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April 24 is fast approaching, and Meta isn’t fooling around. 

Brands using the Meta “Shop” functionality must enable Checkout with Facebook and Instagram – essentially Meta’s in-app checkout feature – by April 24 or you will lose your Shop completely. This means no more redirecting customers from a product in your Shop to your website to purchase. 

If you were recently surprised to see Meta in-platform updates similar to the two below, you are one of the lucky ones.  

Screenshot of an in-platform Meta notification delivered to a brand currently using Shop but not Checkout with Facebook and Instagram.
Screenshot of an in-platform Meta notification delivered to a brand currently using Shop but not Checkout with Facebook and Instagram.
Screenshot of an in-platform Meta notification delivered to a brand not currently using Shop.
Screenshot of an in-platform Meta notification delivered to a brand not currently using Shop.

Many brands and advertisers will be caught unaware and unprepared by this impactful change. Despite Meta’s initial announcement last year, there’s been relatively minimal coverage to date on this major move by the social media giant to further entrench its role in modern e-commerce.  

In this article, we’ll unpack what this change means, how it will impact your business, and what you should do to secure your digital revenue.

What are Meta Shops and what does this mean

Meta Shops are an in-app storefront on Facebook and Instagram, similar to dedicated brand stores on Amazon. Users discover a Shop through the brand’s Facebook or Instagram account, organic posts tagged and linked to the product details that are housed in Meta Commerce Manager, and via Meta Shops Ads.

Screenshot of Vuori’s Shop on Instagram.
Screenshot of Vuori’s Shop on Instagram.

Today, brands with Shops have two options. They can use Meta’s in-platform checkout or link customers back to their owned website. With the April 24 update, Meta will take away that former option – strategically, keeping shoppers in platform and limiting your control of the customer experience. 

Meta’s public-ready rationale is that keeping customers in its platform through checkout improves purchase conversion rates. But considering Meta’s revenues are dependent on keeping users in platform for as long as possible, they clearly benefit from this change. Sick jiu jitsu move, Zuck!

Shops without Facebook or Instagram Checkout enabled will no longer be accessible. Such brands will lose the customer awareness and consideration building benefits of organic product tagging in posts and access to Meta’s Shop-related advertising features like developing custom target audiences based on users’ various Shop engagement types.

How the Meta Shop change impacts you

If Shop drives a significant share of your Meta-attributed revenue today and you don’t have Meta’s in-app checkout enabled, your first step is to project the cost of losing this touchpoint. 

Don’t forget to factor how losing Shop will impact your Meta Ads performance. Advertisers, on average, experienced 30% better incremental return on ad spend (ROAS) with campaigns that use website and Shop as the conversion location instead of website only, according to a test by Meta. If your Meta Ads direct to Shop and your site today, you can assume a benchmark 30% drop in incremental ROAS. Also, consider how the loss of Shop custom audience targeting impacts your greater Meta Ads strategy. 

If Shop isn’t a big revenue generator for your business today (or not at all), consider its potential costs and opportunities. Start brainstorming by asking yourself the following three questions:

  • How will assuming Checkout with Facebook and Instagram’s processing fees impact your profit margins?
  • What role will influencer marketing on Meta play in your future strategy (specifically, will tagging products in platform be a key tactic)?
  • How will changing the customer journey with Shops and checkout in Meta impact your customer learnings, actionable data, and lifetime value?

What to do next

Do the math first. Some brands will have a clear immediate path forward based on the numbers. 

Many others will face an ambiguous choice. You might miss out by forgoing Meta Shop, but true impact will vary. We don’t yet have the data to say Shop is a smart, profitable, revenue accelerator for all. 

Keep in mind, you can always activate or shut down Meta checkout and Shop at a later time.

Regardless of your choice, monitor your Meta-attributed revenue and Meta Ads performance closely in the coming weeks. Lean on your network and agency partners to share what they’re observing from other, similar businesses. Re-evaluate your advertising mix and digital revenue sources to develop alternative plans.

If you are still feeling stuck or unsure of how to proceed, send me a message and let’s chat about your decision or have us perform an opportunity analysis for your digital advertising program.