Facebook’s motive, from its inception back in 2004, was to connect people online. With over 2.5 billion monthly active users, little did we know that Facebook would be a platform that could help businesses grow online!
As small and medium businesses are trying to grow their digital presence due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is a no-brainer that businesses should be investing in social media marketing along with all other online efforts. But what is new for business owners in social media?
Facebook Shops. Yes! Facebook recently announced its new feature called Facebook shops, which aims to allow businesses to create a digital storefront directly on Facebook.
Let’s dive deeper into what Facebook Shop is, how it helps businesses and how your business can use this feature to sell your products on Facebook-owned social platforms.
What is Facebook Shops?
Facebook Shops allows users to switch their business page into an online shop inside Facebook itself.
With the new feature, you can set up your virtual store on Facebook, helping customers discover your featured products and purchase them directly with few clicks. You can add a call to action button that directs to the Facebook messenger or redirects to your website. The new feature is available on their acquired platforms like Instagram and WhatsApp with a shop button that works in the same way.
And just like a physical store or an eCommerce website, you can give customer support, delivery status and more by using Facebook messenger. In the future, Facebook is planning to allow users to make purchases right from WhatsApp chat, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct.
Businesses can set up their store by listing products and filling out shipping and payment preferences. The owners have the option to customize the page with a selection of fonts and colours. Once you submit the details, Facebook will send you a notification when your profile is ready to be published.
The coolest part? It’s absolutely free!
How can your business benefit from Facebook Shops?
Facebook has launched this new feature at a convenient time for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and forced to adjust their business model to build a new sales funnel.
According to Facebook, 31% of small businesses and 52% of personal businesses have stopped operating due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 99designs have recently published a survey that identifies the pandemic’s impact, where 46% of the entrepreneurs and SMB’s indicated that they are looking for an eCommerce solution to take their business online.
Clearly, the results are stating that Facebook shops will be an exciting feature for businesses to explore. Luckily, the new feature has opened tons of opportunities for businesses to explore Facebook marketing.
The product catalogue is your new warehouse on Facebook. You can list the products with title, price, images, description, availability, inventory and more, making eCommerce management easier than ever. If you are running an ad on Facebook, you can directly pull the information from the catalogue page, making things a lot easier for you.
Great way to launch Products
Unlike Amazon and eCommerce giants, Facebook has one big advantage – its audience is already there. With millions of people engaging on Facebook every day, it’s easier for businesses to share product launch messages on Facebook and direct users to their shop features. Businesses can directly tag products in Facebook posts, so users will be aware that a product is available for purchase when you send out the promo as a Facebook post.
While Amazon and other eCommerce sites depend on other channels to bring in customers and promote new products, Facebook’s audience targeting feature makes it easier to target ads to your followers. Effectively target users based on your audience history and other targeting metrics available on the platform.
Like how Starbucks offers an espresso shot for 25 stars collected with its loyalty program, Facebook is trying to connect the loyalty of your business on Facebook Shops. This feature could get your customers to stick with your business for future purchases and build a loyal customer base.
Live stream shopping
From makeup tutorials to unboxing videos, influencers have been using Instagram live for a while to promote products. Now, influencers and brands will be able to tag the products at the bottom of live stream videos. The call to action button can take the viewers to learn more about the products or make a purchase straight away from Instagram or Facebook.
If you are a Shopify or Oberlo user, you should definitely try this integration. While Facebook Shops gives you the freedom to create catalogues, feature products and promote them to your audience, Shopify lets you manage the orders, inventory and more within their platform. This gives businesses a seamless way to integrate both platforms while making the customers feel native using a unified space for shopping.
If you are a Shopify merchant, you can contact us to have this function set up, as the Facebook Shop feature is likely to be rolled out worldwide in the coming months.
Facebook Messenger is already one of the most popular chat messengers integrated on Shopify to increase conversions and sales. With Facebook Shops, things are a lot more interesting with new features that allow users to make purchases directly from Facebook Messenger instead of directing them to a website.
This can help customers make purchases in a few clicks while businesses get a much better conversion rate and sales than the CTA directing to the website.
Once the product catalogues are added in the Shops tab, you will get the branding option where you can choose the layout, images and fields to add to the catalogue name and description. This will help your shop stand out from the rest of the listings and give your customers a branded experience.
While accessing this feature, make sure to tick a few boxes to improve the brand experience:
- Top images always stand out. Make sure that the images you use for the products are high-quality and look professional.
- While you choose the colours for the buttons, make sure that it aligns with your brand colours.
- While there is an option to select fonts, make sure that the font you use matches the products you provide. Our tip? Round texts are neat and more readable!
- Be it the type of images you post or the brand voice you send out; consistency is the key to create a more prominent brand picture
Perfect for Brands Established on Social Media
If you already have a considerable following on Instagram or Facebook, you are already halfway to nailing your sales and conversion. Conversions are often the hardest part, especially on Instagram, as there is limited space for links. With the new Shops feature, all you need is to feature the products in the Shops tab and let your followers know that the products are available. Simple as that!
You don’t have to spend a single cent to get things rolling on Facebook Shops. But of course, you will have to pay for successful transactions when users purchase from your shop. We are not yet sure how much Facebook’s processing fee for each purchase will be. The charges may vary depending on the country or type of products you are selling.
How to Create a Facebook Page Shop
If you already have a business page on Facebook, you can:
- Go to the Facebook page and click on “Settings.” Now, click on “templates and tabs.” You will get a list of all available tabs on the homepage
- Click on “Add a tab” button and find “Shop” in the available options
- Click on the “Add Tab” button and arrange the tab based on your preference.
Now the Shops tab will be available on the left menu on the home screen of your page. Now that the shop tab is added, you will need to set up the shop with product names, descriptions, prices and more. You can also choose the CTA buttons which are apt for the products you are offering.
Make sure that you have added at least one image for each product, and the image format is square with a resolution 1024 * 1024 or greater. It is ideal to choose a white background to highlight the products, but we will leave it for you to decide!
Wrapping it Up
With the current situation due to COVID-19, Facebook Shops is an amazing opportunity for businesses to place their products on the most popular social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
As businesses look to move online now more than ever, this new direct way of selling opens a new world of marketing opportunities to explore. Though the feature is not yet available worldwide, we are likely to see the feature launched soon, according to an announcement from Mark Zuckerberg himself.
If you are looking for a team to help you build and optimize your virtual store, our experts at TechWyse are always here to help you get started.
What new features are you expecting to see in Facebook Shops in the future? Share with us in the comments below!