Small businesses can set up an in-profile storefront on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook Shops is a new feature from the global social network which launches May 20 and could help small businesses continue to make progress in their pivot or growth online in the wake of COVID-19. It is free for businesses to set up a Facebook Shop, which turns their business profile pages into digital storefronts, and puts Facebook in direct competition with e-commerce giants like Amazon and Ebay.

Facebook users, now potential customers, are able to browse products, message businesses, and buy directly from business profiles. In addition to Facebook, the feature also works on business Instagram profiles.

Integrates with your existing platform

Facebook Shops is not an end-to-end solution that supplants your existing website or sales channels. Instead, it integrates with other platforms a business may be using such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. You can think of Facebook as an additional front-end to your existing website, while orders, inventory, and logistics are still handled on the backend in your platforms of choice, just like today, so your company’s fulfillment workflows don’t need to change at all. You can control whether customers complete their purchase within Facebook’s new checkout, or direct to your own website for the checkout flow.

The Facebook Marketing Advantage

Another advantage for businesses is Facebook’s already enormous targeted marketing engine, which will now have even more data about products being looked at and purchased. This data can be leveraged by marketers to increase conversion. Additionally, new ad options can directly market Facebook Shops, with ads linking prospective customers right to the product listings. Shops can even be promoted within your Facebook and Instagram stories. If you’d rather not spend money on paid ads, setting up a Shop could still be a good idea because they can also appear organically in users’ news feeds, which is free to the business.

Creating a Shop

Facebook explained during a livestreamed unveiling that setting up a shop is straightforward and simple. Mark Zuckerberg explained, “Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog,” which is managed by Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, then “customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand.”

Instagram, which has had a beta shopping experience enabled for some sellers for the last year, is also getting an updated experience that matches Facebook Shops. This summer, Instagram will get a dedicated shopping tab and additional businesses are expected to get access to the Instagram-specific shopping functionality, which enables making purchases from products in Instagram photos (so-called “shoppable posts”) and completing the transaction directly within the Instagram app.

It’s free to set up a shop, though Facebook takes a small percentage of sales from purchases facilitated by the platform.

Empower Ideas is looking for two clients that are excited about Facebook Shops and would like to give it a try. We’ll set up your Shop at no charge so you can take advantage of this potentially huge new revenue stream. We’re making this offer because no agency has experience with this new platform yet, but we want to get there. There’s no better way for our team to gain a deeper understanding about how Facebook Shops works than by setting up a live environment and we’d love to help your company in the process, so you can take advantage of the new features. If you'd like us to set up your Facebook Shop, drop us an email at info@empowerideas.com or, if you're already a client, just chat with your project manager.

If you have a new Facebook Shop, let’s send some traffic there! Right now, we’re offering $1,000 in free ad spend, so let us manage your ads and drive new conversions through your social channels!

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Empower Ideas is a digital marketing agency focused on building custom websites and e-commerce stores from a holistic perspective. We also offer online ad management, search engine optimization, content creation, and conversion rate optimization.

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