Facebook Shops: What are they and how to drive more social sales
Has your business been sleeping on Facebook Shops?
The popularity of social commerce and selling via Facebook ads is well-documented.
And with the introduction of Shops’ product platform, Facebook is giving brands big and small an opportunity to get products in their followers’ hands faster.
But as the rollout of Facebook Shops happened early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses still haven’t had an opportunity to take full advantage of its features.
That’s where this guide can help.
We’ll break down the basics of setting up a Facebook Shops strategy and what you need to know about the platform to start selling.
What are Facebook Shops, exactly?
Simply put, Facebook Shops acts as an online storefront for your Facebook Page.
The platform allows businesses to upload products, tag them in posts and initiate transactions from Facebook itself.
If you’re familiar with Instagram Shopping, the features and functions are fairly similar since it shares Facebook’s ecommerce platform.
Pages with active storefronts are denoted by the “Shops” tab, as highlighted by this Facebook Shop example from TOMS via desktop:
Meanwhile, you can view a business’ mobile Shop by scrolling down on a Page’s home feed. This is what the product view looks like on a smartphone, for reference:
Here are some quick Facebook commerce policies and fast facts on how the platform works:
- With Shops, you can upload a product inventory manually (one-by-one or in bulk) or source products from your ecommerce platform of choice (Shopify, WooCommerce, etc).
- The platform charges a 5% selling fee or a $0.40 fee on items costing $8 or less: merchants are responsible for setting their own shipping/return policies.
- As of September 2021, Facebook Shops is only for selling physical products, so digital products and services are not yet available.
Below is a snapshot of what a Facebook Shops product page looks like. Product descriptions, shipping policies, and prices can either be drafted manually or integrated from an existing online store:
Beyond serving as a static storefront, the platform boasts features to help brands promote products to followers. For example, you can tag products directly within posts and Stories to drive fans to your Facebook Shop.
With Shops, you can also run sales and separate your products into different collections. This sort of customization allows you to either replicate your existing storefront on Facebook or give your Shop a totally different vibe.
Who are FB Shops meant for?
Initially, the platform was marketed as a means of supporting small and independent businesses in the midst of COVID-19.
But as highlighted by our Facebook Shops examples, ecommerce giants are on board as well. In short, the platform is fair game for:
- Small businesses and merchants. Facebook Shops’ ease of use makes it ideal for business owners selling digitally for the first time.
- Established ecommerce storefronts. Given how easy it is to upload your current inventory to Facebook, doing so is a no-brainer if you’re already selling online.
- Brands with a thriving Facebook community. For example, Facebook Group owners can easily funnel trusted fans to their storefronts.
Why you should set up a Facebook Shop
The short answer? We’ve entered the era of social media ecommerce: the more avenues you have to sell, the better.
And despite popular belief, selling online through multiple channels doesn’t mean pulling your hair out. The platform makes it a cinch to double-dip your existing inventory of products (especially if you’re already selling on Instagram).
But perhaps most notably, Facebook Shops’ setup process is seriously simple. Doing so doesn’t require a huge investment of time or energy, but the returns are potentially massive depending on your Facebook engagement.
How to create a Facebook shop from scratch
First things first: you’re going to need a Page to attach your storefront to.
Upon accessing Facebook’s Commerce Manager, you’ll be to asked to “Add Shop” or “Add Catalog.”
Let’s start with your Shop. Facebook does a good job of holding your hand through this process, breaking down each step and highlighting what you’ll need to be approved to sell on Facebook.
From here, you’ll be prompted to:
- Pick a Facebook Page to host your Shop
- Integrate your partner platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce (if necessary)
- Choose a checkout method (either Facebook’s native checkout, Shop Pay by Shopify or payment on-site)
Then, you’ll be asked to specify your shipping policies and return window. Want to set up a free shipping threshold or offer rush delivery? Totally up to you.
Once submitted, you’ll need to return to the Commerce Manager and select “Add Catalog.”
From here, you can upload your own manual product information or choose from your partner of choice. The specifics of catalog setup vary from business to business:
And that’s the short of it! Assuming you’ve complied with Facebook’s Business Approval Policies, you should be good to go.
6 tips for building your Facebook Shops strategy
Of course, shoppers aren’t going to flock to your FB Shop “just because.”
How you promote and market your products ultimately determines whether or not you actually score sales.
Let’s look at some basic ways to get more eyes on your Facebook Shop and entice buyers.
1. Organize your products into collections
Rather than treat your shop as a free-for-all, take advantage of Shops’ Collections feature to sort your products and add some flavor to your Facebook at the same time.
For example, lululemon separates their products by style and product type. This sort of organization emulates an actual ecommerce shop and gives their store a sense of professionalism as well as making it intuitive for customers to browse.
Sorting products by category makes it easier for shoppers to narrow down their search and find what they’re looking for.
2. Put your best-sellers front-and-center
Whether or not you decide to upload your entire inventory to Facebook Shops is totally up to you.
That said, you might consider testing the waters by featuring your best-selling products first. You can either do this manually or create a “best-sellers” tag in Categories.
For example, Pura Vida’s “Top Rated” selection signals their most popular products and puts them at the front of the line within their Store.
3. Grab shoppers’ attention with sales and discounts
Discounts and deals are proven motivators for shoppers, especially those buying for the first time.
Consider promoting some sale items or even a Facebook Shops exclusive sale. This ultimately makes products from your Facebook feel more exclusive, providing all the more incentive for people to follow you and regularly check out your deals.
Note that shoppers can sort items by sale or price. Having a few sale items in stock is perfect for appealing to bargain-hunters.
4. Show off your products from multiple angles
This tip applies to your Facebook Stores along with the rest of your product pages on social media.
If possible, including more than just a single static image of your products – include lifestyle images that show them in action.
Social selling is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of user-generated content and use visuals to make a more compelling connection to your customers. Plus, doing so proves that you’re a legitimate business with real-life, satisfied customers.
5. Tag products in your posts and Stories
The current presentation of Facebook Stores could make it easy to miss if someone isn’t explicitly looking for products.
That’s why you should tag products within posts and Stories whenever possible to boost the visibility of your storefront.
To avoid being too salesy or overwhelming followers, try to tag products somewhat sparingly and perhaps save doing so for product launches, drops and sales.
You can use the social commerce features built into Sprout to tag products in your scheduled Facebook posts. Our integrations with Shopify and FB Shops mean you can quickly connect to your existing Shopify and Facebook Shops catalogs and publish posts featuring shoppable products.
6. Pay attention to your Commerce Manager insights
And of course, we can’t talk about social selling without talking about your data.
Commerce Manager boasts its own unique set of analytics and insights to help you fine-tune your Facebook Stores strategy. Notable tabs to watch include:
- Performance: for traffic, shopping behavior, sales, and website events (assuming you have Facebook pixel set up).
- Catalog: view the sales status of any given product in your inventory.
- Discovery: where your Shops traffic is coming from.
- Audience: uncovers demographic data about your buyers.
- Tagged content: conversion metrics for specific products and content formats.
Based on these metrics and data points, you can determine which products perform the best and if your target audience on Facebook Shops matches your audience elsewhere.
Ready to get started with Facebook Shops yourself?
Facebook Shops represents a potentially powerful channel for merchants to win more social sales.
The platform’s straightforward setup balanced with customization and promotional features make it perfect for businesses of all sizes.
With the steps and tips above, you have the building blocks to put together a Facebook Shops strategy that attracts customers.
And if you haven’t already, make sure to check out our comprehensive guide to social media for retail for more ideas and inspiration.
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