Wondering how to sell on Facebook? It could be getting much easier. The technology giant has just launched Facebook Shops, its brand-new e-commerce tool, aimed at small businesses. Having a ‘shop’ (a type of Facebook selling page) gets you selling directly through the platform.
It’s a different service to Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Shops may have come at the right time for struggling businesses hit by the coronavirus lockdown, keen to feel a bounce from any surge in online spend.
And if you’re ready to sell but can’t scale, Facebook Shops might be a great place to start. Selling on Facebook has the advantage of being simple to do, with an instant, natural connection to your customer base. Here are our tips on how to create a Facebook shop.
Facebook Shops is a newly launched, mobile-first online shopping service. It lets businesses create an online shop for free, choose the items and products you want to feature, create collections and add a bit of brand difference with customisable fonts and colours. The Facebook shopping experience for customers is natural, from a brand they’re already engaged with.
You’ll also be able to answer questions and support your customers by connecting your shop to WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.
At the moment, it’s free to create a Facebook Shop. Once you start selling, Facebook may charge ‘selling fees’, which include things like taxes and the cost of payment processing.
Setting up is easy, especially if you already have a Facebook for Business account. Follow these simple steps and get to know the new tools and features:
This is the basic set-up. From here you can find out how to add products to Facebook Shops, and read Facebook’s tips for making the most out of your shop.
Facebook Shops has been set up with small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in mind. It’s also mobile-first (focusing on the smartphone experience), and its launch has been brought forward to service businesses keen to catch the wave of increased online shopping, following an almost-global coronavirus lockdown.
For example if you’re a small business selling children’s clothes and your bricks and mortar shop is shut during lockdown, Facebook Shops lets you get back in business quickly, selling your products online with simple functionality and to a ready-made audience you’ve worked hard to engage.
The simplicity of Facebook Shops means that small businesses can experiment with online retail and selling without going through a complicated set-up with a new provider. They can also use the tools they already know and trust. From Facebook itself to Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, all of these can (or will soon be) part of the experience for you and your customers.
Instagram Shops is coming, but right now is only available in the US. Lots of the functionality and access is available through Instagram in the UK, but the service itself is only available on Facebook right now.
Facebook has accelerated the launch of Facebook Shops, prompted by coronavirus and clear demand for a quick online shopping experience set-up. It’s quite a basic experience at the moment, especially in the UK, and lots of features are due later on.
These include the Checkout function, meaning customers can buy without leaving the app (currently available in the US) and selling within a WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct chat.
We’ll also see the launch of Instagram Shops and even live shopping features, where you can post a live video showcasing your products, with the option for viewers to purchase then and there. So if you’re selling craft products, you can post a live demo video and let your customers buy the products you’re using.
Does Facebook Shops sound like a good option to get your business into online retail? And can you sell on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.
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