While the COVID-19 crisis has hit hard on the world economy, bringing sleepless nights for businesses and companies in general, the most suffering are the small businesses.
Bringing some relief to them, Facebook has launched ‘Facebook Shops’ that makes it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads.
Announcing the new launch, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said that the basic idea was to enable small businesses to start a shop to sell things directly across its 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. I think this particularly important right now because so many small businesses are moving online to deal with the economic fallout from Covid-19. As people are being told to stay home, physical storefronts are having a hard time staying open and millions of people are losing their jobs. I’ve been personally working with our teams on Facebook Shops every day for the last couple of months so we could accelerate launching it to small businesses who could use tools like this now,” said Mr Zuckerberg on his Facebook page.
Bigger Opportunities For Smaller Businesses In MENA
The move is expected to bring bigger opportunities for the small businesses in the Middle East & North Africa region. The pandemic has made consumers transact and purchase online even more than before. Head of Content at Radix Media MENA, Fatima Shaikh, calls this a well-timed game changer. “Considering how deep rooted Facebook is in our lives, Facebook Shops will allow small businesses to focus all their efforts on one platform whilst ensuring that the consumer has gone through the entire purchase funnel with the brand. It will give the business and the consumer an equal competitive opportunity to connect and transact.”
“Facebook Shops has the potential of offering small to mid size businesses a seamless journey from conversation to conversion,” added Ms Shaikh.
According to Facebook, 160 million businesses use its apps every month – nearly one business for every 55 people on the planet, all using Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp to reach customers. “Big brands use them, alongside coffee shops, barbershops and restaurants. And for every one of those 160 million there are people earning livelihoods and customers using products or services. Above all, we hope the optimism of small business owners is well-founded and look forward to reports in the future telling a story of recovery and better times to come,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook.