The world is now going through one of the biggest economic shocks this generation has had to face due to COVID-19 outbreak. While we all are focusing on surviving this health crisis, millions of people across the world are losing their jobs and small businesses are struggling to stay open. This is going to create a devastating effect on our economy for years to come even if we manage to bring this pandemic into control.
Amidst this chaos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken the initiative to help ease the struggle for small businesses. He came live on Facebook the other day to announce a $100 Million Grant Program to help up to 30,000 eligible small businesses across 30+ countries. But the highlight of his announcement was the introduction of a new online shopping feature called Facebook Shops which is now available on Facebook and Instagram.
It allows Small Business owners to easily set up their online shops on their Facebook or Instagram Account and sell items across the world. The fact that Facebook has provided this feature for free, makes it a huge help for Businesses which are new to this online marketplace.
Once a Facebook Shop is set up, it will be automatically made available on Instagram as well. And it will soon be available across Whatsapp and Messenger, which will make it much easier for the customers to approach and buy the products of their choice.
Facebook will soon be rolling out updates with a Shop Tab which can act pretty much like any E-commerce app. And this shopping experience will be made absolutely hassle-free, that once you connect your ATM Card with the account, we can purchase products via this Shopping Tab, Stories Swipe-ups, or even while watching Live Broadcasts. Facebook has recently made partnerships with reputed online shopping companies such as Shopify to make this happen so fast.
And the most interesting part for the consumer experience will be its Augmented Reality (AR) features which allow the users to virtually try on products. This is going to help the customers in many ways such as to see how a specific home decor item is going to look like if they place it in their room, or even try on cosmetic products virtually before making the purchase. Another feature is that its Artificial Intelligence (AI) will start detecting products shown in image posts and help the customers buy it almost immediately with a few taps on the screen.
These changes are definitely going to encourage people to buy more products via social media and support Small Business in this tough time. As a cherry on top, Facebook Shop allows Small Businesses to have loyalty programs to provide rewards for their customers and promote more sales. Facebook has also promised that the data of purchases that we make will never be shared with anyone else. So let’s support the small businesses in our locality and survive together!