Facebook Launches Facebook Shops Aimed at Small Businesses
By Maria Armental
Facebook Inc. is making a big push into online shopping through
Facebook Shops, enlisting small businesses to sell their wares
through its platform and giving them access to its technology at a
time when the coronavirus pandemic has upended business
"It's clear at this point that Covid isn't just a health
emergency," Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday,
referring to the pandemic that's forced businesses to close
physical stores. "It's also the biggest economic shock that we've
felt in our lifetime."
Small businesses, Mr. Zuckerberg said, will be able to
personalize virtual storefronts to show specific products that are
considered more relevant and use augmented reality to let customers
virtually try on things like sunglasses, lipstick or makeup or what
furniture might look like in a room.
The virtual shops will appear on the businesses' Facebook and
Instagram accounts and, eventually, on Messenger and WhatsApp as
The move, which Facebook said was months in the making and was
done with partners like Shopify Inc., comes a day after the company
released results from a survey of small business owners that found
that as of April nearly one-third of small and medium-sized
businesses had stopped operating.
"Small businesses need a way to find new buyers," Shopify CEO
Tobias "Tobi" Lütke said Tuesday speaking with Mr. Zuckerberg.
Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg said, is building a dedicated shopping
tab on Instagram, for example, and a destination inside Explore to
help find and buy products. Live shopping features, he said, will
be also added.
"For years, people have used our apps to buy and sell things
from the early days of posting a photo of a bicycle with the
caption 'for sale,' to selling your coffee table on Marketplace and
now shopping styles from your favorite brands and influencers on
Instagram," Mr. Zuckerberg said in a statement posted on the
company's blog, adding: "It was the people who use our apps who
envisioned social commerce. We're helping them make it a
Write to Maria Armental at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 19, 2020 15:06 ET (19:06 GMT)
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