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What is Facebook Shops and How to Set Up Social Media Ecommerce

While social platforms have dipped their toes in having a social Ecommerce option for a while now, they are diving headfirst into the idea with a new update that started rolling out in May of 2020. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all introduced new social Ecommerce updates as a response to the global COVID pandemic.

Businesses have had to pivot their main offerings left and right due to COVID19, and Social platforms have not taken that lightly. Because online is the new in-person, social platforms quickly understood they had to step up the quality of their conversion channels to meet the new needs for businesses, large and small alike. These updates could be a major game-changer for how D2C companies create, plan, and implement social strategies because social platforms just became a jack-of-all-trades. Now, they can be a source of inspiration, research, communication, and consumerism all without having to leave the social platform.

Is your business has been looking for new ways to leverage your digital revenue strategies? Read up on social Ecommerce to see if it’s a good fit for your company!

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How can social Ecommerce help your business?

IT OFFERS SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES STRUGGLING DUE TO COVID.

This week, Facebook released a study that claimed one-third of small businesses have closed during the pandemic. That is a painful statistic, especially if you are one of the companies struggling to stay open or had to close altogether. However, one-third of small businesses now sell all their goods online. That means that one-third of businesses are set up to take advantage of social Ecommerce and Facebook Shops.

IT WILL ENGAGE YOUNGER GENERATIONS.

Initially, there was a stigma and suspicion around purchasing products straight from social media, especially among older consumers. However, consumers that grew up with social platforms are much more comfortable using them for more than just research. With Instagram-specific B2C selling a new norm, younger generations are more open to spending money on social media.

IT IS EASY TO REACH NEW AUDIENCES.

It’s easier to get in front of new eyes with social media than it is to reach a new audience with your website. Individuals are likely to be in “discover mode” when they peruse social media. Whether they are on Instagram explore or surfing Facebook videos, it is easy to find new profiles and content. So, when they come across your great social content, they will have your catalog just one click away to check out products, without ever having to leave the platform.

NOW IS THE TIME TO LEVERAGE DIGITAL OPPORTUNITIES.

In the current state of the world, in many cases the only option companies have for selling their goods and services is online. It is in many company’s best interests to take advantage of every digital revenue channel at your disposal. Since many people are turning to online shopping to fill the void during social distancing, make sure your product is available where people are wasting time the most.

IT WILL BE A GREAT BOOST TO YOUR SOCIAL CONTENT.

Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest shop are catalogs that are also social content – so it is a productive tactic for creating content that also has revenue-converting intentions. By creating a beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing catalog, you are also creating quality social content that can elevate your brand!

Photo Credit: Facebook

What is Facebook Shops?

Facebook shops are a new way for businesses to showcase their products online. Facebook Shops use catalogs and a commerce setup to showcase products, offer purchasing directly from Facebook. The overall goal is to offer the option of purchasing a product easily and smoothly, without having to leave the social platform.

During the Facebook Shop setup, you can organize your catalog by individual products or create collections of similar products, and you have some ability to change colors and brand the look of your Facebook shop. You can also set up your Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop at the same time. This saves you time and unifies the storefront across bot social network platforms for design and inventory consistency.

The end product is a clean, simple, brand new revenue channel that your audience can use to support your business.

Facebook shops have been rolled out for over a million businesses last week and will continue to roll out for business accounts in the coming months. There is also talk of features that will further streamline the purchase process for both you and the customer.

Facebook is testing ways to create, manage, and track points for loyalty programs to boost repeat customers and brand loyalty. To further streamline online purchase setup and tracking, Facebook is partnering with major eCommerce software platforms to offer easy integration. So far on the list of partners is:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • ChannelAdvisor
  • CedCommerce
  • Cafe24
  • Tienda Nube
  • Feedonomics

If your online commerce platform is on this list, you have a great chance for easy Facebook Shop setup, integration, and assistance!

Photo Credit: Facebook

What is Instagram Shops?

This functionality was also rolled out for Instagram – aptly coined Instagram Shop. Instagram Shop will be slowly rolled out over the next year and could be a game-changer for any B2C Instagram marketing strategies. While all the functionalities for Instagram Shops aren’t quite yet available, they have some exciting features in the pipeline.

The initial rollout of this update will appear in the Discover tab, but there are clear plans of eventually having the functionality housed in its shopping destination within the app. It will have premier real estate in the navigation bar, so your products will always only be one tap away.

Live Shopping features will be available during Instagram Live conversations to add a CTA to your IG Live topic. Products can be highlighted during the conversation for easy purchasing during product demos and tutorials. This will be a great way to offer a seamless shopping experience that is jam-packed with information and reviews from a great IG Live demo.

It is unclear whether these features will be available for both verified and unverified accounts, but keep your finger on the pulse to see what is available to your business!

What is Shopping on Pinterest?

While Pinterest isn’t a part of the Facebook/Instagram family, this competitor happened to roll out a new shopping feature at the same time as them.

Pinterest users can now browse catalogs and in-store inventory through ‘shop’ tabs through search and on Pinterest boards. When you search on Pinterest, for many queries there will be a new ‘Shop’ tab or an option to only look at search results that are available for purchase, with the price visible right on the pin.

Since Pinterest shines brightly as an investigatory platform, they are coming full circle for being a one-stop-shop for inspiration, research, and (hopefully) conversions.

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, however, the purchase process does not happen on the platform. Pinterest will send consumers to the specific product on the company website, and users will purchase through that channel. The Pinterest shop tag will also organize per product search. So, a search for “Wall Art” will lead to results from any company that sells wall art, instead of prioritizing a full brand catalog.

How to Set Up Social Ecommerce

How to set up Facebook Shop:

To set up Social Media Ecommerce on facebook, the first thing to be aware of is it isn’t yet rolled out for 100% of Business pages. When your page is eligible, you will receive a notification from the Facebook team. Once you receive that notification, you will need to:

For more info, check out Facebook’s setup guide.

How to set up Instagram Shop:

To set up Instagram Shops, you need to first make sure your business:

Then you can

  • Connect to a catalog through Catalog Manager or Facebook Partner
  • Sign up for Instagram Shopping in the Instagram app where their team will review your content
  • Create your shopping posts and stories

For a step-by-step breakdown, visit this Guide to setting up Instagram Shops. And to gain stylistic inspiration for your new social Ecommerse strategy, check out the Instagram Shop page.

How to set up Shopping on Pinterest:

To set up shopping on Pinterest, you have to first make sure that you have claimed your website on pinterest. Then, you can:

  • Upload a data source to Pinterest through Catalogs

  • Filter your products to create product groups
    • Tip: Your product group name will be displayed on your Shop. Use a Pinner-friendly name that reflects the products in the product group.
  • From the Product Groups view in Catalogs, click the star to feature up to 8 product groups

For a play-by-play for setting up a shop, visit this guide to setting up shopping on Pinterest

This social update may be just starting out, but it has the opportunity to be a cornerstone of future social strategy. Ready to plan a social strategy that increases conversions and resonates with your audience? Reach out to our team! 

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