Facebook launches shops
On 19 May, Mark Zuckerberg launched Shops, a new feature that will be available across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger eventually. The offering: a seamless online shopping experience across the Facebook family of apps (as they are referred to) without ever having to go to a website.
Now that finally brings the sales angle to social media, for long just considered a marketing platform. Although this will have worldwide appeal, it will have certainly have a much bigger uptake in Africa, I believe. If they can tie-in the likes of PayToday, Zapper, Mpesa, and other mobile payment platforms, it will become the go-to place for online shopping. Watch out Amazon!
At the same time a number of new features were launched specifically aimed at helping small businesses that are not set-up for e-commerce to start using the Facebook family of apps to generate sales. Social media checkouts, augmented reality and artificial intelligence for shopping are all in the mix.
As always, all of the features may not immediately be available locally. The COVID-19 business resources displayed below are however already available in Namibia and so is the shop option.
For more on how the shop applications will work, see these links: