According to Meta, Shops that have checkout enabled in-app – i.e. Shops that have integrated inventory, as opposed to referring users to a website to make a purchase – perform better in driving user action. As a result, Meta will be removing the option to host Shops that refer buyers to a third-party website, with brands either running a fully enabled shop in-app, or not being able to run Shop ads.
As per Meta:
“To focus on bringing these Shops ads and checkout tools to more businesses, we will no longer support Shops without checkout in several markets. Businesses in these markets can continue to connect with customers through personalized ads, Reels and business messaging.”
Meta says that it’s planning to upgrade its in-stream shopping tools with a range of new features, which will see Shop ads integrated into its Advantage portfolio of automated ad solutions.
Meta will also enable more businesses to use Shop ads, while it’s also looking to make it easier for US businesses to set up a Shop with in-app checkout ‘so people can complete a purchase on Facebook or Instagram in just a few taps’.
That streamlined purchase flow has proven more effective than the click-to-website approach, and within its broader push to facilitate in-stream commerce, Meta’s now making this a more specific focus for retailers in the app.
“In the US, we will focus on helping businesses add checkout to their Shop. To ease the transition, we will continue to support Shops that link to a website until April 24, 2024. In select markets where we see a future opportunity to introduce checkout, we’ll continue to support Shops that link to a website to make the transition as easy as possible.”
Meta says that retailers in all markets who don’t add an integrated shopping experience will no longer be able to host a Shop on their Facebook or Instagram page, or use product tagging in posts, beginning on August 10, 2023.
It’s an interesting update, particularly when you also consider Meta’s varying levels of success, or not, with in-stream shopping. In January, Instagram removed the Shop tab from the main screen of the app, while Meta has also scaled back its efforts to integrate live shopping on both Facebook and IG. It has seemed that, overall, Meta’s in-app shopping elements have failed to take hold, but maybe, with this new update, Meta is looking for a new angle to better facilitate in-stream buying, which could encourage more purchase behavior in its apps.
Whether that becomes a thing or not we’ll have to wait and see, but clearly, Meta sees at least some potential in facilitating more in-app shopping elements.
You can read more about Meta’s Shop ads update here.