Why you should utilise Facebook’s SHOP feature

There’s no time like a global crisis to make you start thinking about a radical change for your business. All over the place, people are adapting the way they operate as they are not being able to conduct business as usual, meaning that we’ve had to figure out a new normal. Survival instincts kick in.

While it’s been a scary time for a lot of people, we can still try and see the positives, and that light at the end of the tunnel. One of those positives could be that our butts are being kicked into gear to take action, do something different and innovative, adapt to suit current technology. 

The change that we activate now will not necessarily be something that is ONLY useful for a time such as this. Your response to this crisis and the changes you make will almost definitely benefit you long after all this virus mumbo jumbo is a thing of the past.

Getting your business online is the BEST possible thing you can be doing for yourself right now. In whatever form you choose. There are different levels of automation you can subscribe to and different amounts of effort you can opt in for, but all of it is worth it. The one thing we want to talk about today is specifically targeted at retailers - as we know those without an online presence will be the ones struggling most right now.

We want to make sure you know about the easiest and cheapest possible way to get yourself an online store. Chances are, you’re already halfway there. We want to talk about FACEBOOK SHOPS. It’s been under your nose this whole time. Let’s have a look at how you can make it work for you.

Why should you have an online shop?

Well for starters, when people can’t go outside, they’re going to go online for… basically everything! If you’re not online you’re missing out on a huge customer base. 

Even more than this, in normal (feels like a dirty word now) times your physical, bricks and mortar shop was only ever able to service the physical community in which it sits. Going online means that your shop can break the boundaries of your physical realm. You can reach a much wider audience, implementing some smart and often easy marketing techniques to reach your exact niche of people - your perfect customers.

Getting you online means you are given access to your wider community. Hell, you might even find that you make some close, like minded friends out of all this!

Taking your shop online is a hugely scalable project. You can go basic and practically free, or you can go huge, beautiful and totally streamlined. Remember the rule that you get what you pay for. In this case the difference lies in how much work you have to do yourself, the more you’re willing to pay, the more automated the process will be for you. In this instance though, we’re looking at the cheapest possible option - just to at least get you started.

How do I use Facebook’s shop feature?

If you’ve got a Facebook business page, you can have a Facebook shop. All you need to do (at this point) is make sure your page’s template is set to ‘Shop’ - have a look in your page settings under ‘Templates and Tabs’.

To have a shop you need to meet a few requirements:

  • You sell physical items
  • Agree with Facebook’s Merchant Terms
  • Link to a valid bank account 
  • Have an ABN

Once you’ve made your page a shop template, a ‘Shop’ tab should appear on the left of your business home page. Clicking on this will walk you through a series of fairly self explanatory pop up boxes and questions about your shop. This will take you a bit of time and patience, like any admin, but perks are - you only have to do it once.

When you’ve configured your shop you can move on to the fun (and entirely tedious) part of adding all your products and their details to it! Here’s where it pays to get some really nice photos of your products - everything sells better when it’s the centrepiece of a beautiful image.

You can group your products into collections and you can update them whenever you like. 

It’s cheap

Facebook generally wants to make its product accessible for all businesses, small and large. They make their money from advertising. So for you to get a leg up into the ecommerce world that Facebook has to offer, it’s practically free. You’ll pay commission for the sales you make through the payment gateway you choose (e.g. Paypal), but Facebook themselves won’t charge you to use the shop feature.

Compare this to the thousands you would spend setting up an ecommerce website and subscribing to a service like Shopify and this is a huge cost saving with a relatively simple solution.

It’s transferable

Great news. Once you’ve set up your Facebook shop and are feeling on top of it all, you can think about expanding your reach and your marketing strategy into the realm of Instagram. Instagram is now owned by Facebook, making them one and the same, which makes it a lot easier to share content and admin between the two of them. 

Instagram also lets you operate a shop when you have a business profile and the best thing is, you can transfer it straight over from what you’ve set up on Facebook. This is extending your market reach even more, because really, the more platforms you are selling your products on, the more audiences you are reaching. 

Marketing and cataloguing combine!

One thing that we consider to be a huge perk in setting up a Facebook or Instagram shop is that you are knocking out two birds with one stone. You need great images for your marketing and you need to post regularly on social media for your marketing. As you build your product catalogue, filling it with great images, you’re also building yourself a whole collection of fantastic marketing content. Even better, when you use this marketing content, you can now be directing people straight to a purchase of your product without them even having to leave the platform they were browsing!

It’s genius really and we see it as a huge advantage to any retail store. As less people are travelling to physical shops, more effort needs to be put into making sure people see your business and your products online. Marketing is crucial and so is making your products available for online purchase. Combining the two just feels like a no brainer.

So. While the world is a scary place right now, with so much change being forced upon us, not all of it is bad. In fact, some of it is really exciting, and some is prodding us to take action and progress our businesses in a way that we should have done a long time ago. The changes that we make to the way we work and sell now will stay with us long after the threat of a virus has disappeared, and they will be for the best. 

We’ve tried to lay everything out here to make it all not quite so daunting. There are easy ways for you to change and move your work online. You can do it all yourself if you want. If you do need help though we are here to offer support at whatever scale you need it. Whether it’s just a photography session to build your product catalogue or you want us to go through the whole setup process with you, it can be done. In fact, now is even a great time to act on this because there is plenty of monetary support being offered by the government right now - consider it a free upgrade! Chat to us and we’ll point you in the direction of the ones we know about.