With close to two billion active users, Facebook is indeed a lucrative option for online sellers looking to target a plethora of potential customers. And now, with the platform’s selling online store function, it makes perfect sense for you to be selling on Facebook.
What exactly is a Facebook shop? How do you set up an online store on the platform? What are the benefits to selling on Facebook?
In this article, we take a close look at Facebook and its selling potential for online businesses looking to profit from the social network. We also discuss the steps needed to set up a Facebook store so that you can start selling straight away.
What is a Facebook store?
A Facebook store enables you to sell products through your Facebook page.
When people visit your Facebook Page, they can then click on your Store Tab and purchase products directly from your Facebook Store.
Alternatively, you can set your Facebook Business Page so that shoppers can browse for items on the platform and then redirect these potential customers to your website checkout to complete the purchase.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the social media giant prefers to keep its users on its platform, so the more you can do directly through Facebook, the better.
How do you set up a Facebook shop?
There are two ways to set up shop on Facebook:
- Use Facebook’s platform itself to create your Facebook store, list products and set up a shopping cart to connect payments. View instructions here.
- Use an eCommerce platform to create an online store, then automatically link products to your Facebook Store page. This requires little technical know-how and is simple to set up and manage. View instructions here.
The first option is a basic way of selling and we recommend that you set your shop up using a leading eCommerce platform, such as BigCommerce or Shopify, as it’s a simpler process and gives your online business a more extensive online presence.
It’s worth keeping in mind that if you were to set your store up through the Facebook platform itself that there are fewer payment options, which may deter your potential customer base, and you can only sell physical products.
How to set up a Facebook store through Facebook
Although this process to setting up a Facebook store is simple, there are a number of steps that you’ll need to go through carefully. These include:
- Click Add Shop button in the menu sidebar.
- Agree to merchant terms and policies – be sure to read these over as they hold important information about what you can sell on Facebook, return and refund policies and how problems will be handled during your shop’s launch.
- Add in your business and payment processing details.
You’ll need to do this using Stripe payment processing, so if you don’t have an account already, you’ll need to create one, or log in to your current account and go from there.
- Describe what you sell in less than two hundred characters. Be concise and clear, but also make it sound fun and informal to entice potential customers.
- Now you can start adding products to sell on Facebook. Click the “add products” button.
Keep in mind is that there is a pretty extensive requirements and recommendations for product photos on Facebook’s product listing guidelines page.
For example, you are required to include the following:
- Each product must have at least one image
- Each photo must be of the product itself – no graphical representations
There are also general recommendations that Facebook suggests to shop owners:
- Easy to understand images that show the whole product
- Have an image resolution of 1024px x 1024px or higher
- Are in the standard square image format
- Have white backdrops
- Show the product up close with detail
- Capture the product in real-life situations (e.g. lifestyle shots)
Something else to take note of is that you’ll also need to follow the guidelines and requirements for your product descriptions. These include the following:
- Product description should be focused on the product and be easily digestible, making use of short sentences or bullet points where possible
- The description should not contain HTML, phone numbers, email addresses, long titles, excessive punctuations or external links
You may only use up to four product variants per product listing on Facebook.
The Advanced Options tab enables you to set custom tax percentages. You can enter your own rates but remember that you will be responsible for whether or not they’re accurate.
When it comes to shipping and delivery, there is a default shipping and returns policy that states items must be shipped within five business days and that items can be returned within 45 days should the customer no longer want the item.
This is a strict policy and cannot be changed – it is a requirement for all Facebook store owners.
- Start selling
You’ll be notified about your orders through Facebook. You can review and manage your pending and completed orders in the Publishing Tools under the Shop section.
Once you see your pending orders, you’ll also see individual details, such as the buyer’s shipping preferences and address, should you need them. You can also contact the buyer if you need any additional information to complete the order.
Keep in mind that you must ship the order before Stripe will process your payment. Once you’ve shipped the order, click the “mark as shipped” button and enter the tracking number (if applicable).
Your payment will then be processed, and your online inventory will be updated accordingly.
How to set up a Facebook store through an eCommerce platform
Setting up your Facebook store through an eCommerce platform (we’ll use both BigCommerce and Shopify as an example) is fairly straightforward and hassle-free.
To open up a Facebook store through Shopify, you’ll need to add Shopify’s free Facebook channel app to your Shopify store. Once this has been set up, Facebook will create a store section on your Facebook page, without you having to do much else.
For Shopify users, the Facebook app automatically creates a store tab for your Facebook Business Page that will push through your products to Facebook. Actions such as managing your products, tracking sales and processing orders is all done through Shopify.
This enables Facebook users to browse and buy products without leaving the platform.
Similar to Shopify, for BigCommerce store owners, you’ll also need to download and add BigCommerce’s free Facebook shop app to your online shop. This will then make your products both viewable and available on your Facebook Business Page.
Benefits of selling on Facebook
Increased exposure to potential customers
With close to two billion active users on Facebook, selling through the social network is definitely a profitable move worth considering with your eCommerce business.
What’s more, with Facebook’s large and distinct advertising options, you can tailor your ads on the social network to reach a targeted and defined audience suited to the niche your business operates within.
As the majority of Facebook’s users will use the social media platform through their mobiles, you can rest easy knowing that the network is already fully optimised for use on mobile and tablet devices, as well as desktop.
Setting up shop is simple
Whether you choose to set up your Facebook store through the platform itself or via your chosen eCommerce platform, creating your shop is easy and can be done in a small number of steps.
As the social media platform is already where a large amount of your target audience can be found, you can reach a pool of your potential customers in a fairly low-cost fashion.
What’s more, it’s completely free to active a Facebook store and start selling online, meaning that you can spend more of your budget on targeted marketing campaigns or use the money to buy more products to sell through the platform.
Get the most out of selling on Facebook
Used correctly, Facebook can be incredibly powerful for driving conversions, and the key to achieving this is by engaging your followers.
Social shopping may well be booming but bear in mind that users aren’t logging in to Facebook specifically to make a purchase. They’re there to connect with friends and family in a casual online environment.
Instead, it is your job to engage them and encourage the buying of your products on the network. Consider asking questions, making product suggestions and ultimately telling your brand’s story through the platform.
Another way to get the most from Facebook is by expanding the reach of your posts, which can be done by encouraging Facebook likes and shares. A great way to achieve this is by using competitions, special offers and promotions.
The fact is, selling on Facebook is still new for businesses, but with the eCommerce industry evolving tremendously, it is important that you are tapping into this market, and start leveraging Facebook’s reach to maximise the growth of your business.
Of course, the more channels you across, the more challenging it is to maintain a high level fo efficiency in your business. That's why exploring your opportunities with automated inventory management software can prove to be extremely beneficial.