- Shops is expanding to WhatsApp and Marketplace
- Shops ads solutions will help businesses personalize the shopping journey
- New technologies like Instagram visual search and AR Dynamic Ads will power the future of shopping.
Today, we’re announcing new ways to shop across our apps, along with solutions for businesses to personalize shopping with ads, and investments in technologies that will shape the shopping experiences of tomorrow.
The way people shop has changed in the last few decades — from visiting malls, to buying online and now virtually trying on sunglasses from your couch. Commerce has been part of Facebook’s DNA for years, with retail brands using personalized ads to reach customers. Last year, when COVID-19 shut down local economies, we accelerated the launch of Shops to help businesses sell online. We believe the shift to online, social-first shopping is not temporary. One in three shoppers globally say they plan to spend less time in-store even after the pandemic is over, and almost three-quarters say they get shopping ideas from Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp. We’ll continue to support economic recovery by making further investments in Shops and waiving fees for business sellers through June 2022.
Bringing Shops to More People
Today, we have over 300 million monthly Shops visitors and over 1.2 million monthly active Shops. Now, we’re making it even easier for people to discover and buy from Shops. Soon, we’ll give businesses in select countries the option to showcase their Shop in WhatsApp. In the US, we’ll enable them to bring Shops products into Marketplace, helping them reach the more than 1 billion people globally who visit each month.
Shoppers want to feel confident in the purchases they make, so we’re giving people more information before they buy. Over the next few months we’ll expand ratings and reviews to products in Shops on Instagram. Soon you’ll see photos and videos from the community, too. These changes will help people make more informed decisions on what to buy, and will let businesses know if they are meeting customer expectations.
Personalizing the Shopping Journey With Ads
Businesses want to offer shopping experiences that are seamless and relevant and we want to provide a shopping experience that is as personalized as your News Feed. That’s why we’re introducing Shops ads solutions that provide unique ads experiences based on people’s shopping preferences. For example, we’re testing the ability for businesses to send shoppers to where they are most likely to make a purchase based on their shopping behavior, such as curated products that you might be interested in from a Shop or a business’ website. In the future, we’ll explore ways to help brands further personalize their Shops ads by providing special offers or promotions to select shoppers.
This builds on existing tools for business that help them find the right audience like Shopping Custom Audiences and ads with product tags, which enable businesses to send people to their Shop directly from an ad. Together, this suite of personalized Shops ads solutions can help businesses move customers from discovery to purchase.
Introducing New Technologies to Power the Future of Shopping
We’re investing in immersive technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence that will be the foundation for the way we shop online going forward. With new visual discovery tools on Instagram, we’re helping shoppers find new products, and with AR experiences we’re helping people visualize items before they buy.
On Instagram, shopping begins with visual discovery. Every day, people scroll through the app and see thumb-stopping inspiration, which becomes a jumping off point for the shopping journey. This year we’ll start testing a new visual search powered by AI. Visual search helps people find similar products – like floral print dresses – just by tapping on an image of a dress they like. In the future we’ll make it possible for people to take photos from their camera to start a visual search. While it’s still early, we think visual search will enhance mobile shopping by making even more pieces of media on Instagram shoppable.
Even as brick and mortar re-open in many countries, two-thirds of online shoppers say that they want to virtually try on products from the comfort of their home. To help shoppers get a better feel for the fit of a product before they purchase, we’re making it easier for brands to create AR try-on experiences in Shops through new API integrations with Modiface and Perfect Corp. We’re also introducing new tools for brands to include AR product catalogs in ads that will automatically show relevant products to people based on their interests.
We’re also bringing some of the biggest brands together to experiment with Live Shopping on Facebook and bringing this personalized shopping experience to viewers through Live Shopping Fridays.
Today’s updates are part of our ongoing work to make shopping easier on our apps and support a stronger economy for everyone.