Number one cardinal rule of selling to your audience is to meet them where they most likely hang out, and Facebook, with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users according to statista, is a social network that houses customers cut across most industries.
Now, with the introduction of Facebook shop which has turned Facebook to a top-tier ecommerce destination, for ecommerce-designed businesses, this could graciously mean:
● Businesses get to sell to their target audience right inside the Facebook app. That is, visit a shop catalogue, browse through products, make selections, head over to the checkout page and successfully complete transactions via a highly-secured payment gateway, all within the social app.
● Businesses can run targeted ads to their ideal customers and direct them to their Facebook shop.
● Tactically arrange your products according to your “most purchased” items, or any other product listing tactics that will increase your sales, just like you would do in a native shop.
With these outlined reasons and the ever-growing numbers of monthly active users on Facebook, you can bet that ecommerce businesses are about to have digitized town stores at their customers favorite hangout spots, and sales are about to shoot up for businesses that would strategically make use of the Facebook shop.
The Origin of Facebook Shops
Before Facebook Shops, there is a marketplace, a peer-to-peer shopping experience where Facebook users who are interested in easy-to-buy goods meet, to either list their products or buy from already listed products from people living nearby.
This is to give a more organized feel to the ecommerce groups where people would ordinarily list their products for people to buy.
The challenges rocking the use of an ordinary “buy and sell” group cuts across not having a secure and trusted payment gateways, but with the integration of messenger in Facebook marketplace, private meetups happen and improvised payment options on messengers are used for financial transactions, eliminating fraud-laden activities.
While this might seem like the best innovation to ever happen to small ecommerce businesses trying to use Facebook communities to push their sales, Facebook rolled out Facebook shops which includes more interesting and hassle-free features, which has turned Facebook to an ecommerce landing page.
NB: Every business has been given the option of owning a digitized version of their shops for their loyal followers on Facebook, setting up a shop for your business on Facebook would go a long way in assisting your customers to have a first hand experience in shopping from you.
The Key Ecommerce-infused Features of Facebook Shops
Just like traditional ecommerce sites, there are basic features that have made Facebook shops a destination for buying from your favourite brands. These features cut across the handy search bar for surfing through catalogue of items, tiles of products arranged systematically which are squarely similar to conventional ecommerce sites like Amazon, Ebay, Etsy etc.
A secure Payment Gateway
Ordinarily, one of the top challenges that would have battled the idea of Facebook shop is a well-secured payment option that can guarantee that users aren’t running the risk of losing their funds, but with advanced and trusted payment gateways like PayPal, stripe, there is a strengthened trust in buying and selling via Facebook shops.
The Save Button
Another golden feature of the Facebook shop is the ability for shop visitors to “save” items they have interest in. This is most welcomed because more than 65% of shop visitors don’t end up on the payment page where they get to conclude their search and buying, so the need to include the ‘save item for later” feature on Facebook shop is demanded for a full shopping experience, just like on the traditional ecommerce websites.
Structured Support System
One other amazing feature of the innovation that was rolled out in the pandemic is the ability to render support via Messenger.
Think of the Facebook shop as your conventional brick and mortar shop situated in a busy spot downtown, you don’t ever shop without assistance from shop attendants. These sales conversion strategies were fully represented on the Facebook shop to give shop visitors the same feeling attained from traditional ecommerce sites.
Digital platforms are making businesses have more options and more playing ground to scale and boost their businesses online. It’s magical what happens when you infuse some of the features of social networks like Facebook with your business.
For instance, on your posts on Facebook, you can tag products from your shop to enable viewers to be aware of the products on your shop.
This is a good product placement option for brands that use video contents to engage their followers. With this, you can list and tag the items on your posts, for instance, in a video content, you can list and tag items used in making the video such as mics, cameras, ring lights etc.
The Long-Term Difference of Facebook Shops on Ecommerce Industry
Facebook has been about helping small businesses grow.
From starting off as a social network that connects people and family, to branching out into ecommerce to connect buyers with sellers.
The long-term effect of the newly launched Facebook shop which is fused with the big dogs in ecommerce like shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Cafe24 and more to come, would certainly mean that if Facebook scales through as a fixed destination for buying and selling within the social app, (which would certainly happen – more than 1 million sign ups since the roll out), Facebook would be opening up their arms wider to work with more eCommerce brands to establish a more stable, yet diverse experience that users are already accustomed to, but this time, on their favorite social media app.
Facebook is already borrowing from the eCommerce brands they are working with, their algorithm that places products images, videos and descriptions in a tile format, just like a traditional eCommerce shop.
In the long term, other social networks would take a seat near Facebook to partner and integrate other eCommerce brands in their app, in the same fashion as Facebook, in an attempt to rival and expand the use of their social app beyond connecting people.
Another experience that we will certainly see from this big innovation is that Facebook’s publishing tools would join the queue of brands that will have a presence on the list of features of Facebook shop.
An attempt to make it easy for businesses to seamlessly publish products directly to their Facebook shops could mean that publishing tools would be giving access to let inventory managers to list products directly to the Facebook shops.
Will Facebook Shops Slow Sales Conversion or Accelerate Checkout Conversion?
Truth is, one of the main conversion hurdles tied to running ads to the homepage of your website is the high risk of your site visitors’ attention being diverted to other pages non-related to your products.
Human’s attention span is unarguably small and landing on a homepage with so many information and attached links to other destinations but your product page, is a high chance that your web visitors won’t complete the one action you want them to take, which is to browse through your product list and make a purchase.
With Facebook shops, this is greatly curbed since the Facebook shop is literally a product page which is 100% about your products.
Now, there is a high chance that page visitors can take an action which is to make and complete a purchase successfully without first leaving for another page on the social app.
From the image, etsy.com loses about 3.06% of their web visitors to Facebook alone, if the Facebook button on their site is linked to their Facebook shop, this could increase the number of conversions from the drop-off already made on the site.
The eCommerce industry has seen a widespread of executed innovative ideas over time, but what Facebook is doing with their social app in terms of assisting eCommerce businesses is near never-seen.