Once upon a time, Facebook was just another way to create an online presence and market a business on social media. But the company is quickly claiming its stake on social media e-commerce.
Facebook is currently testing new tools that let merchants sell directly on their Facebook Pages, a report by BuzzFeed revealed. The company has been building online storefronts right on Facebook Pages, with some of the pages even featuring new buy buttons to sell directly to customers.
This new shops feature is just the latest of Facebook's e-commerce initiatives. Just last year, the company launched buy buttons on sponsored posts, then unveiled Messenger payments shortly after. It's only fitting that businesses will soon be able to use the social network as an all-in-one e-commerce solution. [Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
"With the shop section on the page, we're now providing businesses with the ability to showcase their products directly on the page," Emma Rodgers, product marketing manager at Facebook, said in a statement.
The new Facebook Page shops essentially allow businesses to use their Facebook Pages as online storefronts and the entire Facebook platform as an e-commerce solution. The platform will be complete with social media marketing, all the way down the sales funnel from product discovery to customer service and a checkout system.
Facebook Page shops won't be limited to desktop, either. With most Facebook users accessing the social network on mobile phones, shops will also penetrate mobile commerce via the Facebook app. Shops will be displayed very visibly beneath the About section, making products for sale very hard to miss.
The Facebook Page shops platform is still very much in its early stages, however. For instance, there is still no search function for either products being sold or stores that currently have a shop on their Facebook Pages. BuzzFeed suggests that search would work similar to the current graph search feature; users could search by typing "shops with sales" or "stores that sell T-shirts" in the search bar.
Nonetheless, the new e-commerce tool promises to focus on the customer experience, with Facebook adding new "incremental features and capabilities," Rodgers said.
The Facebook Page shops feature is currently being piloted by a number of undisclosed brands. Facebook has yet to announce when it will start rolling out the new service or how it will charge businesses, so that could mean anything from commissions to payment processing and transaction fees, or even a pricing model similar to that used for Facebook Ads.