Facebook has long led the way in innovation through developments in its social networking site. It’s also one of the leaders in messaging, photo and video sharing. It’s no surprise that over 1.73 billion users visit the site every day.
Undoubtedly, Facebook is an important channel for the distribution of content and advertising. Due to its large user base, Facebook is an attractive business proposition for online shop managers. Case and point, individuals have been successfully selling used items on the platform through groups organized and managed by other users. Once Facebook realised the potential, they released the Marketplace feature. However, Marketplace focused only on used products listed by users locally.
In an attempt to remain ahead of the curve, the company has recently expanded its ecommerce functionality to capitalize on the market potential of online shopping.
The social media giant has now moved into the online retail market with the launch of Facebook Shops – an ecommerce platform within the social media network. Users can shop for products directly through the Facebook online marketplace. In this post, we’ll guide you through the process of making your own Facebook Shops page and everything you need to know about listing products. Let’s get started!
Online store managers familiar with third party marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, recognize the benefits of using an alternative platform to expand online business. Listing products across multiple platforms increases brand exposure. It allows online stores to target a broader set of customers while improving their overall advertising efficiency.
Unlike traditional online marketplaces, Facebook Shops is directly connected to a social media platform. Customers can engage with the brands and interact with other customers. Here is a look at some of the advantages that Facebook Shops has over other online marketplaces:
Facebook Shops pages are content driven. This means that a business does not necessarily have to purchase ads to get exposure. Online shop owners can take advantage of this by creating valuable content that will generate sales. Facebook Shops offers powerful features which allow content creators to tag products directly to a post or story.
Customers who come across a post now have the option to purchase a featured product directly from their feed. The clever design takes advantage of a concept known as native advertising. Native advertising is a type of ad that matches and adapts to the media. Facebook Shops’ tagged product posts act as advertising for your brand but look like regular content.
Facebook users are no stranger to product advertising on the platform. You’re scrolling through your feed when you stumble across a handsome looking watch. Only you click on it and realize you have to jump through hoops to even reach the product page… Links to external sites present a barrier to purchase for most social media users. Facebook Shops aims to take advantage of that initial momentum and capture sales at the moment of discovery. The marketplace eliminates the need to navigate an endless maze of menus to find products. Facebook Shops is designed to give customers a central place to find and order products.
Integrating your Facebook Shops page with Commerce Manager will allow you to use the Facebook’s checkout (only available in the US). The feature let’s customers purchase products without leaving the social media platform. Note that using Commerce Manager will incur a sales fee. We’ll elaborate more on costs later in this post.
Facebook Shops setup
Setting up a Facebook Shops page is fairly simple. In order to start a Facebook Shops page, first you’ll need to create a business account. If you don’t have one yet, here is a link where you can create a Facebook business account. Once you have set up your account, follow these steps from your computer:
- Click on the Shop tab on your Facebook page. If you don’t see this tab on your page then simply click Settings > Templates and Tabs then scroll down to Add a Tab and select the Shop tab from the menu.
- Agree to the Merchant Terms and Conditions.
- Select a checkout option (Recommended: Checkout on Another Website).
- Select in which currencies you’d like to display prices and click Finish.
Now you have a Facebook Shop Page! It’s time to add products to it. You have two options:
- Add products using the Shop tab
- Use the Catalog Manager to create product catalogues (Recommended)
If you have an WooCommerce online store, use the catalog manager to import your products to Facebook more efficiently. Here is how to do it:
- Download the Facebook Pixel Extension
- Go to your WooCommerce Dashboard > Plugins > Add New
- Click on Upload Plugin then choose Upload File and select the file you downloaded on step 1.
- Click Install Now.
- Once the plugin is finished installing, click on Activate Plugin.
- A commit will appear which will prompt you to the setup page, click on Get Started.
- Follow the setup wizard and import all your products to Facebook.
Now your setup is complete and your WooCommerce products will be imported to a catalog on Facebook Shops.
The marketplace will also allow customers to message you directly through your Facebook Shops page for support, ask questions, or track deliveries. Customers can also connect with brands through WhatsApp and Instagram Direct.
Instagram Store setup
Instagram Shopping is designed to get your business maximum exposure. Products from your catalog will appear on your profile under the Shop tab. Additionally, you can tag products to posts on your feed and stories. Tagged products will also be featured on the Explore page. Considering that Instagram has 1 billion active users every month, it’s a great platform to showcase your products.
Once you have set up your Facebook Shops page, listing products on Instagram is very easy. Just follow these simple steps:
- Create a business account on Instagram.
- Connect your account with your Facebook page.
- Using your Catalog Manager, link your Instagram business account with the catalogue you created for your Facebook Shops page.
- Sign up for Shopping in your profile’s settings on the Instagram app.
- Wait for your page to be approved.
- Once you’re approved, you can start creating product posts and stories!
Note that your business must meet certain commerce policies to qualify for Instagram Shopping.
Now your posts can have tags to products on your catalog. Each post allows you to tag up to 5 products for a single image or 20 for a multi-image post. Use stickers to feature products on your Instagram Stories. You can have only 1 product sticker per story. Monitor the performance of each of your posts with the Insights tab on your profile. Listing your products on Instagram is simple to use and gives your business an additional channel to sell your products.
Creating a Facebook Shops page or posting products on Instagram Shop is completely free. However, there are some fees associated with completing a sale on Instagram or Facebook if you’re using Commerce Manager. Visit this page for a complete breakdown of the costs from using Facebook’s checkout. If you’re planning to sell your products exclusively on Instagram or Facebook, then you will need to use Commerce Manager (only available in the US).
Do you have an online store? Then you do not have to pay any sales fees to Facebook! Facebook and Instagram allow you to link product tags to your own product pages. It means customers can complete their purchase directly on your online store.
Facebook is working closely with WooCommerce to provide support to small online businesses. The goal of Facebook Shops is to help businesses build and grow an online presence. It is a perfect platform to expand your online footprint and basically free marketing for your business.
Do you want to build a powerful WooCommerce online shop?
Plugins can be powerful tools to help you increase your store’s reach, build customer trust, manage your inventory, and optimize payments on your website. Woosa offers high quality and cost effective plugins for your online shop. We can help you develop a plugin tailored to your needs. Reach out to us for more information.