- As consumers become more comfortable with social commerce, Meta announced the rollout of multiple features for shopping within its Facebook Groups aimed at helping users find recommended products and support the communities they're a part of.
- Facebook's Shops in Groups feature lets users buy products from within their Facebook groups. Facebook will also show product recommendations in its groups based on what other members have recommended when a user asks for guidance. Users can then purchase those items through Facebook.
- A Top Product Mentions feature will promote product discovery in shoppers' news feeds by highlighting recommended products from groups they're a part of, per the announcement. The company has also begun testing a live shopping tool for creators, enabling them to partner with brands and showcase products.
In addition to product discovery and recommendation features, Meta released other tools to help shoppers make informed purchases. Community replies on Facebook connects shoppers with others that have bought items they're considering purchasing. Shoppers can view and reply to inquiries about products.
The company has expanded its ratings and reviews, letting people see reviews from e-commerce sites before making Facebook and Instagram purchases. Instagram also now allows businesses to add users' product images to their product pages to let customers view non-marketing product photos before buying something.
The introduction of live shopping for creators is a continuation of Meta's experimentation with livestream commerce. In May, Facebook highlighted beauty and fashion brands like Sephora, Clinique, and Abercrombie & Fitch in a series of live shoppable videos through their Facebook pages.
Both Facebook and Instagram have doubled down on facilitating shoppable commerce this year. Facebook added its Shops feature to WhatsApp in June, which allowed sellers on the messaging app to integrate their Shops products into the marketplace. In July, Instagram announced that it was pivoting away from photos and focusing instead on creators, video, messaging and shopping. A month later, the platform enabled ads within its Shop tab for select U.S. brands, including Deux, Clare Paint and Away.
Social media platforms are focusing more on social shopping features as the behavior becomes more prevalent. Shoppers are predicted to spend more money via social media channels, especially younger consumers, during the upcoming holiday shopping season. A June report from The NPD Group found that just over half of survey respondents said they bought items based on content they saw on Facebook and Instagram. Brightpearl.com found in a recent report that more than two-thirds of Gen Z shoppers will shop via nontraditional channels, including Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and YouTube.