In a major expansion of its e-commerce segment, Facebook is bringing its online store feature, Shops, to subsidiary platform WhatsApp as well as Facebook Marketplace. The social media giant is also introducing augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) based tools to make shopping easier.
Launched last year in the midst of the pandemic, Shops enables businesses to set up an online store that is accessible both on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook today boasts of its over 300 million monthly Shops visitors and over 1.2 million monthly active Shops.
The company will soon allow businesses in select countries to showcase their Shop in WhatsApp.
In the US, Facebook will enable businesses to bring their Shops products into Marketplace, with its over one billion monthly visitors.
The social media giant is also introducing “new visual discovery tools” on Instagram that will help shoppers find new products as well as visualise items through AR before they make a purchase.
This year, the company will test a new AI-powered visual search that will help consumers find similar products – like floral print dresses – just by tapping on an image of a dress they fancy. In the future, Facebook plans to enable people to start a visual search merely by taking photos from their camera.