Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Shops
In May, Facebook announced it was launching Facebook Shops, which allows ecommerce owners to connect an integrated shop to their Facebook business page.
The new feature means consumers are able to buy products directly through Facebook without ever having to leave their beloved feeds and adds a new branch to the social commerce tree. Now, it’s easier than ever for people to discover and shop for the things they love on the platforms they’re already hanging out.
So, What Exactly Are Facebook Shops?
Shops are hosted on Facebook (and Instagram) under a tab on a store’s Facebook business page. They allow sellers to upload their stock so consumers can browse products through Facebook and click to buy through the platform.
Not only does the new feature let customers buy direct from their favourite brands, but it also means they can discover new products that they might otherwise have missed.
Who Can Use Facebook Shops?
To get started, you first need a Facebook account and a Facebook business page. Most brands will already have one of these set up, but if you don’t, it’s a really quick process.
To use the Shops feature, stores have to pass a couple of criteria. You must sell physical items (no digital products) and you must agree with the platform’s Merchant Terms. These two rules are non-negotiable.
Like any feature, Facebook Shops favour certain types of brands and some businesses will fare better than others. For example, Facebook highlights that clothing brands and companies selling accessories, home furnishings, and baby or kids’ clothes will reap the most benefits.
This is partly because the Shops integrate with the platform’s pre-existing Marketplace feature, which is heavily geared towards selling clothes and furniture.
How do Facebook Shops Work?
Facebook Shops are free to make and super simple to set up (see our step by step guide below).
Sellers basically choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and upload them into their Shop, which they can customise with their own branding to make it recognisable and not too disconnected from their actual online store.
Customers can discover Shops through their Stories, ads, and via Facebook business pages.
When they “enter” a Shop, they’re able to browse the full collection of products, save items they’re interested in (in a wishlist style feature), and place orders either via the brand’s website or without even leaving the app. It’s worth noting that selling direct through Facebook is only possible for US-based brands that have enabled Checkout.
Customers can also message businesses for on-demand help while they’re shopping. This can be done through WhatsApp or Messenger - there’s also talk about making it possible for customers to buy directly in WhatsApp and Messenger. It’s also possible to track order status and deliveries through the feature.
The Benefits of a Facebook Shop
The ability to attract and convert customers while they’re browsing their favourite social media feed is a huge bonus for brands. But there are other benefits that sellers can enjoy too:
How to Set Up a Facebook Shop
How to Have the Most Success With Your Facebook Shop
Setting up your Facebook Shop is the first part of the puzzle. The next stage is driving visitors and sales - easier said than done, right?
If you want to succeed using Facebook’s new feature, there are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance at thriving.
Keep Your Inventory Up-to-Date
Make sure you take down any items that are out of stock and upload new products when they’re added to your catalog. The easiest way to disappoint a potential buyer is to get them all excited about a product only for them to find out it’s no longer in stock.
Create a Page Username
Give your Facebook Page a username so that customers can find your Shop easily. The standard Page “username” is a series of letters and numbers, but you can change this to reflect the name of your store so it’s searchable.
Reviews and ratings are key to building trust with potential buyers. Encourage past customers to leave a review and share their positive experiences with your brand. In one study, 97% of participants said that reviews are a major factor in their buying decisions, while 92% said they’d hesitate to buy from a brand that had no reviews.
Share Your Products Regularly
Keep showing up in your customers’ feeds by consistently sharing your products on your Page. This will introduce potential buyers to new stock and help them discover items they might not have seen before.
Make Posts Stand Out
When you do post about your products, make sure it’s engaging. Use high quality photos, share a customer story or two, and promote a sale to attract the attention of potential buyers and make your posts pop.
Ready to Get Started With Facebook Shops?
Facebook Shops are a great way to hang out where you customers already are. Not only can you show up in their feeds, but you can create collections, sell directly through Facebook, and answer in-the-moment questions, all of which serve to boost your store’s visibility and generate more sales.