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How to Start Selling Online With Facebook Shops

facebook shops

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 43% of US small businesses temporarily shutting down and employment falling by 40%. Facebook Shops are a good option for SMBs to remain in business while leveraging the vast audience on Facebook.

Facebook Shops have time-saving tools for sales and marketing, conversions, and customer support. SMBs can set up a fully native branded storefront on the platform at no cost.

In addition, Facebook has decided to partner and expand relationships with third-party eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, and more.

Benefits of selling on Facebook

Having a presence on Facebook will help you leverage its popularity to find prospects.

Take a look at these statistics:

  • Facebook has 2.41 billion monthly active users (MUA), which represents a 12% increase year over year.
  • More than 200 million businesses use free apps and tools on Facebook.
  • US adults spend an average of 33 minutes per day on Facebook.
  • 62% of people have reported being more interested in a product after seeing it in a Facebook video.

Selling on Facebook: commonly-used terms

Let us understand a few commonly-used terms with respect to buying and selling on Facebook:

  • Facebook Page Shop – an existing feature where users can display products on their Facebook Business page. Customers are redirected to the business owner’s website when they click on products they want to buy.
  • Facebook Shop – a new feature that attempts to elevate the traditional Facebook Page Shops into a more customizable, cohesive, and shoppable platform. It supports transactions within the platform.
  • Facebook Marketplace – a sort of Craiglist for Facebook users. People can list and find local products. Selling and buying occur off the platform as no payment processor is supported.

Advantages of selling on Facebook Shops

How is Facebook Shops an improvement over the traditional Facebook Page Shops?

  • Unified single shop presence across Facebook Commerce surfaces including Facebook groups, Instagram Stories, ads, and soon on Messenger and WhatsApp
  • Native mobile experience allows customers to conduct transactions on their mobile phones without leaving the app
  • Seamless checkout experience that allows customers to buy products from the platform and their credit card details are stored when they make a purchase
  • Easy customer support through Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp wherein customers can ask questions, track shipments, and get more help
  • Real-time shopping on Facebook and Instagram Live wherein businesses can tag products from their store before going live and enable customers to make purchases in real-time

Eligibility for Facebook Shops

If you already have a Facebook Page Shop or an Instagram Shop, you will automatically be updated to Facebook Shops. Facebook will send you an email or a notification (or both) when your Shop is ready.

Facebook Shops is being gradually rolled out to businesses across the world, starting with US stores. No time frame has been specified so we have to wait and watch.

What do you need to be eligible for Facebook Shops?

  • A Facebook Business page
  • Compliance with Facebook Shop merchant terms and commerce policies
  • A catalog of physical products (Currently, Facebook Shops does not support downloadables or digital products.)
  • A registered business in the country you’re selling in
  • A tax identification number

Charges for using Facebook Shops

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, selling charges for Facebook Shops have been waived until June 30, 2022.

Earlier, Facebook had levied the following charges:

  • 5% transaction fee
  • USD $0.40 selling fee (sales price + delivery fee + taxes)
  • USD $20 per chargeback

How to set up a Facebook Shop

facebook shops

Source: About Facebook

We assume that you are new to online commerce, hence we’ll start with creating a Facebook Business page.

1. Create a Facebook Business page

facebook shops

Source: Later

You cannot set up Facebook Shops with a personal page, so the first step is to set up a Facebook Business page.

  1. Log in to Facebook, find the “Create” button to the right of the toolbar, and click on it.
  2. From the drop-down list that appears, select “Page” to create a Facebook page.
  3. In the screen that appears, enter your business information such as page name/business name, category, and description. Next, click “Create Page” at the bottom of the screen. Note that your business name is the first thing that customers hear about you, so make it memorable and reflective of your business. You can use a business name generator to come up with a variety of options to choose from. 
  4. Next, upload a profile picture and a cover photo. Businesses usually upload a logo as a profile picture that represents the brand visually. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page.
  5. Find the section called “Add More Information” and click “Get Started.” Enter relevant information about your business such as website address, business hours, contact information, and so on. This information ensures that prospects understand what your business is about and how to contact you for more details.
  6. Add a CTA button to the page by clicking the blue “ + Add a Button” on the top right-hand side of the page. Your CTA depends on the action you want your prospects to take, such as follow, book now, shop now, send email, learn more, or call now. Follow the directions to complete your setup.
  7. On the left-hand side of the page, you have a variety of customization options with which you can change the template and the tabs on your page.

Your Facebook Business page is now complete.

 

2. Set up your Commerce Manager

facebook shops

Source: Canz Marketing

You will need to configure your Commerce Manager whether you have an existing eCommerce website or you intend to use Facebook Shops exclusively.

You can sync your eCommerce website with Facebook Shops via your Commerce Manager.

