Selling online involves a lot more than just finding great products, posting pictures of them, and raking in the cash. Sure, eCommerce shops don’t have to worry about paying rent for an in-person retail space or having an attractive storefront… but as any boutique owner knows, selling online brings its own set of challenges. And Facebook Shops can help you better manage some of them!
With the right strategy and the right tools, your eCommerce shop can be a well-oiled machine that works in tandem with your social networks to drive sales, find new customers, and keep the profits flowing.
So, if you’re killing it on social, but you’re struggling to sell online and balance your various channels… Or if you’re currently enjoying decent sales online but you want to better integrate your shop and your social media… Or if you’re just a super-smart business owner who’s always looking for different avenues to reach new customers. Facebook Shops can be a total gamechanger.
The newly rolled out Facebook Shops feature allows people to browse, explore, and purchase your products directly on Facebook and Instagram – without having to send interested customers away from your page or involve any extra purchasing steps than there need to be.
Learn more about Facebook Shops, including what a Facebook Shop is, whether your business is ready for one, and three top benefits of Facebook Shops to help your business sell online.
What are Shops on Facebook and Instagram?
Shops allow you to create a customized digital storefront across Facebook and Instagram. They allow your customers to browse and purchase your products directly where they find them, on the Facebook or Instagram app.
With customizable collections and easy-to-use design tools, you can feature certain products, build your brand identity, and make the entire shopping experience even easier for your customers.
Shops have replaced Instagram Profile Shops and Facebook Page Shops and are designed to work seamlessly across both platforms. They provide a unified presence across Facebook, Instagram, and Marketplace, allowing your customers (and potential customers) to find you using multiple channels.
How to Set Up Facebook Shops
Setting up Facebook Shops is a quick, free, and straightforward process. You don’t need to have an existing website or storefront to do so, either – just a Facebook page or an Instagram business account.
If you previously had an Instagram Profile Shop or Facebook Page Shop, you can easily convert your existing storefront to Shops. If you’ve never set up an IG or FB shop before, you can create a shop at the eCommerce manager page here. Setting up a shop is free and only takes a few minutes.
Here’s how to set up your Facebook Shop:
- Choose how your customers will pay, whether via checkout with Facebook or Instagram, on another website, or with messaging.
- Choose the page you’ll want to sell from. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your boutique, you may want to create one now! You can also choose an Instagram business account to link to, instead of or in addition to your Facebook page.
- Look over your shop details, agree to the Seller Agreement, and click Finish Setup.
That’s all there is to it! Then, you’ll be able to add any products you want to sell, create collections, sync with your online store (if applicable), customize the look and feel of your Facebook shop, and then publish your shop once you’re happy with it. Once Facebook reviews and approves your collections, people will be able to see and buy from your shop!
Facebook Marketplace vs Facebook Shop
Even if you’ve never sold merchandise on Facebook before, chances are you’ve made a purchase. While Facebook Shops are a relatively new feature, Facebook Marketplace has been around for a long time as a convenient way for individuals and companies to sell retail products as well as larger items like cars and apartment leases.
So now that you’re thinking of being on the sellers’ end of things, which should you use: Facebook Marketplace or Facebook Shops? Let’s look into the key differences between the platforms and who each is best for.
Facebook Marketplace is an in-app platform that allows for the listing, finding, and advertising of products users sell. However, unlike a typical eCommerce platform, users usually do not buy or sell products directly on the Facebook Marketplace and it does not support transactions. Rather, Facebook Marketplace is more like Craigslist, allowing users to find products they are interested in and then working out payments individually.
Recently, Facebook has introduced a shipping and checkout feature on Marketplace, allowing individual sellers to reach a larger audience and enjoy purchase protection on transactions. But Marketplace listings are still just that – standalone listings that help connect sellers and buyers.
Facebook Shops allows businesses to list and sell their products through a Facebook Page. It allows sellers to browse all of your products or collections in one convenient place and can integrate with your eCommerce store. It’s more like a storefront, allowing the overall brand to come through rather than focusing on standalone products.
Facebook Marketplace may be the best selling platform for individuals or new businesses looking to dip their toes in the water by selling just a few products. But for more established businesses with multiple product offerings, Facebook Shops allows for a more customizable user experience that feels a lot more like typical eCommerce shopping.
Three Benefits of Facebook Shops
Using Facebook Shops can actually do a lot for your small business. It can help you sell products without high listing fees, find more customers, and make it really simple for your social audience to purchase from your store. There are definitely more than just these, but here are the top three benefits of Facebook shops to help your business sell online:
You can use Facebook Shops for free (yes, really!)
