What is a Facebook Shop?

What is a Facebook Shop? And do you even need one? For those companies that are doing business online, utilising multiple avenues is an important way to remain competitive, and increase the exposure of your brand. Aside from your company’s primary website, it is equally vital that prospective customers have other ways to discover the products and services which you offer. Social media is a powerful resource which can be of great assistance in this pursuit. And with the advancements platforms like Facebook and Instagram have been making in their e-commerce functionality, they are more helpful than ever before.

In 2019, 14.1% of all retail sales were generated by e-commerce. Estimates suggest that number will reach 22% by 2023. However, in light of the current global pandemic, those numbers may climb even higher. 80% of Americans made an online purchase in December of 2018, alone, which led to global e-commerce sales topping $2.93 trillion by year’s end.

What is a Facebook Shop?

Beyond simply increasing exposure, making use of “shops” through social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, offers a plethora of benefits. In this article, we will explore those benefits, and attempt to determine the best way in which your company can maximise their business potential.

Facebook Shops

            Facebook
is the largest and most successful social media platform in the world. With
over 2.6 billion active users, 22% of the global population has at least one
Facebook account. Adding a Facebook Store to your business strategy can help
you grow your company by instantly reaching a whole new demographic of online
customers. However, despite the advantages, Facebook Shop also brings with it
certain disadvantages, as well. Here is a brief look at a few examples of each:

Advantages:

  • The Facebook Business Page: This is by far the main benefit of using Facebook to promote and market your company. The Business Page differentiates your company for the average platform user, and introduces you to the Facebook World. Customers can engage with you through likes, comments and sharing your posts. You will also have the ability to sell your goods through the Facebook Shop, either directly, or by re-directing them to your company’s website.
  • Building relationships with your customers: Cultivating strong and lasting customer relationships is everything for a business. Social networks provide you with the ability to engage with your customers in a much more personal way. Having the option to ask questions and leave reviews will make your customers feel more connected to both your business, and the products which you sell. Regularly responding to your customers will make them feel as though you are listening to their opinions and concerns. This will ultimately keep them coming back.
  • Targeted marketing and advertising strategies: Facebook provides a large amount of demographic information, such as location, gender, age and interests, to its business users. Companies are able to utilise this information to craft specific marketing and advertising campaigns in order to maximise return. By targeting your strategies towards those who are the most likely to purchase your products, you substantially increase your sales potential.

Disadvantages:

  • The sale of services is not supported: If you operate a service-based organisation (such as contractors and consultants) you will not be able to sell your services through Facebook Shop. While you still have the option of creating a business page, you will need to redirect customers to your website for the completion of any sales.
  • Ads are expensive: While advertising and marketing your company through Facebook’s platform certainly provides the opportunity to reach a much larger audience, it is also an incredibly expensive endeavour. Small to midsize organisations may find that the most effective advertising packages are simply beyond their financial means.
  • Managing your business page can be very time-consuming: While it can be a fantastic way to engage with your customers, you still must find the time in which to operate the page. There are many companies who specialise in the development of social media pages for businesses. However, it is you who the customers want to interact with. If you are not responsive to your social media, it can quickly become more harm than good.

Instagram Shops

           Behind Facebook and YouTube, Instagram is the world’s third-largest social media platform. They boast over one billion active accounts, with more than 500 million users logging in at least once a day. And, as is the case with most other social media platforms, Instagram’s number of users is growing by the day. Initially launched in 2019, Instagram Shop is very similar in many ways to Facebook Shop. However, Instagram does offer businesses certain advantages which are unique to their platform.

  • Visual marketing: This is by no means a new concept, but it is one which has been refined by the advent of the internet. For years, retailers have provided pictures of their products in print ads, and sales circulars. However, digital marketing has taken this practice to a whole new level. Potential customers have the ability to see a full 360-degree view of the item, and play around with options such as size and colour before making their purchase.
  • Customer Experience: Today’s customers are smarter than ever, while at the same time, they are more sceptical than they have ever been. Transparency and authenticity are two of the most important things that customers expect when doing business with an online retailer. Beyond that, customers expect a smoother and faster buying experience. Instagram Shop is optimised to make good on customer expectations. Remember, their name is on the transaction, as well.

What is a Facebook Shop? The Conclusion

The world moves fast nowadays. If your business is unable to keep up, it will surely be left behind. More than ever, customers want a streamlined shopping experience, especially when doing business online. But they also don’t want to have to search for you. The sustainability of e-commerce demands that your products are easily discoverable, and accessible. Both Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop are excellent resources to bridge the gap between expectation and reality. If you are not making full use of these tools, rest assured that your competition certainly is.

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Jarrod Partridge

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