It’s not easy to keep up with the competition, especially in a world filled with multi-platform companies; you need to be where your potential customers are! For those of us who have used the Facebook Shop feature before, we know how effective this can be. Whether you are a big brand or a local business, setting up a Shop on your Facebook page allows you to do so much more than just run ads across Facebook and its family of apps.
While any business can have a Facebook Page shop, this feature best serves merchants, retail, and e-commerce advertisers. With a Facebook Page shop, you can show and sell products to people right on Facebook and the same could be done on Instagram with Instagram Shop.
Why the re-launch?
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many businesses who were previously not present or at least not effectively present on a digital front, to make drastic changes to keep their businesses going.
This presented Facebook with the timely opportunity to re-launch the Facebook Shop with added features and functionalities to better cater to the mass.
Also, this was somewhat expected from Facebook, sooner or later, as they already had existing features like the Facebook Marketplace and Page Shops, and the recently announced launch of Facebook Pay. The re-launch basically puts all of these into a single ecosystem.
Regardless of the above, surely everyone is very excited to try this out for your or your client’s Facebook efforts. So I have put together this article hoping that it would come handy for those of us who do not yet know of the new features are for those who still have some doubts on the feature’s capabilities.
Before getting into the details of it, here is a quick update I received from our Facebook rep,
“We are rolling out Facebook Shops gradually; they will be more widely available in the coming months. We are starting with eligible businesses that already use Instagram Shopping and/or Facebook Page Shops. Beyond this, we plan to expand access to Facebook Shops soon so that more businesses around the world can use them.”
So if you are already using Instagram Shopping or Facebook Page Shop, no need to worry if you don’t find the option to get started with the new features. Speak to your or your clients’ Facebook representative to find the eligibility for your ad accounts. If you are not using the Shop features yet, I would recommend you try them out and familiarise yourself before rushing into the new features.
Especially if you are new to it, it would be best to give yourself time to get used to creating and working with Product Catalogs, Page Shop and Instagram Shop.
What's great about a Facebook Shop page
is that you don't even need to have any preexisting online store and can run your entire operation via Facebook if you want to. But the benefits don't end there. With a Facebook Shop page you can:
- add an unlimited number of products,
- organize your products into collections and categories,
- communicate with your customers through the page directly,
- see stats on your sales, visits, and more,
- get your products appearing in Facebook Marketplace, giving you access to a much larger base of potential customers.
Syncing between a Facebook shop and Instagram shop
There will now be a new tool called Commerce Manager to manage and oversee all your product and
shop related matters. This will also merge the management of the shop across both platforms, Facebook, and Instagram. The idea is to make it easy to manage and also to allow users to collect data on their products based on user behaviour across both platforms.
Better layout - more customization and branding features (fonts and colours)
The shop will now be available with a lot of customization and branding features that will allow brands to better maintain their identity across customer-facing platforms. Users will have the option to change font styles and even colours of the shop interface to their liking. There will also be new features across their apps, such as Instagram Shop, live shopping features, and loyalty programs to help people discover and shop for things they love.
Same look in Whatsapp and Messenger
The shop is also expected to be expanded to Whatsapp and Messenger interfaces. You'll be able to connect with your customers through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to answer questions, offer support, and more. So it means a full-package shop across Facebook’s main app, all managed through a single Commerce Manager interface.
We can assume that with proper tracking and remarketing / drip-campaigns setup, this may well be a game-changer for a lot of brands.
Checkout (in Beta now) - pay within Facebook using Facebook Pay
Some of you may have already heard about the use of Facebook Pay, though it is currently only available in the US. To make the process smoother, the Facebook Shop will be linked to the users’ Facebook Pay account, allowing the user to complete the entire purchase journey without any need for leaving the Facebook app.
Only for the US
We’re sure we are very excited to test this out and see how else Facebook can add value to our or our clients’ business, but for now, we will have to wait. The latest version of the Shop will only be available in the US to start with. We could expect to see its expansion out of the US towards the end of the year, however, it will be without the feature of Facebook Pay. Meaning users will be able to add the product to cart from Facebook but will be required to use a separate tool to make the purchase.
What happens next?
Well, for now, we wait.
Facebook Pay has already been made available in the US (shopping and user-to-user transfer), while the new Shop feature is being rolled out and is only expected to be available to a wider market next year onwards.
For the time being, take the opportunity to set up your Facebook Page Shop and Instagram Shop, create ads using a product catalog, and understand how this impacts your business goals.
If you have any questions or issues setting up your Facebook Shop, feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.