You’ve known about Facebook Page Shops and Instagram Shopping, but Facebook Commerce is about to become a lot more cohesive.

Last week Facebook announced Shops, a single storefront across Facebook and Instagram, as well as other ecommerce upgrades to their platforms.

That sounds big because it is big. It’s the beginning of a whole new chapter.

In with the new

setting up facebook shops

Facebook has always encouraged and supported ecommerce on both Facebook and Instagram, but they’ve done so through separate outlets: Page Shops, Marketplace, Instagram Shopping, dynamic product ads, etc.

Up until now. 

With Facebook Shops, businesses can now set up a single online store for customers to access across both Facebook and Instagram.

“We want to give people a place to experience the joy of shopping versus the chore of buying.” - Facebook

Whether people find a Shop through a business’ Facebook Page, Instagram profile, story, or ad, they’ll be presented with the same unified shopping experience. They’ll be able to browse collections, save products, and place orders on an external site or without leaving the app via Checkout.

facebook and instagram shops
Source: Facebook

And similar to when you’re in a physical store and need to ask around, Shops makes communication seamless through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct. Eventually, Facebook even plans to integrate key shopping features within chat across those apps.

Setting up your Shop is simple and free. The only costs to consider are the selling fee for Checkout – an optional, fair 5% – and the typical costs of ads.

Regardless of size or budget, any seller can bring their business online and connect with customers with Shops.

Changes to come

Facebook started to roll out Shops on May 19, but it’s supposed to be more widely available in the coming months. 

This summer, Facebook is going to introduce Instagram Shop, which they say is “a new way to discover and buy products you love in Instagram Explore.” It's essentially a dynamic overhauling of the existing Shop tab in Explore. Later in the year, they plan to take that a step further by adding Instagram Shop to Instagram’s main navigation bar (pictured below).

instagram explore shop
Source: Facebook / The Activity section seems to have been moved, Shop in its spot.

The company is also working on Live features to make shopping for products in real time easier. Sellers and creators will soon be able to tag products from their Facebook catalog to showcase them during livecasts.

facebook instagram live shopping
Source: Facebook

Lastly, Facebook says they’re “exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops.” We’ll have to wait and see how flexible that is, but it all sounds (and looks) very promising.

facebook loyalty programs
Source: Facebook

What does this mean for you?

If you’ve been using Instagram Shopping, your account has likely transitioned. If it hasn’t, Facebook did say it will be more widely available in the coming months. Keep an eye out for communications from Facebook on the matter.

We’ve yet to see changes on the Facebook end, but Shops should soon be visible across all participating business accounts on both Facebook and Instagram.

If you’re looking to get started with Facebook Commerce, marketing and selling your products across both is easy as:

Why this really matters

Social commerce isn’t anything new, and the previous capabilities of Facebook’s ecommerce offerings were nothing to ignore, but Facebook Shops is next-level.

Shops goes beyond social. It enables any seller to bring their business online and connect with their customers across the world's two most popular social networks... for free.

It's massive if your business is already on Facebook and Instagram – if it isn't, there's never been a better time to start.

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