The pandemic that rocked the globe in 2020 brought several innovations. When people realized that impromptu lockdowns would be the norm and there was no possibility of going back to work or opening brick-and-mortar stores, they knew they had to be innovative and find a way to make a living.
Entrepreneurs also noticed a surprising behavior- Online shopping was steadily increasing. Why? People were bored, so they spent time window shopping in online stores and making purchases.
What is the origin of Facebook Shop
Billionaire and entrepreneur Mark noted that 31% of small businesses had ceased operations and needed a boost. After donating over 100 million to small businesses, he realized he could do more. He was sitting on an eCommerce gold mine that could help business owners set up and manage online stores on Facebook with over 160 million users.
That is how Facebook Shops was created- a free tool that allows business page administrators to create a mobile-optimized online store on Facebook or Instagram.
How does Facebook Shops work
Through a commerce manager, you can build a store on Instagram and Facebook from the ground up and operate it within Facebook's ecosystem. The great thing about Facebook Shops is that you do not have to be a coder or web builder. All you need is a bank account in the United States and a tax identification number. However, currently, Facebook Shops is only operational on mobile devices and in the US.
Facebook Shops is a comprehensive shopping solution equipped with promotion, sales, marketing, and customer service solutions. You can create a store from the ground up and operate it within Facebook's ecosystem. Better yet, you can integrate Facebook Shops with a store built on another platform such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc.
Facebook Shops allows you to curate product collections to sort your items and make your shop easier to navigate for customers. Facebook Shops merchants can also tweak their shops' designs, colors, and templates to make them more unique, stylish, and suitable for your products.
Now that we know how Facebook Shops works let us find out how it can be a valuable marketing tool for merchants.
1. Wide reach
Facebook is used by 15% of social media users in the United States to shop, currently the second most popular social network after Pinterest. What’s more, a sizable portion of this audience is ready to buy.
The most profitable audience can be found on Facebook. According to Pew Research Center, 74% of people earning more than $75,000 per year have an account on Facebook. So Facebook is a 'cash cow if you play your cards right.'
If you have a huge following, you can reach an even wider audience by integrating your account with your store.
2. Targeted advertising
On a few eCommerce platforms, you aren’t provided with insights on how your ads campaigns or products are doing. In short, you are a sitting duck, just taking chances and relying on guesses or inaccurate data. With Facebook Shops, you can post ads to market your products and product catalogs and then track conversions.
Tracking conversions and ad performance helps you accurately market to your ideal audiences based on their actions in your online store, such as viewing a post, saving or sharing it. With these insights, you can improve the effectiveness of your messaging and other factors like duration of the ad, timing of campaigns, photos used, or even price.
3. Product tags
One thing you can always count on is Facebook users casually scrolling through posts at any time. So why not take advantage of this behavior and enable users to purchase a product while idly scrolling seamlessly.
With Facebook Shops, you can get creative by making your Facebook posts and stories shoppable by adding product tags. Then, suppose one of your followers sees a product they are interested in one of your posts. They can click the tag, which automatically sends them to your checkout page to complete their purchase.
We all know how fast a user can go from wanting to impulse buy to abandoning their cart. If you make the process between browsing and payment swift, you are guaranteed at least a couple of sales.
4. Multi-channel synchronization
Because Facebook is the parent company under which Instagram belongs, you can take advantage of two marketing platforms to reach a wider audience. You do not need to worry about having to populate both stores. Facebook Shops allows you to migrate your product catalog from one app to another. Changes made to your catalog on either app will automatically reflect on the other app.
It is no secret that first impressions last. As much as you do not want your products to get judged by the look of your shop, it will happen. The best thing would be to ensure that the overall look of your store is sophisticated, neat and stylish. There is something that feels safe about a well-put-together store.
With Facebook Shops, you can make several changes to the layout and style of your Facebook Shop, such as changing font styles, button colors, and color themes, among others. Naturally, the more unique and outstanding your store is, the higher the chances of driving traffic to it.
6. Direct messaging
Initially, if a customer saw a product they wanted to purchase, you had to guide them to your website's ecommerce checkout page. However, customers can now purchase directly from your Messenger chatbot.
Customers can message your company via Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram to browse through your catalog, ask questions, get support, track shipments, and more. In addition, they will be able to view a store's products and transact right within a Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct, or WhatsApp conversation.
In fact, because of their conversational and engaging nature, Messenger ads are already outshining the average Facebook ads.
If you are a merchant on Facebook Shops, your chat section can be a gold mine. Customers love transacting in one place because it is less confusing, time-consuming, and feels more secure.
7. Live streaming
Instagram is not the only place where you can use live streams to sell your products. For years, folks have used the Facebook live video to showcase products. But now, Facebook is making buying products from live streams quicker and more straightforward.
Vendors, brands, and influencers will eventually be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalog before their live streams. Then, Facebook will showcase these tags at the bottom of the video so a user can quickly tap to get additional info and purchase.
If you are committed, creative and innovative, there are several features of Facebook Shops that you can use to reach a wider audience, create a loyal customer base and boost your sales. All while incurring the least operational costs.
Are you interested in starting your eCommerce journey with Facebook? Then, visit Facebook and get started.