COVID-19 has forced many businesses to close and employees to lose their jobs. A lack of digital presence with storefront products being available has played a huge roll in this.
Here in Fayetteville, NC (home to Fort Bragg and the 82nd airborne), one local brick and mortar shop was forced to quickly create an online store to sell their products after stay at home orders forced them to close.
While having a website for your store to let customers know you exist is great, our new normal has made it clear that having your products online for purchase is a must.
Facebook Launches “Facebook Shops”
To help remedy this situation, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg recently announced that in light of COVID they are launching Facebook Shops—a new spin on e-commerce.
Zuckerberg says that with Facebook Shops ” any small business can easily start a shop to sell things directly across our apps. If you visit someone’s shop, you’ll be able to see that small business’s story, see their featured products, and buy them in our apps.”
Facebook Shops will be free and easy to set up and powered by current big e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more. The setup will allow customers to purchase products in their feed right at that moment, by using their stored payment credentials.
Military Spouses and Facebook Shops
For new military spouse creators considering opening an online store, this will be a chance to build a digital shop at practically no cost and reach the people you talk to daily. For current shop owners, creating a FB shop is another way to expand on your already existing customer base, friends, followers and groups who may have been unaware of your products.
Your customers and followers will be able to find your Facebook shop on your Facebook business page or Instagram account. You’ll also be able to handle customer service through FB messenger and What’s App.
Additionally, shop creators will also have the option to create Rewards and loyalty programs to encourage customers to keep shopping and show appreciation to them.
Zuckerburg also said in his announcement “Soon, we’ll also be launching new Live shopping features across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time”.
This feature would allow you to tag items before you go live and display them on the screen during the live, allowing sales to happen without the user navigating from your broadcast.
These options are perfect for the large amount of milspouse digital hustlers who are using Facebook business pages to promote crafts, foods, apparel, and more.
Other Features That Will Help Milspouse Shop Digital Owners
Future shop updates will use Artificial Intelligence to personalize the customer’s shopping experiences.
Facebook Shops will automatically tag products in the user’s feed for purchasing. You’ll also be able to see how well an item looks on you with their augmented reality feature which will let you try on items, or see how a piece of furniture might look in your room.
“On top of that, we’re building a bunch of features across our apps to help people discover things from small businesses that they might want to buy. We’re building a dedicated shopping tab on Instagram and a destination inside Explore where you can find and buy products you might be interested in.
Facebook Shops will allow entrepreneurs to create a full store experience 24/7, and help you to prepare for what Mark Zuckerburg calls a “more online future”.
Shops have already started to roll out on Facebook, with the Instagram option launching this Summer. Facebook says that they “right now we are rolling out to businesses who sell with Instagram Shopping, a Facebook Page Shop, or both.”
In the meantime you can start with Instagram Shopping here.
Learn more about Facebook Shops here.