebook Shops to level the playing field

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown into sharp relief the immense gulf between large, long-established companies and their smaller, family-run competitors. While the former have largely flexed enough financial muscle to weather the storm, the latter have, especially offline, often been left in the lurch.

The online sphere has become a lifeline for these relatively little-known businesses, but Facebook Shops will leave shoppers only a few taps away from being able to buy their products without even leaving Facebook. These digital storefronts will be customisable in both appearance and stock selection, not to mention accessible through companies’ Facebook-based pages and ads.

How to gently nudge people towards your Facebook Shop

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