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Facebook Launches 'Shops' Online Platform For Small Businesses

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Facebook has launched its online store Facebook Shops, aiming to help struggling small businesses amid lockdowns following the worsening spread of coronavirus pandemic. The new platform will be widely available in the coming months.

Facebook Shops will make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. It will soon be available in Messenger and WhatsApp.

The social media giant is partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics to give small businesses the support they need.

According to the company, the new platform will help small businesses, who are looking to bring their business online, to adapt and make buying and selling online easier.

Any businesses, irrespective of their size or budget, can create free Facebook Shop platform in simple process. They can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog, and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand.

Customers can find Facebook Shops on a business Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. They can then browse the full collection, save interested products and place an order. This can be done either on the business' website or without leaving the app if the "checkout" feature is enabled.

Facebook is introducing Instagram Shop this summer, starting in the US. It helps customers to discover and buy products in Instagram Explore. Later this year, the company will add a new shop tab in the navigation bar.

The company is also exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops.

Facebook has created a $100 million grant program to help small businesses, which are also getting financial support under the U.S. government's Paycheck Protection Program or PPP.

The PPP, overseen by the Small Business Administration or SBA, is part of the Government's $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, aiming to help small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

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