The average person spends more than half an hour each day on Facebook. The platform boasts more than 2.6 million users.
That’s a heck of a lot of people.
In 2016, Zuckerberg and his team launched Facebook Marketplace, which allowed people to purchase items from other users…usually second-hand items, like you’d find on eBay, but without the bidding process. Facebook Marketplace isn’t a true e-commerce solution, however; you can message sellers to arrange purchase, but the actual handover of money and arranging collection/posting takes place offline or elsewhere on the internet. It’s really just a way to list products and signpost traffic.
Facebook then took things a step further. They invited businesses to sell their wares on the platform through their very own ‘shop’. This virtual shop can sport your company’s colours and be branded with your logo, and it can also be found via your Instagram page, given that Facebook owns that social media platform, too.
Unless you’re in the US, there’s still no function to take payment for items listed in your Facebook Shop. Buyers can message you about a product or they can be redirected to your own site and your own e-commerce solution.
So, what’s the benefit of having a Facebook shop if you can’t actually sell from it?
Put simply, it’s the same as any other backlink opportunity: it boosts your visibility and traffic to your own website. It’s another shop front, an invitation to put your products in front of a very large audience, an opportunity to reach customers as they enjoy their downtime.
To be able to add products to your Facebook Shop, you need to first ensure your business page’s template supports this. Go to your business page and you should see the words ‘Add a Shop Section’ under your cover photo.
If you don’t see this, go to your page’s settings and select ‘Template and Tabs’. You may have to edit the template of your page to ‘Shop’ if you can’t see ‘Shop’ as a tab to add.
Facebook will talk you through the set-up and adding of products then you’re all set.
As you’d expect, there are various tools to promote the products/services in your Facebook Shop and increase exposure. Few of these are free; after all, Zuckerberg isn’t a billionaire by accident. Hashtags and targeted adverts can help you appeal to a local audience, which makes Facebook Shops suitable for businesses of all sizes and of all industries.
If you’re a trader who offers services rather than products, a Facebook Shop could still be an effective tool for you. If you’re able to package what you do, so that it’s a set price for a specific task, or if you diversify into selling products that are related to your service, you could boost your income. The current pandemic has shown that it’s not a good idea to rely on just one income stream. If this all seems like Double Dutch, consider engaging a marketing specialist to do it all for you.
Facebook is a staple part of our everyday life. One platform upon which billions of people gather every single day…for that reason alone Facebook Shops are worth investigating.