The new frontier of e–commerce is Facebook Shops. Maybe it’s the first time you hear of it or maybe you already read some information here and there.
Anyway, here at ShippyPro we want to tell you everything you need to know about this new feature, which not only affects Facebook, but the whole family of apps that also includes Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Get ready to discover a new way to sell your products, able to offer your customers a direct shopping experience, a functionality different from the Facebook Marketplace or a company profile on Instagram. If you want to give your business a big boost, however, you should also consider other tools and platforms, such as those provided by ShippyPro to save time and money in the management of your orders and shipments.
But let’s go in order, starting with the announcement of the birth of Facebook Shops, which Mark Zuckerberg himself released during an online broadcast on 19th May.
What is Facebook Shops?
Facebook Shops was born with a very specific goal: help small businesses in this time of difficulty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Zuckerberg himself, in his announcement, has repeatedly stressed this aspect, underlining that Facebook Shops is free and will allow your online store to promote itself on several fronts.
We can say that Facebook Shops is the evolution of the Facebook page that you have used so far to reach your audience.
If so far the Facebook page had more of a showcase function that referred to your actual shop, with Facebook Shops you can sell directly to your customers in a few steps.
In short, Facebook Shops is designed to make your customers’ purchases quick and easy and to prevent a slow or poorly structured site from making customers get away quickly and buy elsewhere.
After this brief presentation overview, let’s see the specific features of Facebook Shops.
5 strenghts of Facebook Shops
Facebook Shops is just starting out and will be further developed, but it already offers 5 great opportunities to launch your online business or optimize an already established presence. Let’s see what these 5 strengths are:
- Cross presence on multiple apps. Until now, the Facebook page and the company profile on Instagram were not in constant “dialogue” with each other. Of course, you could share posts from one app to another but potential customers interfaced with your product on Facebook or on Instagram. Now, instead, they can select a product on Instagram and checkout via Facebook. In addition, the unified purchasing experience will soon extend to Whatsapp and Messenger, from which you can constantly stay in touch with customers by answering their doubts but also by providing the tracking of their order.
- Native Mobile Experience: Facebook Shops is native and fast. Customers will no longer have to leave Facebook and find themselves on a slow site that puts to the test their shopping desire. Moreover, the payment data will be recorded during the first purchase on Facebook Shops and will remain stored.
- Product catalogs to attract buyers. Facebook Shops is not just a virtual showcase like Facebook Marketplace. In fact, you can create a whole series of catalogs (inserting from 6 to 30 products per collection) with a title and a brief description of what they represent for you and you want them to mean for customers. Basically, you can tell your brand and your objects, arousing curiosity and interest.
- Personalized shopping experience thanks to Artificial Intelligence. Facebook Shops also allows you to automatically identify the products in a photo and show them on your customers or in their living room thanks to Augmented Reality. Just as if they already had them available before purchase. All without lifting a finger, just a click away.
- Live Shopping on Instagram. What does it mean? It means that you can tag your products before a video on Instagram. In this way, potential customers will be shown an icon with product and relative price on the lower part of the video interface, and from there they can access more details or buy.
These are the news that Facebook Shops makes available to you today.
But we are convinced that in the near future there will be many more surprises for you.
In the meantime, the time has come to tell you how to create your Facebook Shops step by step.
How to create your Facebook Shops?
Here are the 2 simple steps to offer your customers a unified shopping experience:
- Convert your Facebook page into Facebook Shops.
- Upload your products: all you have to do is access the Facebook Business Manager Catalogue Manager. At that point, you can create a catalog and add your objects one by one, or select an existing catalog. You can only have one catalog linked to your Facebook Shops page.
We saw a little while ago that Facebook Shops can boast 5 strengths that make the shopping experience more immediate than in the past, but what are the concrete advantages for your business? What can you really do with this new feature?
The 4 advantages of Facebook Shops
- Show all the products you want. In addition to being free, Facebook Shops allows you to upload a potentially infinite number of products to the catalog, giving customers a huge choice.
- Categorize products in detail. The breakdown by product categories allows you to guide the visitor to your shop and direct him towards discounted products, perfect items for a certain season, or perhaps suitable items for a gift. You can implement a marketing strategy through this division. Moreover, each category can have its own cover image, which you have to choose carefully because it is a sort of business card for your objects.
- Communicate more directly with customers. No more emails you can’t reply to or unread messages. Your customers can write directly to your Facebook Shops and receive an immediate response to their doubts and requests.
- Monitor the Insights of your Facebook Shops. Like any worthy of respect e–commerce platform, statistics could not be missing. In fact, you can constantly monitor views, product clicks and purchases to never lose sight of the progress of your online business.
Facebook Shops VS Facebook Marketplace
Perhaps at this point you will wonder what really changes with the advent of Facebook Shops compared to a showcase like Facebook Marketplace.
As the word itself says, Marketplace is a large market where the customer can find anything. Of course, new items are also sold, but mostly they are second-hand products. In short, on Marketplace we find the private user who wants to get a small profit by selling items he has at home and no longer uses.
Facebook Shops, on the other hand, open the door to Merchants who sell new items.
Facebook Shops is specifically designed for those who, even if they have never sold online before, want to start doing so, taking advantage of the new shopping habits of customers.
Indeed, more and more people, also because of the Covid-19 pandemic, are deciding to buy online. This change requires flexibility on your part and adequate tools. Just like the one that Facebook has just launched on its platform.
How to ship using Facebook Commerce Manager?
Let’s say you’ve already opened your Facebook Shop, uploaded your product catalog and you are ready to sell. You just have to “welcome” customers in your shop and think about the whole post-sale phase, including shipping.
If you already have your own site, you will know that the management of shipments can take a long time and cause great headaches, unless you have tools that allow you, for example, to monitor tracking or manage returns in a simple way, such as ShippyPro.
Facebook, for its part, provides some fairly detailed indications on shipments, guidelines that we summarize in a few simple points:
- Ship all orders within 3 business days. Online shoppers are increasingly demanding and even if you manage a small brand you cannot help but send your products in the shortest possible time.
- Use reliable carriers who constantly report the status of the shipment to your customers.
- Remember to mark shipped orders in the Facebook Commerce Manager.
- Respect the delivery times indicated at the time of purchase.
- Never lose sight of customer requests. For example, when they ask you where their package is, answer in real time in order to avoid disputes and negative reviews.
Beyond Facebook Shops: selling on Ebay and Amazon
We have seen the great advantages offered by Facebook Shops, the new feature perfect for Merchants who run a small online business and want to increase their sales.
Nevertheless, Facebook puts its great means at your disposal, supports you and echoes the promotion of your products, but when it comes to shipping them, you have to take control of the situation.
You know it well if you’ve already tried to sell on channels like Ebay or Amazon. In this regard, we recommend you to read our article dedicated to PowerSellers on Ebay. If instead you want to expand on Amazon or Ebay, but you don’t know where to start, no problem: we talked about it here.
In addition, if you are an expert seller, you also know that meeting customer requests is increasingly difficult. Unless you are able to automate all those phases of the sales process that require a great deal of time and energy. In short, selling through tools such as Facebook Shops or platforms like Amazon and Ebay is a great opportunity, but it also requires excellent company organization.