Facebook Shops is a new feature in some regions that allow businesses to set up an online shop for free in a quick and hassle-free manner. It is designed to be primarily a mobile-optimised shop, but can of course be accessed on a desktop too. The aim is to make both selling and buying a seamless, integrated and easy process and all kept within the Facebook website. It is targeted primarily to small businesses who might want to facilitate easy conversions for their social ads, as there can be a direct connection to the shop from your Facebook page, Instagram ad, shoppable stories, etc. Custom audiences based on who is engaging at your shop can also be created to target or retarget your marketing very precisely. This integration with the advertising ecosphere that Facebook provides is a useful pathway to help increase sales. Not only will you have your own shop page, but your products could also be showcased in an overall marketplace – Facebook Shops/Instagram Shops. This would increase your reach to people who search for a particular product on those platforms rather than being limited to those who come directly to your shop based on advertising or word-of-mouth. This reach can be extended to further engagement when customers would want to communicate with you. An integrated messaging system with Messenger, Instagram Direct and even WhatsApp is available for customers to ask about certain products, check up on the delivery, or troubleshoot any issues.
Catalogues, Design and Customisation.
Setting up the Shop with design elements to reflect your brand is a fast and intuitive process that can be done in a few minutes. It allows you to use an existing catalogue, or you can create a new one that would be used across Facebook and Instagram. You can then have collections, which are sub-groups of 6-30 items within your catalogue that you want to highlight to customers. A certain level of page customisation is also available within Shops. You can use visuals, custom colours and brand elements to stand out, and arrange your items and collections to feature them in the order you want. The Shop Builder within the Commerce Manager is a simple tool that allows for adding/removing collections by drag and drop, changing text size, or the colours of your buttons. It also gives you the option to preview how your new layout would look on both platforms in light or dark mode.
Insights and Further Business Development.
As with all commercial Facebook ventures, Commerce Manager can provide you with all the metrics from your Shop you need to keep tabs on performance and assist with optimisation. From basics such as “Adds to Cart” and “Adds to Wishlist”, to more complex ones such as “Sessions (no bounce) with product page view”. You can have as much or as little detail as you like (most of these are still in development at the moment though). Facebook has also partnered with companies like Shopify and BigCommerce to help small businesses make the move and grow online.