A woman in a bright yellow sweater takes a picture of a pair of white sneakers with her smartphone. She is surrounded by labelled cardboard boxes and an open laptop.
With brick-and-mortar sales falling, businesses are increasingly looking to e-commerce platforms like Facebook Shops as a way to reach customers. — Getty Images/CrispyPork

If you run a product-based business, then you may be familiar with Facebook Shops. This e-commerce feature is the perfect way for small businesses to expand their online footprint and reach more customers on Facebook.

[Read more: Facebook Creates New Sales Tools for Small Businesses Amid the E-Commerce Explosion]

What are Facebook Shops, and how do they work?

Facebook introduced Facebook Shops in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many small businesses had to close their doors due to the pandemic and, as a result, struggled with dwindling customers and sales.

Brick-and-mortar sales dropped 3.2% in 2020, while e-commerce sales grew by 32.4%. All businesses were forced to realign their operating strategies with changing customer preferences. Brick-and-mortar sales are expected to pick up in 2021, but not by much.

If you’re looking to expand your e-commerce presence and reach new customers, Facebook Shops can help make it easier to sell your products on Facebook and Instagram. Here are the biggest benefits of implementing Facebook Shops:

  • Reach more potential customers: When you set up a Facebook Shop, you’ll reach a vast network of potential customers. Facebook currently has over two billion monthly active users, and Instagram has over a billion.
  • Customize your shop: Just like a regular e-commerce store, you’ll have the option to customize your shop. You can change the fonts and colors so they represent your brand identity.
  • Easy setup: You’ll group your products into different categories and display them to customers. When customers visit your shop, they can browse through the items and choose the ones they want to purchase.
  • Straightforward payment options: Customers can save, share or purchase products from directly within the app. However, Facebook does charge a 5% transaction fee on any items purchased through Facebook Shops.
  • Reduce friction: Your shop is connected to Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging, so customers can quickly get in touch with you about any questions they have.

When you set up a Facebook Shop, you’ll reach a vast network of potential customers.

5 steps to set up your Facebook Shop

Right now, Facebook Shops are only available for physical products, though Facebook is exploring the option for digital products in the future. Let’s look at five steps you can take to set up your store.

Make sure you meet the requirements

Setting up a shop is relatively easy, but you will need to get a few things squared away first. Before you create your shop, you need to make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • You meet Facebook’s commerce policies.
  • You’re a Business Manager admin.
  • Your Facebook page and catalog are under the same Business Manager.
  • You have permission to manage the page and catalog.
  • You have an account in Commerce Manager.

Create your shop

To get started, you’ll visit the Create Your Shop page, click Next and choose your checkout method. Customers can complete their purchase on Facebook or Instagram, on your website or through direct message.

If you already have a store on an e-commerce platform like Shopify or Woocommerce, you can integrate it with Facebook. If you’re starting from scratch, you can start by setting up a Commerce Manager account on Facebook.

[Read more: How to Choose the Best E-Commerce Platform for Your Business]

Add your products

You’ll need to create your product collections either through your e-commerce website or your Commerce Manager account. You’ll also need to connect your account to your Facebook business page.

Once you’ve made a collection, you can name it and add a description. Each collection can have a minimum of six products and a maximum of 30. Facebook also requires that you include the following details:

  • Name.
  • Image.
  • Price.
  • Availability.
  • Shipping costs.

Once you’ve added all the relevant information, you can publish your collection to your shop.

Customize your store

A Facebook business page offers few options when it comes to customization and branding. But with Facebook Shops, you can edit the style in your Commerce Manager account.

To customize your shop, you’ll log into your Commerce Manager account and click the Shops tab. You can edit the layout and add new sections, like promotional banners. You can also showcase certain products and inventory.

You can also edit the colors, fonts and buttons on your shop. Be sure to preview any changes you make.

Finalize and finish the setup

Once you’ve created your shop and you’re satisfied with how it looks, you’re ready to publish it. Facebook will review and approve your selections, which usually takes up to 24 hours to complete. Customers will see your shop and can start making purchases once it’s approved.

[Read more: How to Drive Traffic to Your E-Commerce Store]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 09, 2021