At the end of April 2023, Meta announced that they would be making changes to Shops across their platforms, with different changes applying to different regions. This blog will look into what the changes are, where/when they come into effect and some ways you can mediate the impact on your business.
To start, this article was published on June 13th 2023. Therefore, the information you are about to read (depending on when you are reading it) may be out of date. I suggest checking out the following Facebook sources to enhance the information you are about to read:
What is Checkout on Facebook and Instagram?
Checkout is a Meta system that allows customers to buy items directly from a shop on Facebook or Instagram, rather than sending users to a customer website. Checkout is set up and managed via Commerce Manager and shop owners will incur a processing fee per transaction (Meta is temporarily wavering this fee from the 30th of June 2023).
Changes to Meta Shops support in the US:
As of June 5th 2023, new shops via the Commerce Manager and Shopify can only be created or onboarded with Checkout with Facebook or Instagram. This means that each shop must have a full Facebook/Instagram Checkout process enabled ensuring that the customer completes the sale on the platform. Onboarding of new shops via other partners must have Checkout Enabled by August 10th 2023.
Pre-existing shops will have already started to see the limitations, as beginning April 24th – support for shops without Checkout with Facebook or Instagram enabled will end.
TLDR: Shops must use Facebook or Instagram Checkout in their shops.
Changes to Meta Shops support in 21 international markets:
(Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and Ukraine)
No changes are expected for the listed 21 international markets, as Shops (with or without Checkout) will continue to function as normal. Though Meta is making some changes to the features in shops in an attempt to evolve shops to be more focused on driving product discovery. For example:
- Changes to product details pages
- Product tagging on organic posts
- Ads with product tags
- Conversion tracking on business websites
- While features like Storefront, Wishlist and Collections, will no longer be accessible to Shops
TLDR: Shops will continue to run as they have previously, though there will be changes in some features.
Changes to Meta Shops for the Rest of The World (This includes Ireland)
Beginning August 10th, Businesses will no longer be able to host a shop on their Facebook Page or Instagram account, unless the shop has Checkout with Facebook or Instagram enabled in the US. While features like product tagging in posts, Reels and Stories and custom audiences based on shop data will no longer be available to any user who doesn’t have an accessible shop.
TLDR: Shops will no longer be available unless they have Facebook/Instagram Checkout enabled in the US market
What can we do instead of using a Shop on Facebook and/or Instagram?
Meta has suggested a number of on-platform alternatives to limit the impact of the above changes (Personalized ads, Reels and Click-to-Message ads) though the best solution may not be on Meta. That being said, if you are in a region that can still run a Shop it might be advantageous to set up a Checkout system as it is likely they will be compulsory for all Meta sellers in months to come.
If you can’t run a Meta shop any longer, we believe the next best bet is to pivot to another sales channel – Google Merchant Center. While Amazon does offer a very good service, Google, via Google Merchant Center and Google Ads, offers a way to reach customers across numerous touch points in their day including Google Shopping (free and paid), YouTube, Discovery, and Display Ads.
At the recent Google Marketing Live 2023, Google revealed the launch of a simplified and automated version of Merchant Center – called Google Merchant Center Next which brings a number of significant benefits for users. Check out Nicola’s new blog on everything Google Merchant Center Next.
Introducing Google Merchant Center Next
If you are interested in setting up and running a Google Merchant Center or would like more information on how you could limit Meta’s new changes, feel free to contact our expert team at email@example.com.
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