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Facebook Shops: Branded Storefronts on Social Media
The heart of every marketing strategy is being where your customers area. It’s the rule businesses have lived by for hundreds of years. Perhaps in the past that meant a physical store that your customers could walk into. Now, it’s likely to be a digital platform where your customers can shop 24/7, and where you can meet their needs as well as tell your own story.
Recently, Shopify has joined with Facebook to create Facebook Shops. This new digital shopping platform essentially allows Shopify merchants the ability to create a storefront on both Facebook and Instagram, allowing customers to buy directly instead of being diverted away to another website.
What is a Facebook Shop?
This concept certainly has people talking, and many are wondering what exactly a Facebook shop is and how it will help them reach further customers. Put simply, it’s a custom app within the Facebook page tab that allows you to showcase your products, and allows potential customers to browse, share and purchase without having to leave the social media platform.
Wondering how you’ll be able to connect with customers when they have questions? When you’ve set up your Facebook Shop, you’ll be able to connect directly with customers via a range of messaging services including WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct. So while you won’t have a face to face connection, you still get the benefit of nurturing that potential customer through to a purchase.
Why a Facebook Shop?
If the latest economic issues have shown us anything, it’s that people are ready and willing to change their shopping habits and buy online. The great thing about Facebook Shops is that anyone around the world is going to be able to find your business, browse and purchase from you. It really is opening your business up to a much wider audience.
These platforms aren’t just bland boring carbon copies of each other either. With the ability to customise the colours and the layout, organise products into collections and give your spot on the platform the same feel as your Shopify store, you can really make your brand stand out.
Shopify has also noted that the shopping experience on the digital platforms will be fast and seamless, allowing them to shop and check out easily; and if you think there may be an issue with integrating your products and inventory from Facebook to your Shopify store, Shopify have advised that products, inventory and back office will stay in sync with your Shopify store.
How Do You Get On Board?
Liking the sound of Facebook Shops and ready to get on board?
Those who use Shopify will be the first to get access to the Facebook Shops platform. You’ll be able to quickly get up and running, and start to access a whole new audience who may never have seen your product before.
If you are already able to use product tags on the Instagram sales channel, you will automatically be granted access to Facebook Shops, and you can expect a notification when you are ready to go. We are still waiting to see when the platform will be ready to go for those who use Facebook.
If you don’t have product tagging on Instagram, you may have to wait a little while longer. But it’s a great time to prepare your store by installing Shopify’s Facebook channel. This is where your sales will be made and your marketing activity will happen across all of Facebook’s apps. When your products have been synced, access will be granted once the platform is available for you.
We know that online shopping was growing – Australia Post’s figures showed that more than 73% of Australian households shopped online in 2018, accounting for 10% of total retail sales in that year. The total spend figure is significant – $27.5 billion, just through online purchases. And it’s expected to increase even more over the coming years. Can your business really afford to miss some of that spend?
Facebook Shops is shaping up to be an exciting platform for businesses to reach a new audience with their products. Be where your customers are.
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