“Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses 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. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.”

Businesses can create a ‘Shop’ section on their page and create listings from there. Instagram will also gain a dedicated shopping tab where similar functionality will be given to businesses.

Image: Instagram

Buyers will be able to message directly with businesses using Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram, all integrated as they are all Facebook properties. The above video shows a transaction happening through Facebook’s in-app checkout, which is optional. Most transactions will likely start on Facebook Shops and end up being completed on the business’ website.

Facebook is positioning this as an aid to businesses who may be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, but it's also a feature that should help both sides of the transaction in making Facebook a better place to buy things. It's a little surprising it has taken this long.