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How to set up Facebook Shops for your small business

4-minute read

How to set up Facebook Shops for your small business
Jessie Day

Jessie Day

10 January 2022

Wondering how to sell on Facebook? The technology giant, now called Meta, has been offering Facebook Shops since 2020. It’s an e-commerce tool aimed at small businesses where having a ‘shop’ (a type of Facebook selling page) gets you selling directly through the platform.

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It’s a different service to Facebook Marketplace. If you’re struggling with footfall in your retail shop, Facebook Shops may be one way to help you boost sales with a surge in online spend.

Alternatively, 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.

What are Facebook Shops – is it a Facebook Store?

Facebook Shops is a 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.

Are there any Facebook Shop fees?

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.

How to set up a shop on Facebook (your new Facebook selling page)

Setting up is easy, especially if you already have a Facebook for Business account. You’ll create your shop using Facebook’s Commerce Manager so you can manage inventory and sales.

For how to open shop on Facebook, follow these simple steps and get to know the tools and features:

  1. Open your Facebook for Business page
  2. Next you’ll need to choose your checkout methods (people can either message you to buy, or go straight to a linked website)
  3. Go to the Create your Shop page
  4. Select your business account (or create a new one)
  5. Choose the catalogue you want to use (if you don’t already have one, Facebook will create it automatically)
  6. Review your shop details and agree to the Seller Agreement (if you’re not happy, you can just cancel)
  7. Customise the look and feel of your shop and manage your products
  8. Publish your shop – people will be able to see it once it’s been through Facebook’s review and approval process

This is the basic set-up. From here you can find out how to add products to Facebook Shops, create collections, and read Facebook’s tips for making the most out of your shop.

What’s the advantage of Facebook Shops?

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 you want to boost sales beyond your bricks and mortar shop, Facebook Shops lets you start 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.

Can I use Instagram Shops in the UK?

Yes. After initially only being on offer to people in the US, Instagram Shops is now available in the UK. Our step-by-step guide to selling on Instagram explains how to make your posts ‘shoppable’ and how people can checkout and buy your products without even leaving the app.

How does Facebook work?

Facebook is a social media platform where friends can connect to share content like videos, updates, articles, and photos.

When it comes to using Facebook for your business, users can engage with you in a similar way. You can share pictures of your products and communicate with customers in a conversational way to market your business. The Shops feature is an extension of this, allowing you to showcase your products and direct people to buy them through your website or by messaging you directly.

What’s in the pipeline for Facebook Shops?

Facebook accelerated the launch of Facebook Shops in 2020, 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.

There’s also a new live shopping feature where you can post a live video showcasing your products, with the option for viewers to purchase then and there. Meta (Facebook) rolled out additional features for Facebook Live in December 2021, including support for adding featured links, and new posting formats. So if you’re selling craft products, you can post a live demo video and let your customers buy the products you’re using.

Is Facebook Shops a good option to get your business into online retail? And can you sell on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.

Photograph 1: Chinnapong/stock.adobe.com

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