If you have been “tagging” products on your Facebook and Instagram posts, this is a MUST READ.

Independent Retailers received an email from Meta today indicating that shops will only be able to tag products if Facebook and Instagram checkout are activated.

Starting April 2024 retailers will no longer be able “tag products” in order to direct customers to shop directly on our websites because Meta is taking this away. But IF we activate Facebook and Instagram checkout, customers can checkout and buy our products in Meta’s checkout instead.

This means Meta is forcing checkout directly on their platform….(if we activate this)

In the email, Meta says, “checkout on Facebook and Instagram will make it easier for shoppers to discover, browse and buy from your business without leaving the app.”

Meta is claiming this will make it easier for the shopper, but what is it going to do to the small business owner?

So the small businesses who already pay for advertising on Facebook and Instagram now also have to pay to sell products that they’re sharing about in their posts? I’m a bit perplexed by this.

In this TechCrunch article they quote Meta as saying, “In the U.S., we will focus on helping businesses add checkout to their Shop,”

Well, duh. Of course Meta will. “Helping” indie retailers activate checkout on Meta means Meta will get a percentage of every-single-sale.

So who is this really helping?!

This will affect hundreds of thousands of Independent Retailers.

  • We’ll have customers asking why we aren’t tagging our products any longer – tagging our posts have been informative for our customers – it answers their questions!
  • So we’ll have to spend more time on customer service, answering questions and giving prices when our customers ask “how much is that or how many do you have left?”.
  • Store owners will now have to figure out the logistics of shipping and printing labels from Meta’s platform.
  • Another question to consider, can customers choose “local pickup” as an option?? This is an important benefit of shopping online with local brick and mortar businesses. Or will our customers be forced to pay for shipping too?
  • And can we talk about Meta’s cut? The fees taken from every order will cost indie retailers millions and millions of dollars.

Our customers love to shop with us, because they trust us, because we’ve built relationships with them, why does Meta think our customers want to checkout on THEIR platform?

I’m all for providing a seamless and easy experience for our customers. But what about Meta’s customers? Ahem….Small Business Owners.

I can’t help but think Meta is biting the hand that feeds them.

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  1. I feel like I knew this day was coming. In light of the interchange fees the godfathers charge retailers I knew social media would have to start charging at some point. I’m focusing on getting my customers over to my website via blog posts in Q4. This will protect my content in case I get hacked and hopefully prevent any loss of sales beginning in April 24. In my opinion social media will be viewed as bad by society in the near future and we retailers need a plan!

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