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Free e-commerce with new Facebook Shops
February 18, 2020

Facebook enters the battle for the e-commerce market. During May 2020, Facebook Shops was launched where companies can post products and sell directly on Facebook - completely free as well.

Facebook came with big news when they announced that they are launching Facebook Shops and thus enter into the battle with Amazon for world domination of the e-commerce market.

Simplified, Facebook Shops means that you, as a company, can post your products and sell them directly on Facebook. Or rather, the last step, the actual payment, still takes place on your site if you are not part of Facebook's American pilot project Checkout. This summer, Facebook will also start the launch of Instagram Shop, like Facebook Shops stuck on Instagram.

Theoretically, as a consumer, you will be able to e-shop without ever having to leave Facebook at all. Whether this feels practical or scary, we will let you decide for yourself.

Facebook Shops is free

Using Facebook Shops is free for businesses. At least, the part of posting their products on Facebook. We suspect that there are costs associated with using Checkout when / if the payment solution is released for all the companies.

Regardless, this is a big difference from Amazon, the giant of e-commerce heaven. If you, as a company, want to sell your products via Amazon's marketplace, you must be prepared that it is far away from being free.

Why is Facebook doing this?

If Facebook Shops are now free, you may wonder why they do it. Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, responded that Facebook is dependent on small businesses for its advertising revenue. These companies have been hit hard during the corona crisis.

The idea of ​​Facebook Shops is to help these companies, which Facebook, in turn, believes will lead to increased advertising sales among those who use Facebook Shops. So even though Facebook Shops is free, Facebook has a clear strategy for how it will lead to increased revenue for them.

Google and Shopify are also challenging

Facebook is not alone in trying to challenge Amazon. Google offers a service within Google Shopping where they take care of the user's entire buying process. Google discussed this news on last year's Google Marketing Live. The first market out for Google was France. We have not heard much about this venture after the conference last year, which we guess means that it has not picked up the speed yet.

At the end of April 2020, Shopify launched its new app, Shop, where e-retailers using Shopify's platform can sell their products. Another in the line of marketplaces that want to challenge Amazon's coveted position.

The death of your own websites?

When all these internet giants offer platforms to sell your products on, is your website needed? For really small e-retailers, the answer may be no. They can possibly do without a website. There are e-retailers already today that only sell via Amazon.

But most e-retailers are guaranteed to continue investing in their websites while possibly using one or more of these marketplaces.

The reason is probably quite simple. You want to control and be able to build your own brand. This isn't easy to do if you are only on someone else's platform.

One should also not forget that the most crucial traffic source for many e-merchants is organic traffic from search engines like Google. If you only sell your products on Facebook, well, then you will not get any organic traffic from Google. Then you need to rely on the traffic that Facebook offers. And we know how Mr. Zuckerberg wants you to get hold of it - by buying ads from him.

Exciting investment

Facebook Shops is an exciting investment by Facebook, and it can undoubtedly be an exciting opportunity for certain types of e-retailers. We have a hard time deciding if we think it will fly or not. We will see. What do you think? Will Facebook Shops be able to take up the fight with Amazon?