Commerce has always been social. Humans have been gathering to shop and socialize for thousands of years. Public markets were a cornerstone of ancient Roman society, and they even served as the venue for philosophers like Socrates. General stores in the 1800s were places for people in rural areas to come stock up on food, tools, and the latest gossip and news. And ask Gen-Xers and millennials where they spent most of their time socializing as teenagers, and shopping malls will inevitably be a top answer.
Now, especially during the pandemic, people are spending more time online than in physical stores. But that doesn't mean the social element of commerce is gone. It's actually been gradually making its way into ecommerce over the past few years: Social proof has become a major ecommerce marketing tool. Billions are spent on social media influencers every year. And now, social networks of all types are investing in social commerce.
The moral of the story: If you want to be competitive in today's ecommerce market, you've got to focus on the social aspect. That means, of course, leveraging social media as a tool. You're probably already maintaining a social media presence and running social media ads. But we're here to make the case for why you should also have an actual store on social media, too. We're talking about Facebook Shops. Read on to find out how to sell products on Facebook this way, and why you should. First, we'll answer the question: What is the new Facebook Shops?
What is Facebook Shops?
Facebook Shops is a part of the Facebook platform. It's a shopping interface that makes it easier for users to find and buy products, in addition to being easy for businesses to set up and link to their business pages.
The opportunity for businesses to sell products on Facebook through Shops was announced in May 2020. The goal of Facebook Shops is to make finding and buying great products easier and more enjoyable for users. It's also intended to help brick-and-mortar store owners get set up to sell online easily so that they can keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic. Now, exactly how does FB Shops work? As Facebook explains it:
"Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them."
They also note that anyone who had a Facebook shop page before the release of Facebook Shops will get a notification that shows them how to convert their store to the new interface.
So people who are already socializing with friends and keeping up with businesses on Facebook will be able to find your shop easily. Your business page will have a link, and you can run ads that lead to it, too. Some businesses can even offer a native buying experience, so users can enjoy shopping on Facebook and then check out without leaving the site or app. Users can also bookmark items they might want to buy later, and can message the business directly through Messenger if they have questions.
Why you should sell on Facebook Shops
🐣 If you're new to ecommerce, Facebook Shops is a great place to start.
✅ If you've already got an ecommerce store on another platform, there are still several good reasons to add Facebook Shops to the mix.
Setting up a Facebook Shop is simple to do, but can be a game-changer for the success of your new or well-established brand. Here's why.
#1. Facebook Shops gives you access to a huge global audience.
You've likely heard the stats before: Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users worldwide. So if your ecommerce business has a presence on this platform, you've got access to a huge audience. And let's not forget how much more time people are spending on social media because of the pandemic—to stay informed, entertained, and connected, and of course, to shop.
Plus, statistics show that people want to connect with brands on social media. Two thirds of Facebook users visit a local business Page at least once a week, and 78% of US consumers say they've discovered products on Facebook. All of these factors set the stage perfectly for this new development in shopping on Facebook. Users are ready for it, and your business can only stand to benefit from the exposure.
And if you're wondering, Where can I find Facebook shops?, log into your Facebook account and you'll see. There's now a dedicated Shop tab where users can browse products by categories, or search for a specific shop. They'll also be able to access your shop through the prominent View Shop button on your business's Facebook page. And if you run ads or post Stories promoting your shop, those can direct users to it also. That means tapping into Facebook's huge user base has never been easier.
#2. Setting up a Facebook Shop is quick and easy.
As long as you're an admin of your page in Business Manager and have permissions to manage the page and its catalog, you can set up a Facebook Shop in minutes.
If you already have an ecommerce store set up on a platform like Shopify, you can create a Shopify Facebook store. That way, you'll be able to continue selling on your original site, but also attract business from Facebook. Follow Shopify's instructions for linking.
Or, if you're starting your ecommerce store from scratch on Facebook, follow these instructions to set up a Facebook shop:
- Start at Facebook's Create Your Shop page and click Next.
- Choose a checkout method. We recommend the 'Checkout with Messaging' option, so you can enable tools like Chatfuel to help you sell more! Then click Next.
- Select your business from the list (or start a new one). Click Next.
- Select existing products in the Add Products section, or add a new catalog. Click Finish Setup.
- Then, create a collection of up to 30 products.
- Customize the colors and other visual settings of your shop.
- Publish your shop and wait for approval from Facebook. ✅
- Set up a Messenger chatbot to help increase your store's sales and improve its customer service! Find more information in point #4 below.
#3. Facebook Shops doesn't charge monthly fees.
Is a Facebook shop free? It's free to set up and host your store on Facebook, yes. There are no initiation or monthly fees like most other ecommerce platforms. However, there are still some fees associated with being a merchant on this platform.
So, how much does a Facebook shop cost? Facebook takes 5% of all orders processed with their in-app checkout option (or USD $0.40 on items that are $8 USD or less). These fees include taxes and payment processing costs. And to make it easy, merchants don't need to worry about paying for their Facebook shop manually, since Facebook automatically deducts the fees.
#4. A Facebook chatbot can help you save time and sell more.
In a brick-and-mortar store, sales associates would answer customer questions to help move them toward a purchase. For an ecommerce shop, a Messenger chatbot plays that role instead. And if your ecommerce shop is on Facebook, a Messenger bot is super easy to integrate.
You can set up an ecommerce chatbot and equip it to answer common questions about your Facebook Shop's products. Your online ecommerce chatbot can respond to every customer inquiry immediately, 24/7 and give them information in a seamless, back-and-forth style—conversational commerce at its finest!
That means prospective buyers will no longer fall through the cracks because you were too overwhelmed with messages to manually respond to theirs. After all: The faster you can respond to shoppers, the more likely they are to buy. And after answering the user's question, your chatbot for ecommerce can even cross-sell and upsell additional products related to the one the customer showed interest in.
Are Facebook Shops worth it?
All in all, we say yes! Facebook Shops let you access a huge, engaged audience. They load faster than a mobile website, and you can make your shoppers' lives easier by enabling in-app checkout. Shops are easy to market with Facebook ads, and organic discovery is easy too thanks to the prominent shops tab and buttons. Finally, integrating a Messenger chatbot for ecommerce makes growing your shop easy, thanks to conversational marketing. So whether you already have an ecommerce site and are thinking of linking it to Facebook, or you're starting an ecommerce venture from scratch, we recommend giving Facebook Shops a try.
Ready to get started with marketing automation for your online store? The function of Chatfuel is to make this technology easy and accessible to all—no code required! Sign up for your free account today to get a chatbot for e-commerce up and running in minutes. Then when you're ready for unlimited users and priority support from our team, upgrade to Pro.