Facebook Shops doesn’t charge any listing fees, subscription fees, or any other upfront costs. This means you could start listing products immediately without having to invest any cash at all.
What’s more, Facebook Shops has temporarily waived its standard selling fee for all orders through June 30th, 2022. This means you won’t have any sales fees, payment processing fees, or purchase protection fees to worry about, either. Considering how nearly all eCommerce websites charge a payment processing fee that’s often 2.9% or more… this is huge! Waived selling fees mean more $$ in your pocket. If you aren’t already using Facebook Shops, now’s the time – take advantage of this!
After June 30, 2022, Facebook Shops will return to the standard selling fee of 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. Again, these charges only apply to products sold – there are never any listing fees or subscription fees for using Facebook Shops.
Facebook Shops can help you find more customers
Using Facebook Shops allows you to tap into Facebook’s huge user base – and when we say huge, we really mean huge. Facebook has around 2.89 billion monthly active users, with around 1.8 billion visiting the platform daily. Chances are, that’s a lot more traffic than your eCommerce website is used to having!
With Shops, you can use your product descriptions, hashtags, and paid ads to reach an audience beyond just the people who like your Facebook page or follow you on Instagram.
Facebook Shops makes it easy for your customers to make a purchase
Have you ever considered buying something online… only to give up when it required too many steps on your part? Facebook Shops helps reduce the friction that often comes into play between a customer discovering your products and actually completing checkout. Rather than risking a customer heading over to your site and losing steam before finishing their purchase, Facebook Shops cuts out a bunch of steps and allows them to checkout without even leaving the app. Basically, it lets people make a purchase the way they want to!
Facebook Shops is super easy to use for businesses, too – setup is very intuitive and it offers great integration across apps and shopping platforms.
Should You Use Facebook Shops in Your Business?
So is Facebook Shops a good tool for your business? We’d have to say yes! Facebook Shops combines powerful eCommerce features with the convenience of social media to allow businesses to reach more customers and sell more products in a way that’s comfortable for their audience. And if you’re reading this before June 30, 2022, Facebook Shops is even more of a no-brainer, with no fees whatsoever before or after making a sale.
Keep in mind that using Facebook Shops doesn’t mean you have to choose not to use other platforms instead. Facebook Shops is especially powerful when paired with other online selling methods, allowing you to expand your reach and offer different buying options for different customers. (More on other ways to sell online below!) Plus, Facebook Shops requires little maintenance – after additional setup, all you’ll have to do is update listings as inventory changes and fulfill orders as they come rolling in.
Other Ways to Sell Online
Showing up where your customers are online is more than half the battle. That’s why when it comes to selling online, it’s best to be visible across multiple channels to give your customers the best possible chance of finding you. Along with Facebook Shops, here are a few other ways you can sell online. Try using a balance of all of these methods for the best results!
Start Your Own Website
Create an eCommerce website to sell products and make your boutique look even more professional. Setting up your own website can seem daunting and not to mention expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With websites like Square and Shopify, it’s easy to create a professional-looking boutique website all on your own. If you’re not really sure where to start, check out this article to learn about the best (and most affordable) website builders for boutique owners, or read about how to create a boutique website from scratch here.
Facebook Live Sales
If Facebook Shops make checking out faster and easier, Facebook Live sales make checking out more fun! Host a Facebook Live sale to create more of a connection with your audience, showcase your products in a different light, and drive immediate sales in a more personal way. High-energy, consistent Facebook or IG Live sales can take a lot out of you, but we really do believe that selling live on Facebook is easy enough for anyone to be successful.
Another way to drive product sales is by showing up in the places where people are already searching for new products. While you don’t want to spread yourself too thin by trying to keep up with dozens of different selling platforms, the following sites might be worth trying out:
- Amazon – With over 200 million customers worldwide, selling wholesale boutique items on Amazon can be very lucrative. While it isn’t the best way to build a fashion brand and start your own empire, it can help you make some extra cash as a side hustle. Learn more about selling wholesale on Amazon here.
- Etsy – Etsy is a popular platform for crafters and makers. While it isn’t designed for buying and selling retail products, it’s perfect for artists and creators. If you create your own handmade products to sell, it’s definitely worth looking into.
- Poshmark – Poshmark isn’t just for clearing out closets and reselling old clothes – Poshmark’s boutique program allows boutique owners to reach 60 million engaged users to sell wholesale boutique items right on the platform. Learn more about selling wholesale on Poshmark here.