With this global pandemic, there has been a wide range of responses as businesses have been given a curdling reminder that there is nothing like a perfect plan. Before now, who knew that the world would have a pause button and that toilet tissues, hand sanitizers and face masks would be in high demand? While the Covid-19 has made us adjust, life, when the virus is defeated, won’t be the same again and so many businesses especially small businesses are going to adopt new strategies in order to stay relevant.
One of the things that the pandemic did also was to shift people’s attention to Facebook and Instagram as they had to check for business opening hours and other information before stepping out. Since there is a general notion that people are going to live more of their lives online, Facebook announced Facebook shops recently to help small businesses stay relevant, so it seems.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook shop will help users upload their catalog, choose the products they want to feature, customize it with a cover image and accent colors allowing visitors to browse, save and order products. However, payment of a product is completed outside Facebook.
Announcing the launch, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described this as a way to help businesses suffering in the wake of COVID-19, though he acknowledged it will not “undo all the economic damage.” He also stressed that it’s partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics.
However, there is a burning question in the lips of many. What is the difference between Facebook shop and Facebook marketplace. Both of them shares the same objective. Many believe that the Facebook shop might be another capitalist product that has been christened as a tool that will help SMEs. Already, Facebook’s vice president of ads Dan Levy said that the company will charge “small fees” on each purchase, and real monetization will come from driving more advertising.
Also, Facebook shop might be attempting to solve a problem that has been solved as its features are similar to an E-commerce store. E-commerce store has been using Facebook to drive traffic for a very long time but all that is going to change as there would be a drop in sales once the Facebook shop starts working properly since it would not require the services of an expertise nor funds to set up.
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While some people are jubilating, Facebook shop does not translate into sales immediately, just the same way having an e-commerce store doesn’t add up to sales until a purchase is made. A staggering 68 percent of consumers abandon their carts prior to checkout, according to research by CWCS Managed Hosting. Facebook shop is going to face the same problem as businesses don’t have control over the dilemma of buyers, especially during checkouts.
What Facebook need to do is focus on their security challenges as many people have ended up buying a product from scammers through a sponsored advert they saw online. Instagram is not left out as there are hundreds of fake stores swindling peoples money without delivering products. This alone has painted an ugly picture for this new Facebook shop, especially in Nigeria.
At least for now, small businesses need funds to breathe life into a business that collapsed during the lockdown, any other thing would be adding fire to the pyres of a business that is waiting for final interment.