Small businesses can now have an online shop on Facebook and Instagram, opening up new ways for them to connect with browsing buyers.
Facebook has launched its free Shop option which sees business owners creating and customising a page, as well as choosing which products to showcase. Following the introduction in the US last year the Shop roll-out was accelerated to respond to the pandemic, which has led to a rapid growth in online selling and buying.
Potential customers can now find Shop pages on a business’s Facebook page or Instagram profile, and then place orders through the business’s website. Facebook’s statistics to support this new option for shoppers is astonishing. In 2020 Facebook boasted an incredible 2.8 billion monthly active users. To put that into context for the same year the whole world’s population was just under 8 billion, and Facebook is not even allowed in China.
With numbers like that it’s fair to say the majority of today’s consumers will be logged into Facebook at some point in the day. This means they will be open to buying some of their favourite products and services.
Alex McDougall, senior paid search account manager at MNA Digital said they are experts at helping businesses set up online shops. “We know that the pandemic is forcing more people to do their browsing and buying online – it is believed that online buying has accelerated five years due to Covid-19,” he said.
“Businesses want to make the most of this increase, and any company that doesn’t focus on its potential for online selling is missing out. Facebook’s Shop facility offers an easier way for small businesses to establish their online commerce presence, as well as setting up their own dedicated web store.
“At MNA Digital we work with lots of businesses that want help setting up an online store on a platform such as Shopify. This can be synced with Facebook and Instagram’s Shop facility to ensure a seamless shopping experience for users. It works brilliantly because updates, such as to inventory and pricing, that are made in Shopify will automatically be updated in Facebook Shop.”
Initially the platform will not charge a fee for Shop pages. Instead, they are hoping that as more businesses create a shop, they will also spend money on ads. And who would bet against this strategy – global social media ad spend increased by over 56% in the third quarter of 2020 versus the three previous months.
What are the benefits to your organisation of using Facebook Shops?
- A Facebook or Instagram shop will allow you to display products, answer customer queries, and collect payments. Customers will also be able to use a messaging button that will make it easier for consumers to contact businesses through Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct.
- Customers can bookmark their favourite items and this will be similar to a wish list. This will meant that customers can save their favourite items as they browse and will make it easier to save and buy items.
- With the option of in-stream payment options (which is facilitated by Facebook Pay) and with more people becoming aware and accepting of social shopping, it could open up new potential to increase a business’ sales turnover and profits.
- Existing ecommerce platforms have cited that a difficult checkout process is one of the main reasons people abandon online shopping carts. However, once a shopper has made their first purchase through Facebook Checkout, it then saves payment and shipping details and auto fills for subsequent transactions.
- Users can flip from one app to the next but still continue their shopping process when they want to. For example, a product transaction first started on Instagram can, later on, be completed on Facebook, and more products are selected on either app.
It looks like Facebook Shops has a very bright future ahead and it’s a great way to for businesses to grow. If you want to reach new markets and gain new customers then get in touch with the team at MNA Digital here or call us on 01902 319 730