During this difficult time of Covid-19, we have all come to realise how important it is to have an online presence of your company. In other words, having an online store. I hear you asking if you can have an online shop without the fuss and the know-how of building a website? The answer is “yes”.
A great place to start is with a Facebook shop. To use a Facebook shop you first need a company page on Facebook. If you don’t have one yet, get started right away.
The Facebook Shop is a great and free way to get your business huge brand awareness due to Facebook’s large user audience. It is an easy way for businesses to set up a single online shop for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customise the look and feel of their Facebook shop to match their brand and company. 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.
A Facebook shop can also help with:
- Driving new sales
- Engaging potential customers with products directly
- Offering deals and promotions
- Rewarding brand advocates
- Building brand awareness and recognition
It goes without saying, engaging your Facebook community is a great way to grow your ecommerce business. Facebook makes it easy for you to target users based on their demographic needs, like their specific interests, likes and behavioral patterns. It also makes sharing your ecommerce business content more comfortable.
So how can you get started?
There are two ways you can set up a Facebook shop: do it directly on Facebook or use a third party ecommerce application like Shopify.
Why connect Facebook shop and Shopify?
While you can advertise and sell your products using only Facebook and Instagram, some sellers choose to use an eCommerce platform. Shopify allows sellers to have a more streamlined process than if you’re just using Facebook and Instagram.
The shopping experience on Shopify is fast and seamless, so customers can quickly discover the right product on your Facebook Shop and complete checkout on your Shopify store. And with Shopify’s integration, your products, inventory, and back office will stay in perfect sync with your Shopify shop, so you can run your business in one place while selling on many sales channels.
Shopify also offers customizable websites so you can easily build your brand, even if know nothing about web design. Shopify also manages your marketing, payments, and shipping options, so everything you need is found in one place.
However, there are monthly subscription costs to Shopify, which vary based on which Shopify package you choose. You can consider this your “rent,” if you think in terms that apply to have a physical store.
But if you want to cut extra costs, especially when you’ve only just begun to sell, it’s okay to stick with the resources available on Facebook and Instagram.
You can sell on Instagram and Facebook without using Shopify. Facebook has a new feature that allows you to advertise and sell projects without the use of an eCommerce platform. Once you have your Facebook catalog set up, you can begin selling your products on Facebook. You can also create tagged posts on Instagram that link directly to the products in your Facebook catalog.
With this you don’t necessarily need to use Shopify to sell your products, but as the payment feature on Facebook shop at the moment is also only available in the US, Shopify is a good way around that problem. You can also direct people to a chat bot or a personal message, where you give them more details about the product to then ask them to pay through transfer. To do this you can use PayPal or Payconiq, but this would then be manually.
The upside of both PayPal and Payconiq is that you don’t have to give anyone your bank details and you know it is a safe to transfer money.
If you want help in setting up your Facebook shop, here’s how to set up both ways:
Facebook Business Page Setup
If you already have a Business page setup on Facebook with all of the business details, photos and content added, creating a Facebook shop is easy. From there, check to see if the “Shop” application is available for your type of business page. If it is, you will need to follow the steps below:
- Add shop section: The first step is the easiest, in the application sections, click on the ‘Add Shop Section’ link.
- Terms & Conditions: Next, you’ll need to read theMerchant Terms and Policies and check the box beside ‘I Agree to the merchant terms and policies’. Look over this carefully to understand all the rules and regulations your business will be held to using this application.
- Your Business Details: Next, add your business details! Add your address, email, phone numbers and and other business details they will ask for. The more detailed you are, the better the profile!
- Connect Stripe: If you have a Stripe account, connect it. If not don’t worry, it is easy to make one. Plus, if you don’t want people to pay directly through Facebook, then you don’t need a Stripe account.
Add Products: It’s super simple to add products, simply click the “Shop” section, and then “Add Product.” Fill in all the details you need, including images, descriptions and other important pieces. Here are some basic requirements:
- You should have at least one high-quality image per product and it should be an image of the product itself with a resolution of 1024 x 1024 pixels
- Your descriptions should be detailed, helpful and creative
- Share 4 more images to help customers experience your product. Think carefully!
BONUS TIP: if you have a lot of products, it’s worth dividing them into collections. To add a collection, click the “Shop” section, and under the little gear button, select “Collections.” Add a new collection, name it for the product category and then select which products you want to add in.
Easy right? All you have to do now is manage your orders.
Here’s what you need to do to set up your Facebook Store through Shopify.
If you’re a Shopify shop owner, it’s even simpler to setup and manage your Facebook store.
- Add Facebook as a Sales Channel: Login to your Shopify store, head to Settings, Sales Channel and then click Add Facebook.
- Connect Your Facebook Account: Make sure you’re signed in to the right Facebook account and hit Get Started. Facebook will then verify your account info to approve your store before you can enable Facebook checkout.
- Enable Shop Tab: Click ‘Enable Facebook Shop’ and you’ll then be able to determine which products and collections you want to be visible on your Facebook store.
- Choose Your Checkout: Your final step is to choose which checkout to use whether through Facebook or Shopify.
Once that is done, all that’s left to do is manage your orders which you can do as you would manage the other orders within your Shopify dashboard.
Instagram has also caught up with Facebook, by also giving you w way to sell products through its platform.
Instagram Shop: A New Place to Discover Products and Brands
Instagram Shop, a new way to discover and buy products in Instagram Explore (press on the looking glass/search button). You can get inspired by collections from @shop, browse selections from your favorite brands and creators, filter by different categories.
At the moment online payment feature is only available in the US, but if you connect your Instagram shop through Shopify, (this is done in a similar way to Facebook shop) you can let people buy and pay for products through Shopify.
You can make an Instagram shop either via Instagram itself, if you have a business account or through Facebook manager. Both ways your Instagram shop is connected to your Facebook shop, so you will need a Facebook shop first.
An Instagram shop is different to Facebook shop. On Facebook, you have a separate section on your page where you will find your shop. If someone would click a product, they would be sent to the shop website. On Instagram you can create a post where you can tag your products and if someone were to click on a tag they get sent to a separate page on Instagram with more details of the product, then from there would send someone to the product website.
Live Shopping Features
People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks. Now, we’re making 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 catalog 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. In the US they are starting to test this with businesses on Facebook and Instagram.
As you can see there are lots of ways to create an online shop, without having to worry about not having the know-how or it being too expensive. Give Facebook shop a chance and see what it can do for you and your products. If you need any help, just contact me and I will guide you through it.