Facebook Inc. is reportedly making it easier to shop and for online retailers to get their products discovered by a wide customer base and boost sales. After Instagram and Facebook, the social media giant is expanding its ‘Shops’ to popular messaging app, WhatsApp in several countries across the globe.
Shops was launched last year by Facebook, Inc. as a way for customers to discover and buy products on Facebook and Instagram, which paved the way for the tech company in the e-commerce industry. Since then, the Shops has had over 300 million visitors and nearly 1.2 million active Shops for each month. According to the company, nearly 70% users on Facebook use the platform to search for brands or products online. Over 1 billion customers use Facebook Marketplace every month, which is why Facebook is making it easy for businesses to launch their shops into Marketplace to reach newer customers. Businesses in the United States can now choose Marketplace as an additional sales channel for their brands and products. While, in certain other countries can display their shops in WhatsApp. Users can browse a Shop’s inventory, product information, and communicate with the seller about specific items before purchasing it on WhatsApp. In addition, the company also announced it would be focusing on augmented reality and virtual reality tools to enable customers to try on items and would be testing an artificial intelligence tool called “Visual Search”. This feature will enable users shopping on Instagram to click on items and find similar products in Shops. Users will also be able to use this to search from photos on their phones using their own camera rolls or content from the app. Facebook is also introducing Shops Ads which aim to provide a more individualized shopping experience by targeting ads based on shopping habits of individuals.
The rollout for Shops in WhatsApp is set to commence soon and Shops inventory in Marketplace is now available for Shops in the U.S. with on-site checkout option. The AI-based Visual Search feature on Instagram will be rolling out for testing over the next couple of months.