In more exciting news for eCommerce retailers, Facebook just launched its biggest move into eCommerce yet; say hello to Facebook Shops. This exciting new feature will allow businesses to build online stores on Facebook and Instagram and make their products more accessible to shoppers.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at how Facebook Shops will work and how you can take advantage of this for your business.
What are Facebook Shops?
Essentially, Facebook Shops are an extension to a Facebook page where businesses can easily list their product inventory. Customers will be able to browse items at their convenience and in the comfort of their own home just as they would on a website.
In a release, Facebook said:
“Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalogue and then customise the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.”Facebook
How does it work?
In the coming months, Facebook will provide businesses with a link to their new ‘Shop Builder’ platform which is an extension from the existing Facebook page tools. From the Shop Builder, businesses will be able to upload their product listings one-by-one or by connecting their product data feed. From a single platform, brands will be able to build their Shops, on both Facebook and Instagram.
“Starting today (20th May 2020), we will begin a phased roll out of shops to all businesses globally on Facebook and Instagram Shopping. We will start with eligible businesses who use Instagram Profile Shops and will expand access over the next few months. Eligible businesses will receive an email when their shop is ready to start customising.”Facebook
There’s no definitive word on when businesses will be able to access Shops, but as noted, Facebook will let Page managers know, over time, as it brings more on-board.
“Doesn’t Facebook already provide this feature?” we hear you say and the answer is yes…sort of. Currently, there is an option for businesses to upload their product listings but this is very basic when compared to the new shop builder platform.
The new Shop feature is set to be much more advanced for retailers than what is currently available. When businesses have created their ‘Shop’ section on their page shoppers will be able to message the business directly using Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram. There is also the option for transactions to happen through the Facebook’s in-app checkout, however, in the early days, we still expect that most transactions will start on Facebook Shops and end up being completed on the business’ website.
Facebook is positioning this as an aid to businesses who may be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s also a feature that should help both sides of the transaction in making Facebook a better place to buy things.
But that’s not all! Facebook Shops is opening the door to more great eCommerce features including live shopping and loyalty schemes.
Live Shopping Features
Live streaming on Facebook has been around for a while with lots of retailers already using this feature to announce new product lines or beauty influencers testing new products. Now, Facebook are going to make it easier to shop for products in real-time. Soon, sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalogue before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase.
Connecting Loyalty Programs to Your Facebook Account
Another feature Facebook are testing are ways to make it easier to earn rewards with businesses you love by enabling you to connect your loyalty schemes. Think points programmes at your local coffee shop connecting to your Facebook account – clever ey? You’ll be able to easily see and keep track of your points and rewards.
Should you sell on Facebook Shops?
The feature has only just started rolling out to select users in the US, with no dates set yet for widespread release there or in other countries, but we are expecting it to happen very soon.
Facebook is one of the social media channels where people spend the majority of their time whether that’s checking their news feed, exploring on Instagram or messaging with friends on WhatsApp, it does consume a lot of people’s time, so why not take advantage of this?
Did you know: Facebook users spend an average of 38 minutes per day on the popular social network?
That’s a lot of time considering this happens on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s time to take advantage of Facebook as a selling platform! Facebook might not give you as many eCommerce features as, say WooCommerce, Shopify or Magento, but you do get all you need for you to start selling your products.
What’s great about a Facebook Shop page is that you don’t even need to have any pre-existing online store, you can run your entire operation via Facebook if you want to.
If you would like to have a chat about your social media strategy, drop us a line and we’d be happy to help.