Selling on Facebook
With the arrival of Facebook Shops, selling on Facebook has become a must for most online retailers. Given that consumers spend a lot of time on social media platforms, selling your products here can help you reach a larger audience. On this page we’ll explain how the ecommerce options on Facebook work.
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Facebook as a sales channel
Most brands are already active on Facebook to increase their brand awareness and get in touch with more customers.
Over the years, Facebook Groups that function as marketplaces have come into existence and small business started selling there. Facebook responded to this by launching Facebook Shops, a way for businesses to launch an actual online shop on the social media platform.
In early 2020, Facebook launched its ecommerce platform Facebook Shops, which allows retailers to easily sell items via the platform. Through this service you can showcase your products on your Facebook business page, in your stories and advertisements. If your Facebook page is linked to your Instagram profile, you can also sell on Instagram. Because Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook, you can manage your business profiles on these social media in the same Commerce Manager app.
With Facebook Shops, you can showcase your products and sell on Facebook.
Consumers can view, save and order your products. If they have questions they can contact you via Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp. If you want to sell via Facebook Shops, you should be regularly available to respond to these messages.
How does selling on Facebook work?
As a retailer, you can add the online store environment to your Facebook page for free. You do need to create a business account for this. With a personal Facebook account you can only use Facebook Marketplace; the place where consumers buy or sell second-hand items.
You need to create a business account. With a private account you can only use Facebook Marketplace.
After you’ve created the ‘Shopping’ tab on your company page and accepted the terms and conditions (which include which products you can sell and how to handle returns and complaints), you can get started with your shop. You should know that you can only sell physical goods, not digital products or subscriptions.
Choosing a checkout
Before you start selling, you should select how interested buyers can pay for your products.
There are several options: via Facebook or Instagram, another website, or through Messaging. If you choose a checkout within Facebook, buyers won’t be directed to your website and complete their checkout within the app. Facebook does charge a fee, and it can take up to 10 days until the money is transferred to your bank account. This payment method is currently only available within the US.
If you choose a checkout within Facebook, buyers complete their checkout within the app.
If your online store is not situated in the US, you can select ‘pay on another website’. In this case, buyers will be directed to your website and complete their payment there. With the other checkout option, Messaging, customers can send you a message on Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp to complete their payment. This means that you will need to create a way to process payments yourself.
Setting up a catalogue
Before you start selling, you’ll need to add products to your catalogue. You can upload products manually, but if you’re selling a lot of items, this can take up a lot of time. You could also upload a csv-file, which is a lot quicker. Facebook also works with most ecommerce platforms, which also makes it possible to synchronise your website with your Facebook Shop. Your products will then automatically be added to the catalogue. Most ecommerce platforms have plug-ins that let you list and sell products in a Facebook Shop. This plug-in offers you automated order and shipping management tools that are designed to save you time.
Most ecommerce platforms have plug-ins for Facebook Shops.
You can then describe what you are selling in a maximum of two hundred characters and provide background information about the products and your online store. You can add as many products as you want. If you have a lot of articles, it is advisable to work with collections or categories, so that customers can easily navigate your Facebook shop.
Pros and cons of using Facebook Shops
A big advantage to Facebook Shops is that it’s free, although the platform might persuade you to also make use of the Facebook marketing options. It’s pretty easy to use and the network has clear step by step instructions. If you sell just a few items or only want to sell through a Facebook Shop, this might be all you need. Setting up a business account also gives you the possibility to sell on Instagram and WhatsApp, while managing these accounts in one place.
A disadvantage, however, when you don’t synchronise Facebook with your ecommerce platform, you will have to manually manage your orders. This can be time-consuming.
Is selling on Facebook a good fit for your store?
An online store on Facebook broadly resembles an ordinary online store. However, there are a number of things to keep in mind.
Selling on social media is different from selling on your own ecommerce website. Beautiful images and original content on social media are even more important than in your online store. Boring photos of your products don’t encourage visitors to click on them.
If you don’t have time to maintain your profile, then a shop on Facebook has little added value.
Have you tried Facebook ads before and got little to no results? Then a shop via Facebook might not be a good idea either. If you don’t actually have time to maintain a profile for your online business, then a shop on Facebook has little added value. Selling via social media only works if you have a following and can arouse their interest with your posts. So try to ensure that you continue to spend enough time on the non-commercial sides of the platform as well, to keep your followers engaged.