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Facebook Introduces In-App Shopping with Facebook & Instagram Shops

Facebook launched a new “Shop” feature on Facebook and Instagram that allows consumers to shop within their respective applications. Consumers can now shop, buy, and purchase all within the platforms without having to leave and go to a brand’s website to checkout. This May 19, 2020 update is one of the latest to come from Facebook during the current global pandemic and is expected to help consumers maximize their time spent on these social apps as well as help small businesses during this tough time by expanding to online shopping.

What is Facebook Shops?

Facebook Shops is a newer feature that creates essentially a virtual storefront for brands and companies on their business’ Facebook Page. Businesses can create their Facebook Shop for free and then visitors can browse, save, and order products. You just need to upload your business’ product catalog, choose the products you want to feature, and customize your shop with a cover image and accent color.

Boom – you have your company’s Facebook Shop!

Video from Facebook:

What is Instagram Shop?

Instagram Shop is a virtual storefront for all shoppable Instagram Business accounts on the app. You can find the Instagram Shop option on your account’s discover page. Then at the top, you will see the shopping bag icon and the word shop. If your company page has either Instagram Checkout or Shopping, you will be searchable on Instagram Shop.

Instagram Checkout is a further extension of the Instagram Shopping feature that has been around since September 2017. Instagram Shopping and Checkout now live under your company’s Instagram account page with a new view shop tab.


What’s the difference between Instagram Shopping and Instagram Checkout?

Instagram Shopping lets consumers browse through companies’ products and shop while on Instagram. But the main difference is you cannot check out and purchase within Instagram. You will be prompted to “View on Website” which then you would complete your purchase on the company’s website.


Instagram Checkout provides the option to purchase products inside the app, which speeds up the buying process as well as keeps the consumer on Instagram. The same goes for Facebook Shops.


I already have Instagram Shopping. How do I get Instagram Checkout?

If you already have Instagram Shopping set up on your company’s Instagram Business account, then you are halfway there. Once you have successfully set it up, Instagram Shopping and your Facebook Shop then Instagram Checkout should automatically apply within days.

Facebook and Instagram are no strangers when it comes to privacy and security concerns with their users. Instagram has its new Purchase Protection policy, which you can read here, and Facebook’s privacy policy here.

Now many people are questioning what this means for e-commerce brands and companies in the future and post-pandemic? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in his live stream announcement on May 19 that “we’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time, and we’re seeing small businesses that had online presences now make them their primary way of doing business.”

Facebook and Instagram Shops are providing the help companies, especially small businesses, need to expand their businesses and grow during this unprecedented time. Companies can create a storefront and promote their business in this new way in places where the majority of consumers are already trafficking without even having to have a proper website. If your company or brand wasn’t online before, then it definitely will be now.

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