Calling all business owners! If you sell a physical product, there’s never been a better time to revisit your Facebook strategy. Shopping on FB/IG has been around since 2017, but the new Facebook Shops online store is a whole new level. Facebook Shops is a single online store that lets customers purchase your products right on Facebook or Instagram without visiting your website. For the customer, this means no more app switching or re-entering credit card numbers when you see something fun on IG Stories.
Facebook Shops are free and easy to create. When you set up your shop, it will appear on your Facebook and Instagram accounts and will soon be available on Messenger and WhatsApp. Products in Facebook Shops will be featured across FB and IG, including a new dedicated shopping tab on Instagram and within Explore.
If you have an online store through Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube , or Feedonomics, you will be able to import your entire catalog of products into Facebook Shops easily. Facebook Shops will sync with your current site so you can easily keep track of sales and inventory.
FEATURES COMING SOON:
- Shoppable Live Streams – Allowing customers to purchase products in real-time.
- AI – Facebook will automatically identify and tag products in feeds so people can click-through to purchase when they find things they like.
- Small businesses will also be able to personalize their storefronts to show products that are most relevant to their customer.
- AR – Customers can virtually try on products like sunglasses, lipstick, or makeup before buying. Facebook will also let customers place objects like furniture in their houses using AR before purchase.
- Loyalty Programs – Facebook is working on solutions to connect store loyalty programs with individual Facebook accounts, allowing customers to keep track of points and rewards.
WHAT IT ALL MEANS FOR YOU:
Facebook Shops won’t replace websites for most small businesses; however, we predict that conversion rates for eCommerce ads and overall sales numbers will increase for companies that use this new feature.
If you are a small business that wants to try eCommerce but doesn’t have the budget or resources to integrate eCommerce into your existing website, or if you don’t have a website at all, Facebook Shops can be a great option.
Overall, Facebook Shops removes friction from the clunky mobile shopping experience and will likely result in more spontaneous purchases. How many times have you changed your mind about a random purchase from an IG ad because you didn’t want to get up off the couch and grab your wallet? For me, it’s more times than I’d like to admit.
Facebook Shops is also Facebook’s latest move to keep people on the platform, for longer. With the pixel losing relevance, this is a way for Facebook to prove that their platform truly works to drive sales.
Who knows? Maybe they will get rid of outside shopping links all together in the coming years.
If you have an online business, take advantage of this new feature, but don’t abandon your website altogether. Remember: the data you collect on your website is yours forever. Facebook owns all of the data and content on its site and can shut down features anytime.