In May 2020, Facebook informed us about their new feature designed especially with the eCommerce sector in mind. It’s about Facebook Shops, the successor of Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Page Shops. What does Facebook have in store this time? Your own branded online store available on both Facebook and Instagram. What’s more–entirely for free. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at Facebook’s latest creation.
You have to know that selling and buying products via Facebook is by no means a new thing. In October 2016, Facebook introduced their first attempt to attract people who want to trade online. Their Marketplace was, however, aimed mainly at consumers. At that time, Facebook informed us that Marketplace “is a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community”. And that’s 100% true! Marketplace is utilized primarily by ordinary users that want to sell products they don’t need anymore, like, for instance, bikes, skis, mobile devices, furniture, clothing, but also cars and motorbikes.
Facebook Marketplace [source: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace]
The Marketplace is as straightforward as possible. All you have to do is log into your account, go here, and click the “Sell Something” button. Next, you add a title for your ad, a short description, and some pictures. After Facebook’s approval, it’s online!
Moreover, Facebook has something called Facebook Page Shops. You can use this section to list products you’re selling and connect with customers on Facebook. It’s functionality is limited. You cannot use this feature to sell anything, just to showcase your products and talk to interested customers. And perhaps that’s the main reason why Facebook decided that the time has come for the improvement. Facebook Shops will significantly extend the previous Page Shops and Marketplace’s capabilities and make social commerce finally available!
Facebook Page Shop [source: https://www.facebook.com/pg/studiocaramella/shop]
Your own online store on Facebook
First of all, according to Facebook themselves, this new feature will make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store on both Facebook and Instagram. It’s no mystery that these two platforms are closely connected. For instance, you can set your FB ads to be published on Instagram as well.
Second of all, FB Shops will offer an entirely new brand experience. On Marketplace/Page Shops, you couldn’t adjust almost anything. Every offer looked exactly the same. Now, eCommerce companies can:
- Choose products they want to feature
- Customize the look and feel of their Shop with a cover image
- Use accent colors that showcase their brand.
Facebook has already shown us what their Shops are going to look like:
The company reveals that the FB and Instagram version of their Shops are going to look pretty much the same.
Facebook Shops are very easy to find. You can enter the Shop tab from the standard Facebook Page or Instagram profile. It will also be accessible via FB stories and ads. When you reach the Shop, you can browse all of the published products, save the ones you intend to buy, and place your order. If the given business has enabled checkout in the US, you’ll be able to finish your order without leaving the app!
What about customer service? Facebook already has a quick and efficient communication tool–it’s Messenger, and yes, it can be used to communicate with a store. You can also choose to use WhatsApp or Instagram Direct.
At this point, we have to mention that this is a relatively new project for Mark Zuckerberg’s company. It’s not yet available in many countries, and it’s still in the development phase. We can expect to see more updates, adjustments, and improvements in the coming months, as this tool will gain popularity among FB users.
For instance, Facebook announces: “This summer, starting in the US, we’re introducing Instagram Shop, a new way to discover and buy products you love in Instagram Explore. You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by categories like beauty and home, and purchase the looks you love all in one place.”
This means that shortly, you’ll be able to browse Instagram, find a dress or jacket you like, and purchase it directly from your Instagram profile! It will be a massive simplification of the purchasing process and a huge opportunity for online sellers. Soon, amazing high-quality pictures will become a do or die for eCommerce companies.
Wide range of integration possibilities
Naturally, Facebook fully acknowledges that the modern eCommerce industry is based on various channels and integrations with platforms, loyalty programs, and online marketing tools. As it happens, your Facebook Shop should also be fully functional from this point of view.
The giant from Menlo Park promises that you will be able to connect your loyalty programs with their Shops. Users will be able to keep track of their points and rewards, and eCommerce companies will be able to create, manage, and surface loyalty programs on Shops.
The same applies to eCommerce platforms. Facebook already works with companies and platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to offer full integration between them and Facebook Shops.
All in all, in the near future, we will see the next milestone in the history of commerce–fully-fledged trading on social media on a large, B2B and B2C scale.
Start selling on Facebook Shops!
Although Facebook Shops is still in the development stage, this feature is already available in many countries. Here, you can find a list of countries where the Facebook Shops feature is available. However, it seems that this feature is not yet available, even in countries Facebook claims it is. We just have to wait and observe this project.
If you’re interested in utilizing the largest social media platform ever (and believe us, you are!) to start selling your products, you’re probably interested in setting up your own Shop. The first piece of good news is that it’s free and quite straightforward.
- Go to Facebook’s Commerce Manager
- Click “Get Started”
- In the “Start Setting Up Your Shop” section, select “Your Website”
- In the “Choose Your Business” section, you’ll see a list of Facebook Pages you’re a Page admin on. Select the business you’d like to add your shop to
- In the “Account Details” section, provide an “Account Name” and select a “Business Account”.
- In the “Where People Can View Your Shop” section, select where you’d like to create your shop
- In the “Add a Catalog to Showcase Your Items” section, select an existing catalog or create a new one
- Look over your shop details, review and agree to the agreement and click “Create Your Shop”
And that’s it! Your store is online! Naturally, your work doesn’t end here. Now, you can:
- Create a collection. It’s a section where you present groups of your products. One section can comprise 6-30 products.
- Customize your shop. At this point, it’s time to polish everything up, adjust colors, and add a cover photo.
- Publish your shop. Bear in mind that Facebook retains the right to verify your store. When the verification process is complete (typically within 24h)–you’re all set and ready to start making money via social media!
As you can see, it’s all quite simple! Facebook is a real game-changer of our world. It’s the largest social media platform, the largest community of Internet users, and it will soon be one of the largest eCommerce platforms. Now it’s time for you! Today, it’s a novelty. Tomorrow, it will be a standard your customers will expect. So follow Facebook news on that subject and establish your own Shop as soon as it’s available in your country.
And keep in mind that with Omnipack, you can focus on growing your business and setting up new sales channels. We handle all the logistics processes for you. This allows you to save time and money. Get in touch with us today and find out how we do it 🙂