Facebook Shops: How to Use This Social Ecommerce Tool For Sales
Facebook has rolled out Shops, a social commerce tool meant to help small businesses and specialty retailers bring their products online. From a quick and painless onboarding process to a relatively low processing fee, find out how Facebook Shops can benefit your business.
What is Facebook Shops?
Facebook Shops is the social network’s newest channel for ecommerce. It’s aimed at entrepreneurs who want to open a full-scale, full-fledged digital store that lets them tap Facebook’s vast audience and dynamic advertising platform.
Launched in May 2020, Shops works by allowing sellers to set up an online store for free on their Instagram and Facebook business pages. The social network describes it as a “mobile-first shopping experience” designed to help small business owners grow their shops on digital channels.
Since the launch, Facebook has been expanding available features and support, including live shopping, loyalty programmes, and various advertising tools and integrations to help sellers expand their reach.
Facebook Shops also lets them showcase products and tell their brand story using a range of fonts, colours, and other design elements.
Further it allows sellers to offer pricing discounts through promo codes and store-wide promotions to encourage sales.
The social network is working closely with several partners like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Channel Advisor, and more in order to provide ecommerce tools that can help small business orders drive online sales.
Facebook has been offering more support to small businesses in preparation for the busy holiday season. Initiatives like Season of Support provided assistance by helping business owners develop marketing plans for Facebook and Instagram, for example.
The rollout received praise and support from Australian business owners as it provides new avenues to attract customers and generate sales. The new channel will benefit over 160 million businesses that already have Facebook pages as well as the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that make up the majority of the social network’s nearly eight million advertisers.
Quick stats: Facebook and mobile shopping in Australia
Facebook Shops is a viable digital channel for entrepreneurs who want to take their business online at virtually no cost as well as expand their audience:
- There were 14,630,000 Facebook users (56.9% of the population) in Australia as of March 2019
- The largest group of Facebook users are women at 54.1%
- 25 to 34-year olds make up the largest age group of users
Digital channels also play a large role in the purchasing decisions of Australian fashion and apparel shoppers in particular:
- 71% say that some form of personalisation increases the likelihood of them making a purchase
- 66% say that sites, apps, and online services help inspire their fashion choices
- 37% say that they hear about new products and brands they might consider buying through apps and sites on mobile
Further holiday shoppers in Australia and Asia-Pacific (APAC) rely heavily on mobile apps to make purchases:
- 34% say they use Facebook to shop, buy, or gift themselves
- 65% say they have purchased an item during a holiday mega-sales event (Black Friday, etc.)
- 74% of global holiday shoppers research gifts for themselves
International sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have increased in popularity among Australians over the last few years as they become more comfortable with online shopping. Cyber weekend is considered one of the busiest online shopping seasons of the year with Black Friday sales recording more than 30% growth year-on-year.
Why create a Facebook Shop?
- It’s quick and easy to set up – All you need is a Facebook business page. Setting up your digital shop is as simple as choosing products from your catalog and curating them into various collections. You can add as many products as you want as well as showcase several products at once.
- It’s convenient – It lets you communicate with shoppers directly through Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp so you can answer their questions about certain products, help them track deliveries, and so on.
- It’s customisable – Facebook Shops lets you change the look and feel of your digital storefront regardless of your budget. This helps you stand out from the competition and tell your brand story in fun and engaging ways. Add a cover image and use colours that reflect your unique brand personality.
- It expands your reach – Facebook users can discover your digital shop through Facebook and Instagram stories and ads. Once they find your Facebook Shop, they can browse the full catalog, save products they’re interested in, and place orders through your business site or on the app itself if you enabled Facebook Checkout, which is available in beta version in the United States.
There are fees if you give customers the option to complete transactions in Facebook Shop instead of redirecting them to your site. The social network takes 5% from shipments under $8 (USD) for a flat rate of $.40 (USD) although Facebook is waiving fees until the end of 2020, giving business owners a window of opportunity to try their payment-processing method at no cost.
- It completes the shoppers’ journey – People use Facebook and Instagram to discover brands and products they might consider buying, with social media acting as an upper-level funnel for businesses. Facebook Shops allows them to complete the shopper’s journey by enabling them to buy these products on the platform as well.
- It offers insight – Find out which products are selling and which aren’t. Facebook Shop lets you see the number of views, clicks, and purchases for every product in your digital store. This can help inform your marketing strategies for each product as well as determine which items to keep in inventory.
How to set up Facebook Shops for your business
As previously mentioned, you must have a Facebook Business Page and a Facebook Commerce Manager account in order to set up Facebook Shop. Further you must have Business Manager admin capacity.
Other requirements include:
- Physical items for sale
- Compliance with Facebook commerce policies,
- A laptop or desktop (you can’t set up Facebook Shop using mobile)
Create a Facebook Shop. Go to Commerce Manager on Facebook to open and manage your digital shop. You’ll need to indicate where you’d like customers to complete their purchase and provide information for three categories:
- Business Information – Add your business/shop name and link it to your Facebook Manager account.
- Inventory and Shipping – Add your shop catalog, choose delivery options, and set a return/refund policy.
- Payouts – Fill in your physical address, email, and tax information. Select the appropriate business category and connect your bank account.
Add and organise products. Build your catalog either manually or through API. If you already have products on an existing Facebook Page shop or Instagram product tags, these items will be visible for your Facebook Shop. You should also be able to import products from an ecommerce platform like Shopify by setting up Facebook Shop in that platform.
Curate product collections. In Facebook Shop, a typical collection contains 6 to 30 related or complementary products grouped by seasonality, theme, colour, and other criteria. Every product in your catalog can be added to collections. A single product can also be added to more than one collection.
The idea is to promote your products and show shoppers which items go together, encouraging them to increase order size. Collections are featured in Facebook ads.
To create a collection, go to Commerce Manager >“Shops” > “Collections” > “Create New Collection.”
Give your collection a name, a cover image, and a brief description (optional). Click “Next” to start adding products to the collection.
Click “Confirm” to submit the collection for review. If it meets Facebook’s commerce policies, it will be approved and made visible to shoppers within 24 hours or so.
Customise your shop. Go to Commerce Manager and click “Shops”. From there, select “Edit”. Notice the “Style” and “Layout” buttons on the top left side of the page.
- Layout lets you add, re-order, and remove collections.
- Style lets you change link colour, edit title size and alignment, as well as customise button shape, colour, and outline.
Promote your shop. Advertise your digital shop in ads. As mentioned earlier, you can feature a product or an entire collection in Facebook and Instagram ads that appears in Stories and News Feed. Facebook also lets you link directly to your shop from these ads. For best results, develop a robust advertising strategy and test ads to see which ones resonate with shoppers.
Contevo is passionate about helping SMEs thrive in a crowded marketplace. We’re a Facebook Marketing Partner with 15 years’ experience in ecommerce and digital marketing. If you need help bringing your business online, don’t hesitate to reach out.