Facebook and Instagram launch digital Shop to provide business relief

The new shopping destinations are expected to offer relief for businesses that have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic

Social media sites Facebook and Instagram have introduced new internal digital shopping destinations for millions of businesses.

First to launch is Facebook Shops, which allows business owners to create a catalogue of products via their Facebook Page for customers to shop without leaving the site.

Mimicking shopping in-store, customers will be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Instagram to ask questions and track deliveries.

In a statement, Facebook said: “Some 160 million businesses use our apps every month, nearly one business for every 55 people on the planet.

“They are an important part of the Facebook community and, right now, many are being forced to change their model and adapt to selling online.

“We hope that these free tools can relieve some of the pressures these businesses are facing right now, and help them to prepare for the future.”

Meanwhile, set to launch this summer in the US is Instagram Shop.

Via Instagram Explore, consumers and businesses will be able to buy and sell products in one place.

Instagram is also making it easier to shop for products in real time.

Sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalogue before going live and allowing customers to purchase products.

Last year, Instagram rolled-out shoppable posts for influencers – such as Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian West – but has extended this concept to businesses.

“Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online,” added the company.

“Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers.”

Companies