Facebook has done a survey of 86,000 small businesses in the Us and there is 31% of small businesses have stopped operating as a result of the coronavirus crisis. But according to Zuckerberg, one way that businesses are surviving during this period is by moving more online: “We’re seeing a lot of businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time, and we’re seeing small businesses that had an online presence now make them their primary way of doing business” he said.
“This isn’t going to make up for all of the lost business, but it can help. And for lots of small businesses during this period, this is the difference between staying afloat and going under.”
Also according to Mark Zuckerberg, small businesses are the vast majority of users who use Facebook advertising so they are very important to Facebook because it makes up the biggest part of Facebook's revenue. That is also one of the reasons Facebook has been invested a lot in helping small businesses during this time from their $100 million grant program, food delivery, gift card and support small business stickers on Instagram to the biggest feature so far: Facebook Shops.
If you are struggling with stores closing and many others are looking to bring their business online, then you might consider Facebook Shops, the latest feature from Facebook has just been launched on May 19, 2020 that inspired people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.
Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. You can choose the products you want to feature from your catalog and then customize the look and feel of your shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase your brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.
People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order—either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US.
Facebook is also partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to help brands bring their products into Facebook Shops.
Businesses will be able to use these third-party platforms to manage their Facebook Shops, as well as any social ads related to those Shops.
And in the near future, Facebook Shops will also allow small businesses to sell products through Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Messenger, and tag products during live broadcasts!
Finally, Facebook is also testing ways to make it easier to earn rewards with businesses you love by enabling you to connect your loyalty programs, like the points program at your local cafe, to your Facebook account.
“You’ll be able to easily see and keep track of your points and rewards,” according to Facebook’s announcement. “And we’re exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage, and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops.”
Something to keep in mind is while creating and using Shops is free, Facebook plans to collect a commission on orders that are made through the tool. TechCrunch had an interview with Facebook's vice president of ads Dan Levy and he said that Facebook plans to charge "small fee" on each purchase made through Shops - however, he didn't specify the rate or percentage.
We should know about this soon or later.