Facebook and Instagram Shops are the newest entry to shopping on social media, and offer an integrated and easy shopping experience for those using these channels.
Even if your brand already has an online commerce option, you should also consider launching Facebook and Instagram Shops alongside it – even if you don’t currently experience a large degree of traffic, commerce or engagement from these channels.
What Are Facebook And Instagram Shops?
Facebook and Instagram Shops are virtual ‘storefronts’ that present your products or services integrated within the social media channels’ existing branding. This allows for users of these channels to shop online without having to click elsewhere. It gives brands an ideal new digital marketing outlet without having to invest a great deal of time, effort or money (it’s free!) into a new sales channel.
Why Has Facebook Created This Functionality?
Facebook (who now owns Instagram, so has set this up for both channels) has created this functionality for two reasons – and neither cost you, the small business, anything at all!
The first is traffic and user experience. The majority of brands using Facebook and Instagram for marketing purposes, and therefore placing ads with them, are doing so to sell a product or service – so encourage those seeing their adverts to click through elsewhere and off the social media channel… either to their own website or to their online sales channel. Integrating an online shopping experience into the social media sites allows for Facebook to retain users on their channels and not lose them elsewhere.
The second reason is money… but indirectly! Selling directly through Facebook and Instagram doesn’t cost small businesses anything, but it’s likely that their engagement with the channels and engagement around them (ie. with influencer advertising) will increase. This in turn leads to more users on Facebook and Instagram and so more businesses looking to spend their marketing budget on these channels through ads and sponsored content.
Benefits of Shops for Your Small Business
Providing that a marketing outlay loses you nothing, it’s worth doing. As Facebook and Instagram Shops are free to set up and don’t take too long to do, they should be trialled as a new sales channel – after all, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s cost you nothing!
Shops integrated into social media channels are growing in popularity and success because as much as the public’s trust in social media sites grows, so too does their laziness! Shortening and simplifying the amount of steps a consumer needs to go through to make a purchase only increases the chances of that purchase being made. The easier, the better… and little is easier than something that already fits in with a channel or app people are very familiar with.
How To Set Up A Shop On Facebook
Shops are created on Facebook through Commerce Manager, an in-browser, in-account tool that’s not all that different to the existing Ad Manager you’re probably already familiar with.
Follow these steps to set yours up:
- Use Commerce Manager (on a desktop PC or laptop only – this is currently not available on mobile) to open and name your shop. There are some requirements your business must fit to set up a Facebook shop, and these vary by area.
- Follow the set-up process for Facebook Shops. This varies dependent on your business type but is well-guided and easy to complete.
- Upload product info, prices and images to your shop to stock your inventory.
- Customise your product ranges by sorting them into ‘collections’ and making them as easy to navigate (and to cross-sell!) as possible.
- Get marketing! Once your shop is up and running and functional, it’s time to start promoting it and letting those who follow you on Facebook know that they can now shop direct from your businesses ‘Page’.
How To Set Up A Shop On Instagram
You may have been expecting another full step-by-step guide here, but we have much better news for you – you don’t need to set up a whole new shop! Instagram Shops are an offset of Facebook Shops. Once your Facebook shop is set up, you can just follow these easy steps to get your Instagram Shop up and running too:
- Ensure your Instagram account is a ‘Business’ account – and if not, make it one.
- Link your Instagram to your Facebook account, if it isn’t already.
- Tag Products in your new feed posts! These will link through directly to your Facebook Shop, whilst still giving users the experience of shopping through an Instagram interface.
As Instagram Shop offerings expand, more features are being added.
In 2020 so far, this has included a ‘swipe up’ type feature (even for accounts with under 10,000 followers, which is the standard qualifier for such functionality) for products and a ‘small business shop’ sticker for Instagram Stories.
Where Can I Get Support In Setting Up Facebook And Instagram Shops?
Setting up Facebook and Instagram Shops isn’t a difficult process, but it’s something that brands should aim to do ‘right’ rather than do ‘fast’; after all, you need to develop a well-branded and consistent shopping experience, even if it is through your existing channels.
If you’d like to learn more about whether Facebook and Instagram Shops would be right for your business and its marketing, and if so, how best to optimise the set-up, get in touch with our team. Our Social Media Experts stay constantly up-to-date with the latest in tech knowledge and follow developments on algorithms and viral trends as they happen. We’re happy to offer knowledge, advice and guidance alongside full set-up and management services. Get in touch – and let’s get selling!
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