Facebook announced today (5/19/20) that they'll be introducing Shops, a way for businesses to set up free storefronts on both Facebook and Instagram. Here are a few things you should know as we await the launch of this new feature:
If you're currently running your store with Shopify or WooCommerce, Facebook Shop will seamlessly integrate so you can continue to track inventory, shipments, and all other order-related data inside your regular store dashboard.
Facebook Shops will be free to set up - but they plan to charge small merchant fees on each purchase. This is typical of any e-commerce platform, but we're interested to see what the fees look like in comparison to Shopify or WooCommerce.
With your products now on a platform commonly used by your customer, this makes the ease of use higher than ever. Rather than clicking through to a separate store, customers no longer have to wait for a landing page to load before viewing your products. Plus, Facebook plans to allow customers to save their payment info (which they're likely to do as Facebook is a credible platform that they trust) for even more ease at checkout. The more boundaries that can be removed between your customer and their purchase - the better. We're really excited about this part of it!
Customers will also be able to ask questions about your products or their orders via Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram direct message.
Facebook plans to offer Shop features on both Facebook and Instagram - but Shop on Facebook will be rolling out first. Some may see this new feature as soon as tomorrow, while others may have to wait a few weeks. As for Instagram Shop, that feature will be released this Summer (hopefully with some of the additional features we mention below!).
Facebook and Instagram Shop (which is coming this Summer) will provide even more opportunities for customers to discover your products--from organic Instagram and Facebook posts, paid ads, stories, live streams, and more.
This is one of the features we're looking forward to the most! Likely to be rolled out in the Summer with Instagram Shop, Facebook has announced they'll be introducing a feature that allows you to tag the products you feature in your live streams - making it extremely easy for your customer to check out on the spot.
Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage return customers - but they can be a little challenging to set up, and sometimes so overwhelming for the customer that its complications outweigh the benefits. Since there won't be much of a learning curve because customers are already on these platforms, we're really excited to see how they choose to roll out these loyalty programs!
One thing we're really excited to explore when this rolls out is how much we'll be able to customize stores. We know they'll be allowing a cover image and accent colors, but we hope they'll also allow custom product images and possibly collection images. Only time will tell!
While there are some seriously exciting features coming to Facebook Shop - and we're excited for it - we don't want you to think it should replace your website. Your website is your owned asset. The customer data you get from there is yours. The products uploaded on there are yours. The customer emails you collect are yours. And as long as you pay your domain and website costs each month, you can safely assume your store will remain up and running. Facebook, however, could decide to pull the plug on Facebook Shops at any time. So it's important to still maintain your online store in case anything changes - you don't want all your eggs in one basket.
As you know, Facebook is always changing. And with the release of this new feature - we're bound to see even more features being added as time goes on. There are a few they've given us a sneak peek on, though, that we're really excited about! They anticipate offering virtual try-on sessions, a dedicated shopping tab on Instagram, and more.
We'll keep you updated on new features as they roll out - but for the earliest and most in-depth access to the latest tools and features - be sure to join our SheCom Insiders Program! You can get more details here.
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