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By now you’ve probably heard a lot about Facebook Shops, a mobile-first shopping experience that Mark Zuckerberg unveiled on his Facebook Live in May. That has got us wondering – with 1.73 billion daily active users on Facebook, will Facebook Shops serve as a true social commerce solution for businesses all around the world and redefine our shopping habits or is this all too good to be true? Here are 7 things you might not know about Facebook Shops:


1. Sky’s the limit

With Facebook Shops, the key point is customisation.

For one, there’s no limit on the number of products you can add, so go on and show them what you’ve got.

But don’t go crazy with it! You don’t want to present your customers with the paradox of choice. After all, the founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, did once say “I want to do one thing and do it well”.

Next, you can also organise your products by collections. Having categories make it easier for your customers to find what they’re looking for.  And that could possibly mean shorter conversion cycles!

Lastly, you can customise your digital storefront. From choosing which products to feature, to selecting the best fonts and colours, to deciding on the store layout, the choice is all yours. Be bold and tell your brand story with passion and authenticity! Your customers will reward you and you’ll thank us for this later.


2. It’s not for everyone

As Facebook Shops is a relatively new feature, the fine print will constantly be changing.

For now, Facebook Shops is only limited to physical items. So, if you’re offering a service or are selling digital or downloadable products, you won’t be able to start a Facebook Shop.

That’s not all, Facebook currently does not allow international shipping. Meaning, you cannot sell products to countries other than where the Facebook Shop has been set up.

Thus, when a person from another country visits your Facebook Shop, they’ll see an empty page.


3. e-Commerce Platform Integrations

Facebook Partnership

Businesses with existing e-commerce platforms rejoice! Facebook announced that they will be partnering with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube and Feedonomics.

This means a fast and seamless experience for both you and your customers.

Your customers can find the right product on your Facebook Shop and be complete their checkout on the partnering platform.

On the other hand, you will not only be able to use these third-party platforms to manage your products and inventory on the Facebook Shop, but also the ads related to the Shop. Nifty!

With well-known brands such as Gymshark, Sephora and Allbirds using third-party e-commerce platforms don’t be surprised if you see them on Facebook Shops!


4. It’s Free (Kinda)

Seeing an ad, then being able to browse, save and order a product all while staying on Facebook sounds almost too good to be true.

It’s no doubt that businesses big and small alike would jump on the Facebook Shops bandwagon and nearly a million businesses have signed up for Facebook Shops.

After all, businesses are constantly trying to streamline and improve their customers’ shopping experience in exchange for higher sales.

Furthermore, creating a Facebook Shop is free and Facebook does not charge for transactions processed through its partner platforms.

card payment

But here’s the catch –  a 5% processing fee applies for businesses that use Facebook’s Checkout feature.

That being said, the 5% processing fee is lower than what other online platforms such as Amazon or eBay charges.


5. Loyalty Programmes

Did you know that customers on loyalty programmes spend on average $42.33 more than shoppers who are not?

Gone are the days where you have to like a Facebook page and show it to the cashier for a discount for your purchase.

Why? Because Facebook is rolling out a tool to connect loyalty programmes on Facebook Shops!

Businesses have been using Facebook to better engage their customers and extend their social media reach for ages. However, most of the time, it results in clumsy execution with the lack of tracking metrics.

With this tool, businesses will have a better overview of their rewards programme. Allowing them to view and track points and rewards so as to better cater their offers and promotions. At the same time, customers will also have an added incentive to engage and buy.


6. It May Redefine Shopping

As Facebook Shops is essentially a simplified version of your store that lives on Facebook (and soon, Instagram), it will make it easier for more people to find, browse and buy your products.

One such way is through live streaming. Influencers like Viya and “lipstick queen” Li Jiaqi can engage tens of millions of potential consumers per day. Taobao Live, Alibaba’s live streaming arm even reached record-high sales of RMB 20 billion during the 2019 Singles Day shopping event. That accounted for 7.5% of the group’s overall sales – all in one day!

Facebook has joined the fray by making it easier for customers to shop in real-time. Businesses would be able to tag products from their catalogues before going live. The product tags will then appear underneath the live videos, allowing customers to tap and purchase on the spot.

Most of us have scrolled through Instagram and seen something so nice that we wondered where the user got it from. Or even thought to ourselves “how convenient would it be to buy a full look off Instagram Explore”. This gave rise to numerous Instagram accounts such as this that susses out K-drama fashion pieces.

If that’s you, you’ll be in for a treat when Instagram Shops launch later this year. You can browse through your favourite brands, filter through various categories and buy it immediately. That’s not all, a new shop tab will also be added to the navigation bar, allowing you to get to Instagram Shops in a tap.

Talk about a “one-stop-shop”!


7. Omnichannel Retail Trends to Disrupt your Digital Strategy

If your digital strategy only revolves around SEO and SEM, you might want to rethink it. Messaging commerce has been picking up momentum in recent years and Facebook Shops may just accelerate its rise. For such businesses, Facebook Shops is a great start.

Customers will be able to contact businesses through Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs and WhatsApp. According to Facebook, last festive season, 2/3 people surveyed globally messaged a business and 100 billion messages are sent across Facebook’s products every day.

Messaging Stats

Conversational commerce is something businesses simply can no longer ignore.

You might think that omnichannel retail is only used for good customer support. But that’s not true! The WhatsApp Business API allows businesses to send out timely messages such as delivery notifications and order confirmations.

What’s more, Facebook is looking to allow purchases to be made right from a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or even Instagram Direct.With all these possibilities, it is easy to forget that other channels such as SMS also play a key role in messaging commerce.

The thought of managing both orders and customer support across all these different channels is enough to conjure up a headache. As such, businesses should also look into messaging solutions that collate all these channels for easy management and team collaboration.

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