  1. Log in to the Commerce Manager and click the blue “Get Started.” button.
    • You will find three checkout options: another website, Facebook or Instagram, and Messaging.
    • If you have an existing eCommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify, choose the checkout on another website option. It will redirect your customers to your website when they click on a product for more details. Of course, your eCommerce platform has to be integrated with Facebook.
    • The option checkout with Messaging enables customers to send you a message on Messenger or WhatsApp to complete the payment. This means that you need to set up your own payment processes and order fulfillment processes. Note that you need a WhatsApp business account in the same Business Manager account as your Shop. It should also be the primary contact method in your Shop.
    • The checkout with Facebook or Instagram option enables customers to complete their purchase directly on the app and supports payment processes. Currently, this feature is limited to US stores. You also need to create a commerce account in Commerce Manager to enable this option.
  2. Add your Facebook Business Page to the Commerce Manager account and give your account a business name.
  3. Enter the requested information under Account details.
  4. Choose whether you’d like your shop to be based on your Instagram business profile, your Facebook Business Page, or both under “Where people can view your shop.
  5. Below “Add a catalog,” you can add an existing product catalog or create one from scratch, which will be visible in the Commerce Manager under “Items for (name and ID of your Page).”
  6. After you have checked the Merchant Agreement and your shop details, click “Create Shop.”

 

3. Add products to your catalog

facebook shops

Source: Statusbrew

Once your Commerce Manager is set up and connected to your Facebook Business Page, it’s time to add products to your catalog.

You can do this in several ways, depending on the number of items, the type of items, and how frequently your inventory changes:

  • Manual upload– less than 50 items, inventory does not change often, suits a small business with few products
  • CSV import – large inventory, changes often, recommended if periodic uploads are done, suitable for direct-to-consumer retail selling
  • Facebook Pixel – large inventory, changes often, a good option if Pixel is already installed on your eCommerce website, suitable for businesses that run dynamic Facebook ads. 

Facebook Pixel is an analytics tool that you can install on your website to help you run ads and measure their effectiveness. The ads are shown to the right prospects based on the requirements of your campaign. You can tweak settings to target new prospects or people who have visited a specific page on your website or taken a specific action on your website. 

  • Syncing with eCommerce platform – any inventory size, changes often, multiple selling locations, inventory syncing required, perfect for businesses that already have an online store

Selling exclusively on Facebook Shops is beneficial for small businesses with a few items because they can start selling on Facebook for free and customers can purchase items without leaving the app. However, it can get time-consuming to manually manage your inventory if the size increases. You are also limited to Facebook and cannot explore other selling avenues.

Syncing your eCommerce platform with Facebook Shops has several benefits: you have access to a suite of time-saving tools like automated order and shipping management and the freedom to sell from anywhere. However, you need to factor in the cost of maintaining an account with platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.

 

How can you sync your eCommerce platform with Facebook Shops?

facebook shops

Source: Adlucent

 

Facebook has certain partner platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, CEDCommerce, WooCommerce, and CommerceHub that can be synced with your Facebook Shop. 

If you’re already selling on these partner platforms, you can import your products to a Facebook catalog and continue to manage your inventory from the partner platform. Your changes will be automatically synced on Facebook Shops.

The steps are different for each eCommerce platform.

  1. Connect your eCommerce platform to your Facebook account by following the steps outlined by the provider.
  2. Connect your eCommerce platform with your preferred Business Manager account.
  3. Select your Facebook Business page and set up your Commerce Manager account.
  4. Upload your products.
  5. Facebook will review your Shop to ensure that your images and content meet the Facebook Shop guidelines.
  6. After 24-48 hours, you can expect your Shop to be approved and you can see all your products. 

You’re now ready to sell!

 

4. Market your Facebook Shop products

facebook shops

Source: Shoptab

 

You’ve done most of the heavy lifting to set up your Facebook Shop, but wait–it’s not over yet! You must now market your products for good sales.

Facebook Shops allows you to categorize your products into “collections” to help your customers search through your store and find what they want. 

You can use a combination of free and paid advertising to give your business a boost.

  • Use “boosted posts” to feature products, groups of products, or special offers. You pay a small fee to increase the reach of your post to a large, targeted audience.
  • Run contests and giveaways to spread awareness, engage your audience, and attract new prospects.
  • Run targeted ad campaigns with featured products.
  • Use special fast delivery badges for eligible products or pages housing certain collections to push sales, such as our Free 2-Day Delivery Fast Tag.

 

Wrapping up

Whether you’re new to online eCommerce or you already have an established eCommerce website, you cannot deny the advantages of selling to a large and engaged Facebook audience. Facebook Shops is a good attempt toward making eCommerce more seamless and cohesive on Facebook.

 

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