A new ecommerce platform Facebook Shops made quite a buzz. And, as FB claims, it aims to help the suffering businesses amidst the market impacted by COVID. The question is: how to get started if you don’t really get a clue about a tech side of the process? Facebook Shops are developed in a way to make it less stressful for merchants to do business. You need minimum tech skills and just a guide of how to get started. So here we go.
What’s the Facebook Shop promise to sellers?
Facebook Shops promises to enable fast sales to its extensive audience, manage product catalogs with unlimited number of products and even integrate information from certain ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify. It also rolls out new type of ads, which will be more automated and easy to use for a number of products. Not less important, one could directly purchase from the app.
New Integrations: Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram
Facebook Shops will have integrations with WhatsApp. It’s going to be easy to synchronize business information from a Facebook Page with WhatsApp Business account. And the Business API of the latter will allow even the largest businesses to send messages to any amount of clients fast and efficiently.
Facebook plans to enable direct purchases from WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct. Now, customers can be redirected from Facebook to those messengers for more personalized communication with the prospective customers. This, in turn, would help sellers to get closer to shoppers and finish the sales at one place, without tossing them from one channel to another (which often results in losing the customer).
How to launch a Facebook Shop
Shops is a free digital storefront built into both Instagram and Facebook. Actually, they do share a common core. So one shop would be enough for selling at both platforms simultaneously. Instagram Shop also provides a possibility for direct purchase right from the app. Both platforms do have a shop tab and a product catalog. Those could be managed via the Catalog Manager and Commerce Manager.
What to start with in setting a Facebook Shop?
- A Facebook account
- And a Facebook business page
What are the further requirements?
- Facebook only allows to sell physical products (no digital or “download” options)
- Agree with Commerce Product Merchant Agreement
All the starters covered up? Let’s get to setting up the shop.
Step 1: Create Facebook Business Page
Go to Create Page at the upper tab facebook.com, then fill up details and choose to create “a business” page.
Step 2: Create a Shop
- If you already have a business page, then go to the home page and on the left side menu click the SHOP button.
- Choose a check out option: Message to Buy or Check Out on Another Website.
- Choose currency.
Step 3: Add Products
Step 4: Create Collections
Once you’ve added the products, you can now create a collection page and add it there. Collections let you group the items within the category. It’s up to you how to manage your collections within the product catalog, or whether you want to do this at all. But those really help customers to find a product that they are looking for, instead of scrolling through the entire list. To create a catalog go to Catalog Manager.
Step 5: Learn Facebook Shop requirements on shipment
- Seller is obliged to ship the order within 3 days after its placement.
- Items should be shipped within 10 days.
- Shipping should be with a tracking number
- No international shipments so far; only within your country.
Done. You’re ready to sell!
What’s new about Ads
Merchants could now use their catalogs for product promotions using various kinds of ads (Dynamic ads, Carousel, Collection ads, and Collaborative ads). After Facebook Shops launch, Facebook and Instagram Ads are placing an accent on Dynamic ads. Why is that? It’s gaining its momentum as these are going to be more automated type of ads, which, as a bonus, will have the lower CPC (cost per conversion).
What’s the perk in Dynamic ads?
Instead of creating an ad for each and every product item, you design an ad template and it automatically takes all the product details from your catalog (for products you want to advertise). A great deal for brands having to promote big numbers of product items.
How do they technically work?
Dynamic ads match your products with events from a Facebook pixel. There’s a retarget option to reach those who have taken any action connected to your brand online.
Facebook is genuinely interested in ads. And now that more businesses will be joining – they will keep on perfecting the service. Ads will also allow Facebook to collect more of the buyers’ data. This, in turn, would allow Facebook to be better at targeting the leads.
Cataloging with Ease
How can sellers upload product items to the catalog? Facebook Shops gives out 3 ways:
- Manually by filling a form provided by Facebook.
- With a data feed (spreadsheet file in formats like CSV, TSV or XML). This allows uploading multiple items at once.
- Using Facebook Pixel, which lets sellers automatically upload items from the ecommerce website.
- Upload via Catalog Batch API, whereas this is an advanced method for developers.
Which one is right for you?
- A small business with just a 10-50 number of product items? Manual upload will work.
- Mid-sized company with around 50-900 number of SKUs (Stock Keeping Units)? Use data feed option.
- Large business with 1000+ SKUs? Or you just have frequent updates to product information? The last 2 options work for you.
- A great choice for large businesses with 100,000+ items is going to be the last option: Catalog Batch API.
There are over 180 million businesses on the platform, and the platform doesn’t cease to stop growing. Facebook Shop provides all the necessary features for personalized shopping and easy cataloging, for any size of businesses selling any amount of products. What’s important, Facebook is pro at targeting, and it keeps evolving on that. And the new and existing integrations with Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as other sales platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify, would let sellers provide personalized shopping experience and close a sales deal in one place.