Every year Facebook announces new features for their collection of platforms: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Portal, and Oculus. This year a huge number of these announcements will impact on shopping and commerce.
Here are the five key updates every Shopify merchant needs to know from the 2019 Facebook f8 event:
1. Shopping on Instagram
There is now an entire Shopping channel in the Explore section, and soon direct check-out will be rolling out for merchants.
2. Messenger Desktop App
Facebook made clear that Messenger is the core of its messaging app experience, even announcing that users can soon message friends on Instagram DM and WhatsApp from Messenger. But we think another announcement is just as big, if not bigger: Messenger will have a native desktop app! This is going to enable you to not only tap into Messenger and Octane AI to connect with people on mobile, or when they are logged into Facebook, but directly from their desktop.
3. Scheduling in Messenger
Lots of people use Messenger to qualify customers and book appoints in the store. The Messenger team saw this and announced a new feature that lets you directly book a time in Messenger. If you have a physical store, you will want this!
4. Better Discovery for Facebook Groups
Facebook is redesigning Facebook.com to put a huge emphasis on Facebook groups and community. This will enable Shopify merchants with their own Facebook groups to grow those groups even faster.
5. Catalogues on WhatsApp
WhatsApp, used internationally by billion, announced a new Catalogues feature, which shows a catalogue of products from local businesses while you’re chatting with them. This will help local businesses get their products discovered and purchased, and could make a huge impact on how local businesses connect with their customers.
Messenger is continuing to become the number one way that people communicate with each other. With conversational ads, automated conversational product finders, automated customer support, and lead generation, it is more exciting than ever to connect with your customers via Messenger.