On Tuesday, Facebook announced Facebook Shops, an easier way for companies to list their products on Facebook. Zuckerburg was transparent with his intentions, announcing his desire to specifically support small businesses suffering due to the pandemic. Facebook hopes to eventually transition into a sales platform as well. We all know FB has planned world domination from day one. This is their latest way to make the site your one-stop shop from friends, news, video, and now- your mall. With this endeavor, Facebook could cash in as much as $30 billion, positioning themselves as e-commerce players alongside Amazon and Google. But hot dang, even with this hostile take-over, their moms in quarantine commercial has us feeling all the feels. Job well done, MIndshare. Now, will someone please pass the tissues?
This is big. Sure, the hope and relief this development brings to so many small businesses is fantastic. While big names and department stores can depend on their already established online market, so many small mom and pop shops are scrambling to develop an online presence now that their physical doors are closed. With the opportunity to post and (eventually) sell through Facebook, these brick & mortar, stand alone shops now stand a chance. And not just a stand a chance, they might actually thrive.
But the real “big” behind this big news is how the arrival of Facebook Shops solidifies the necessity for digital transformation. We’ve stressed the dramatic shift in today’s marketing landscape. There is a current demand for consumers to be engaged on multiple digital platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Tik Tok– this is where our customers are. Businesses must focus their efforts accordingly. They must focus on developing their ‘user experience.’ Facebook Shops allows businesses an access to their customer’s experience like never before. We’re talking an all access, backstage pass. By setting up shop and engaging with the consumers where they already are, these small businesses are establishing their place amongst the competition.
And we gotta hand it to our small businesses. If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s that our small business owners aren’t just creative, they’re downright scrappy. The very morning after their doors were forced shut, small biz owners began to execute any and every plan to keep their customers coming. Curbside pick-up. To-go dinners for two. Contactless delivery. Daily specials. A local gift shop in our neighborhood even offers porch drop off. I called them for a Mother’s Day gift last week and had it on my porch by sundown. Boom. They might seem like great lengths or desperate measures because… well, they are. But they’re also smart moves. Appropriate and well timed pivots. These businesses are reaching their customers because they’re adapting to the day’s climate- the one where everyone stands 6 feet away and bathes in hand sanitizer.
These quirky, brilliant and borderline ridiculous moves have kept our local favorites afloat in such uncertain times. And now, Facebook Shops is an open invitation for these places to engage with their customers in a streamlined manner on a well established platform. Avi Dan’s Forbes article addresses agencies “need to become the connecting tissue that holds multiple technology platforms together in order to serve both clients and consumers in tandem.” Here we are, weeks later, and Zuckerburg seems to have answered his requests.
“It’s one simple and consistent experience across this family of apps, which means it is easier for people.”