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Facebook testing small e-commerce stores


Facebook is looking to build small e-commerce stores within the world’s largest social network, as it seeks to expand beyond socialising and content sharing.

BuzzFeed News, citing a Facebook executive, reported that the company is building out shops within Facebook pages, providing businesses a chance to directly sell their products. The company earlier allowed businesses, brands and organizations to build their own pages and share their stories with people.

The report added that the shops are still in testing, but some of them already allow customers the entire shopping experience within the site, from product discovery to checkout.

“With the shop section on the page, we’re now providing businesses with the ability to showcase their products directly on the page,” BuzzFeed News quoted Facebook product marketing manager Emma Rodgers as saying.

She added that the project is at an early stage, with the number of Facebook’s shops currently limited to double digits.

“We’ll continue to add incremental features and capabilities to (the) pages because they are such an important part of the consumer experience on Facebook,” she said.

If the experiment succeeds, it could transform the entire e-commerce industry, jolting companies such as eBay and even Amazon. At present, businesses use their Facebook pages just to inform customers about their offerings.

Earlier Facebook introduced money transfer through its Messenger app. The company is reportedly also working on a Messenger feature that will help people search and buy products.

While Facebook does not currently take a percentage from product sales on its platform, it may charge businesses for the feature in future, the report added.

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