Shops! Facebook's new addition to the huge eCommerce wave?
Facebook has been looking to move more and more into the eCommerce world for a while and since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, there has been no better opportunity to push their new ideas forward and start implementing them.
Their major new feature 'Shops' will start to roll out on both Facebook and Instagram.
Let's take a deeper look into what this feature is all about and how it can help your business grow online.
Firstly let's get the overview from Facebook themselves: "Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them."
This news is extremely exciting for business owners that have an online store or maybe have not yet set one up. They have been working with some of the major eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, Woocommerce, Bigcommerce, Cafe24, Channel Advisor, Cedcommerce and a few more to allow this feature to be integrated seamlessly.
The change will be part of your page tools and will allow you to create a full shopfront for both Facebook and Instagram in one place.
There is a ton of stores that will have a huge range of products and variations and therefore since Facebook has been working with these large eCommerce providers, you will be able to integrate your catalogues straight from your current platform, saving a ton of time and allowing you to focus on the look and feel of the storefront.
As with any other major platform change, you will not have access to the new product straight away. Quotes from Facebook say that they will start to roll out the change to eligible businesses at first, allowing them to experiment and play around whilst also potentially coming across any major bugs/issues that need to be fixed.
Eligible businesses will include stores that already use the Instagram Profile Shops and then they will start to expand over the coming months.
How do you know if you are eligible? Well, it is as simple as checking your emails... They will notify you as soon as you have access so that you can start customising your store.
Video has been a major part of social media in recent years and it is more important than ever with even more features than ever including the awesome live-streaming capabilities within the social media platforms.
Of course, Facebook realises this and they will now allow users to pick items from their native store before they go live so that certain products will show up during the stream.
What are the benefits of this? Well live streaming is a great option to use as part of new product launch strategies and now you can simply add the products directly for your audience to shop, making it much easier and faster for a potential customer to make a purchase. On top of this, there is a huge opportunity for influencers to jump in and do their thing.
Overall we are really impressed with this addition and think it is a well thought out feature.
Another great feature is going to help ease of customer support for these shops. With integrations to Whatsapp, Instagram DM's and Messenger customers will be able to send a message to the page they are interacting with in order to get any extra information they need.
As we all know customer loyalty is extremely important as we have touched on in previous articles. The chance to increase your customer lifetime value and get them word of mouth referrals are the easiest and cheapest way to acquire new customers. Therefore the ideas coming from Facebook on loyalty schemes are something to get excited for.
We don't know too much detail on this at the time being however I am sure we will see options to create your own native programs and maybe even integrate some of your existing systems.
The final feature we have to discuss a is a great one. Customers will have the opportunity to go directly and shop via a discovery style page. We will be really interested to see exactly how this works, however, I would assume there would be some kind of engagement algorithm to play. On top of this, there is going to be tags or categories that customers can look through to find their new favourite products and companies. This definitely one to keep a close eye on.
Well, this is a big one and I am sure you can tell from the news and excitement this is stirring up already.
Now we are not yet sure what this means for advertisers however, again there could be some incredible opportunity for advertisers to dive deep into this and generate a ton of revenue for their clients. So don't sleep on this, keep a close eye on what is going on so that you are prepared to jump on board as soon as you have the opportunity.
With the Covid crisis already creating an enormous increase in eCommerce sales, I am sure we are set to see some more great things and details in the near future from Facebook. A statistic that should not be looked past is one from Shopify, in that there has been a crazy 45% increase in people buying at stores they have never done so before on the platform.
Thanks so much for taking a look through this article we hope you got some juicy info from it. That being said we don't just want you to take the info and sit there, it is time to act now online more than ever and we want to help you! If you run an eCommerce store and are looking to grow your revenue then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will happily have a conversation with you. Don't worry, no obligations, just a friendly discussion to see if there are any ways we can help you in the right direction. On top of that if you are a local/retail business that is not yet online we would love to help. Shopify also noted that in just one month they have noticed an increase in 176% of local orders! That is NOT a number to ignore.
Thanks again for reading, any feedback would be awesome or if you want to just have a chat and share your thoughts feel free :D