On Tuesday 19th of May, 2020, Facebook launched Facebook Shops on both apps, Facebook and Instagram, which has started out for a limited number of chosen businesses. People will be Facebook shopping their favorite products, and brands worldwide will soon open Facebook shops. Facebook strikes again with one of its Facebook apps that will change the game of e-commerce as well as the players.
Mark Zuckerberg announced that the reason behind launching Facebook Shops is to enable small businesses shift to the online world after the current global crisis of Covid-19 has affected millions of small retailers and shops.
“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.”
E-commerce sites built using ExpandCart, the largest e-commerce provider in the Middle East, enjoy the advantage of uploading products directly from their e-commerce site to the Facebook Shop, in addition to the support and the other benefits we’ll talk about later in the article.
What you’ll learn in this Article:
- How to Set Up a Shop on Facebook Shop App?
- Where Will Customers Find Facebook Shops?
- How to Upload Products Automatically from Online Store to Facebook Shop with ExpandCart?
- How Would Customers Communicate with Sellers while Facebook Shopping?
- How Will Facebook Profit from the New Facebook Shop?
- How to Add a Product Catalog to Facebook?
- How to Create a Dynamic Ad on Facebook?
Facebook has made it super easy for anyone to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram; it’s simple and it’s FREE.
1. Choose the products you want to feature from your Facebook catalog
2. Open the link sent to you from Facebook to Shop Builder
3. You can add products one by one
or you can import all products via an XML file straight from your e-commerce site
4. You can set collections so that your customers always feel that something is new and fresh
5. Customize the look and feel of your shop with cover image colors that speak the language of your brand
6. Wait for customers to discover your shop on Facebook or Instagram (invest in paid ads to make this process quicker)
7. Customers can browse the full collection on your Facebook Shop and add whatever they like to their shopping cart
8. Then, they can either save products or place an order
9. People can check out from your website or from within the app (but this step is not fully functional in all countries)
“Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” says Zuckerberg in the live video.
E-commerce customers will be Facebook shopping anytime and anywhere, and this is a quality for small as well as big businesses.
People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads.
One Shop, two platforms!
ExpandCart prides itself on being the only platform in the Middle East that enables merchants and store owners to automatically upload products directly from their e-commerce site to Facebook and Instagram. ExpandCart is also the only e-commerce provider, among its competitors in the Middle East, that offers a verified app to connect an e-commerce store with Facebook and Instagram.
ExpandCart has joined efforts and hands with Facebook in this latest update, for the benefit of merchants and store managers. Not only can ExpandCart users connect their shops to Facebook Pixel, but also they can connect their stores with Facebook Catalog and Instagram Catalog.
Being able to connect your store with Facebook Catalog and Instagram Catalog means that you can upload product lists straight from your e-commerce store to Facebook and Instagram easily, and then use these lists for paid ads on Facebook and Instagram.
Why don’t we discuss quickly Facebook and Instagram Catalogs?
Also, Read What Is Cash On Delivery?
Facebook’s Product Catalog feature is extremely beneficial to your sales; it helps you personalize which products to be shown to each customer.
What is a product catalog?
The catalog is a feed file you upload to your business page, filled with all the products you want to advertise. From this file, Facebook picks the best option for each specific consumer based on their interests and behavior. You can create catalogs for all kinds of products, whether physical or digital.
Tip 😉 Through ExpandCart’s exclusive app, you can manage all of your catalogs from within a single dashboard. Any change or update in the stock is automatically reflected on Facebook and Instagram Catalogs.
How to add a product catalog to Facebook?
- Create a product feed file that contains a list of all the products you want to advertise. An XML file with separate lines for each product with its specific information and reference: ID, product name, product category, image URL, availability, etc.
- From Business Manager Settings, select Product Catalogs
- Select Add New Product Catalog
- Copy your XML feed URL; then choose Add Product Feed
- Name it, and click next
- Paste the URL and click Upload
Save the following screenshots as a reference to help you the next time you decide to explore the Facebook product catalog.
Once your catalog is uploaded, you can use it to run a variety of different adverts.
E-commerce stores built on the ExpandCart platform enjoy the advantage of being connected directly with Facebook and Instagram, which means you can sell anywhere and grow your business.
Let’s see how.
After you set up your product catalogs on Facebook (using ExpandCart’s app), you can use them in different channels:
1. Instagram Shopping (Products Only)
One of the most important features of creating a Facebook catalog and linking it to your online e-commerce store on the ExpandCart platform is the ability to shop on Instagram.
You can refer to products you want to showcase in posts and Instagram stories on your account, and your customers/followers on Instagram can click on those products to be taken directly to your product catalog to learn more about these products.
It is worth noting that in the United States of America, brands can finish e-commerce operations via Instagram so that customers can purchase directly from the brand’s account on the platform.
In order to set up the Instagram shopping feature, you must link your catalog with an Instagram business account.
2. Dynamic Ads (All Types of Stock)
The second feature that linking your e-commerce store with Facebook catalog allows you to do is dynamic ads, the kind of ads that Facebook provides to brands and e-commerce sites that dynamically display relevant products from your Facebook catalog.
In a clearer sense, if your Facebook product catalog includes 10 products (for example, mobile phones and accessories), it is according to this type of ads that Facebook selects the catalog to display the product related to the searches conducted by customers on the Internet, automatically without your intervention.
Additionally, you match items from your catalog with Facebook Pixel, which is a code installed on your website or app.
3. Facebook Page Store (Products Only)
If your business’s page looks like a showcase for products, goods, or any of the items offered for sale, the catalog will be the storage place that includes your entire inventory, where your followers can shop at any time and anywhere.
In case you already have a page store on Facebook with at least one product, then Facebook has already created for you an automatic catalog in the catalog manager associated with your store. You can choose to manage your inventory in your store or in the catalog manager.
If you have not created a store yet, you can create one from your own catalog on Facebook.
4. Group Ads
Group ads from Facebook are those types of ads featuring an ad format that displays 4 elements from your product catalog that you have created, under a main image or video, so that customers or users can click on those products included in the ad to learn more or browse similar items.
Just like when in a physical store, online shoppers will be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries, and more.
“Our business model here is ads,” Zuckerberg said. “So rather than charge businesses for Shops, we know that Shops are valuable for businesses. They’re going to in general bid more for ads and we’ll eventually make money that way.”
From that, we understand that, from a business perspective, the obvious goal is to drive more advertising.
For your Facebook shop to reach the audience, you got to invest in paid ads on Facebook. In the next two sections, we’ll guide you step by step to create advanced ads on Facebook to drive traffic and increase conversion rate.
Is Facebook Shop available for everyone starting today?
No, Facebook Shops has started out for a limited number of the chosen business. In the upcoming few months, Facebook Shops will be available for everyone in all countries worldwide.
How will I know then I can start using Facebook Shops?
Soon, Facebook will provide eligible businesses with a link to a new “ Shop Builder ” platform, an extension of your existing Facebook Page tools. After that, proceed with the steps shown in the first section of this article.
No credit card required and no hidden fees.