Any bricks and mortar retail store owner knows that location is vital for business success. You’ve got to have visibility, to stay top of mind, and you’ve got to have easy access. So when someone decides they want to shop in your store, they can, with the least amount of friction possible.
The downside of that is rent. The better and more prominent the location, the higher the cost. That’s business. No one said it was easy.
However, the same equation is true online. You need both visibility and access to be successful. But you also need to factor in the cost of achieving that.
Major retailers and small businesses have been selling their products on Instagram and Facebook for years. Whether that’s been through easy access points like Facebook Marketplace or through more sophisticated (and profitable) Shopify stores. Instagram Business Accounts and Facebook Pages now act as direct sales channels for retailers the world over.
But Facebook has been rapidly making social media a one-stop destination for online shopping, specifically to support small businesses. With the advent of Facebook and Instagram Shops, you can bring your online store to the people. To dramatically increase your visibility and access for free.
That’s right, for free.
Facebook has revolutionised eCommerce by providing every business owner with access to their world-class technology. You can now create, in a matter of minutes, your online shopping journey. You can customise the store, so it’s purpose-built to suit your brand and customers needs, as well as to provide complete access to your range of products.
As a tool for business owners, it represents an out-of-the-box eCommerce solution for online retail. Fast, fantastic and free.
What is a Facebook Shop?
It is a free version of the digital storefront that is available to all users of Facebook and Instagram around the world. It is an excellent platform for retailers to sell their products online. Currently, Facebook Shop isn’t available in every single market across the globe. Still, it is available in Australia. There are already thousands of businesses using Facebook to bring their store to the people.
This technology offers you the chance to connect traditional Facebook Store pages with high-end existing eCommerce portals like BigCommerce, Shopify, and several others.
Some of the innovative features of the Facebook Shop include:
- Customised product catalogue with proper images
- Accent colours and cover images
- Product descriptions
- Option to save products in dedicated Collections
What is an Instagram Shop?
It is the ultimate shopping destination for Instagram users. The Shop tab is linked to the Explore section. For retailers, Instagram Shop serves as an upgrade for stores linked to Instagram Creator and Instagram Business accounts. You can easily set up the Instagram Shop with the help of the Commerce Manager feature of Facebook.
Like Facebook Shop, retailers can leverage the Instagram Shop to set up individual storefronts listed in the Shop Directory of Instagram. Products in the Instagram Shop can be categorised in the ‘Products for You’ section, allowing Instagram to be a centralised marketplace for your users.
Retailers, both large and small, are now rushing to launch their own Facebook & Instagram Shops. The opportunity to dramatically increase your store’s visibility and access without increasing your costs is an unbelievable business opportunity.
This low cost / high-value eCommerce solution can have your products featured in the news feeds of millions of Facebook and Instagram users almost overnight. All you need is the content (images and videos) to support your marketing plan, and you can connect your store to the people.
Innovative Thinking for Commercial Success
In digital commerce, speed is your friend. Business owners that act quickly to take advantage of this opportunity will undoubtedly beat their competition. Plus, with the fast-growing popularity of Instagram Stories and Instagram Live functionalities, the concept of ‘Live Shopping’ is firmly fixed on the horizon. Live shopping on Instagram is a seamless (or frictionless) experience. Stories and Reels are instant forms of communication with a ‘swipe up to shop’ functionality that drives direct sales.
With Facebook and Instagram Shops, the medium of online shopping continues to grow and evolve. Act now to leverage the benefits of speed and interactivity to build stronger customer relationships for your business into the future. Social commerce with Facebook & Instagram Shops is a true revolution for online retail. The game of retail used to be about getting people to find your products. Now, it’s about your products finding the people.
Stu Stevens wrote the article. Former Director of Digital for Bauer Media and now Managing Director of fast-growing Social Media Marketing Agency and Official Facebook Marketing Partner – Remap Online.