Never one to miss an opportunity, Facebook have pounced on the growth in online shopping, accelerated by COVID-19, with the launch of Facebook Shops.

Facebook Shops is a mobile-first shopping experience enabling businesses to create online stores on Facebook and Instagram for free.

From a single point, businesses will be able to customise the look and feel of their shops and sell through both Facebook and Instagram.

It raises the possibility of a more level playing field in e-commerce. Any seller, no matter their size or size of budget, will be able to bring their business online and reach customers around the world. This isn’t just for small businesses of course. It’s for any business looking to inspire their audience and make buying and selling online easier.

Facebook have developed their social commerce to include some nice touches you’d experience in a physical store too, such as asking store staff for help. In Facebook Shops consumers will be able to able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries and more.

Later this year Facebook hopes to make it possible to view a business’ shop and make purchases within their chat apps.

The rollout of Facebook Shops started on 19 May and will be more widely available over the coming months.

Selling through live video is also coming and a new shop tab will be added to the Instagram navigation bar later this year.

Facebook are also working with e-commerce partners like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics to give small businesses the support they need.

Watch out big business because I think the small businesses will be coming at you.