Last week, Facebook finally decided to become an eCommerce platform, with the aims to impact the industry and make a difference to how businesses sell online.
As we know from everything Facebook releases, it usually disrupts the industry in a positive manner, and Facebook Shops is no different. It is set to be released on Facebook business pages, along with Instagram business profiles, and is the first significant step towards building the world of social eCommerce, something they have already dabbled with in their Marketplace feature previously.
So, what exactly is it? How can I use it? How will it be beneficial to me? Below, we have taken a look at some of its features and how best to implement it into your social media strategy, along with your eCommerce strategy as a whole.
Facebook Shops main features
To put it simply, Facebook Shops allows your business to set up a single online store on both Facebook and Instagram, for customers to purchase directly through the platforms, taking away the previous need of having to link away to the main site for purchases.
It allows you to customise the shop how you see best fit, with your own cover photo, colour schemes and the ability to pick and choose exactly what products you want to feature on there, with photographs and information about those products. This is a great opportunity for sellers of all sizes to begin selling products online, no matter how small your business and budget is.
From the customer’s point of view, it allows people to find the store from your Facebook business page, or Instagram business profile organically, through Stories, or through Ads if you have a paid social budget in your social media strategy. From the store, customers can then browse your store, save products they might want to purchase at a later date, or checkout directly.
As you know, customer service is key through social media, so Facebook Shops also makes it easier for your customers to message your business through Instagram Direct Messaging, WhatsApp or Messenger to track orders or ask questions.
Live shopping & loyalty points
You might be wondering why you should set Facebook Shops up, and put time into creating it. Well, it has some pretty handy features, especially for those who think outside the box a little more with their marketing strategies. Introducing… Live Shopping.
It is no secret that Instagram in particular is awash with influencers, both micro and macro, talking about products, whether part of a paid partnership with a brand, or because they simply want to let their followers know about it, but have had to link back to your brand’s profile for more information. Well once it has been rolled out worldwide, thanks to Live Shopping, influencers, individuals, brands and creators can showcase a link directly to the product from Facebook Shops in their live video, for people to purchase directly, or learn more about.
Customer loyalty is also a big factor in this new feature, giving brands the option to create digital loyalty cards to those who continue purchasing through Facebook Shops (similarly to a coffee shop loyalty card etc).
At a time when small businesses might have to re-think their marketing strategy, we believe that Facebook Shops has come at the right time, getting rid of the hassle and costs that come with usually setting up an online store, and creating features to boost creativity within your digital marketing strategy.
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