The service will allow businesses to create storefronts within Facebook and Instagram, listing products on their Facebook page and their Instagram profile. The listings will either link to outside sites to buy the products or allow users to purchase them directly on Facebook.
Facebook shares recently traded at $219.60, up 3.01%. The stock has firmed 1% over the past three months, compared to a 12% drop for the S&P 500.
“Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram,” the company wrote in an explanation of the product on its web site.
“Creating a Facebook Shop is free. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop. … This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers.”
Businesses also can display their products through stories or ads on Facebook.
In the future, Facebook Shops will enable businesses to sell products through the chat features of WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct, the company said.
Facebook Shops represents part of the company’s effort to support and engage small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was personally involved with development of the new feature, CNBC reports.
Small businesses account for a large majority of Facebook’s 8 million advertisers, he said.