Facebook Shops for small business. A perfect tool?

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Facebook Shops is the latest Facebook initiative that aims to enable small and medium-sized businesses to create online stores directly on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, completely free. Its timing is perfect, because due to the coronavirus, the digitization processes have significantly accelerated, and the rush towards e-commerce has increased. So what do you need to know about it? Is Facebook Shops a great tool for small business?

According to Facebook’s latest State of Small Businesses report, nearly a third of them in the United States are no longer operational, and those who survived the pandemic have neither the resources nor the number of customers to do so. to think calmly about the future.

What are Facebook Shops?

Facebook, which earns no less from small businesses than from big brands, could not be passed by indifferently. Especially that it has been introducing its desire for e-commerce revenues for a long time. Facebook Shops is not the only initiative in this area. There is also Facebook Marketplace, Instagram Checkout, and all “shopping” ads that can be used on Instagram. Facebook Shops, as emphasized by Mark Zuckerberg, is, however, the most important step to standardize the entire e-commerce system.

Shortening the path to e-commerce seems to be a bull’s eye for small and medium-sized enterprises. During the pandemic, the search for agile and inexpensive e-commerce platforms intensified, and many local businesses were using Facebook to survive. It was in social media that information appeared, for example about the possibility of delivering online orders or changed working hours, and Messenger became the main platform for contacting confused customers.

How will Facebook Shops work?

Facebook Shops is an application that will allow – for free – to create an online store through which you can sell both on Facebook and Instagram. The whole process is to be as simple as possible: the company will only have to add products to the catalog, select those that will be recommended and adjust the appearance of the store by changing the background image and adding branding elements, fonts, and colors.

After the store is launched, customers will be able to view, save, and order products directly in the app, and businesses will be able to communicate with customers via Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. A unique feature of Facebook Shops will be the ability to make purchases live while broadcasting.

For which brands is this a beneficial solution?

Facebook Shops is dedicated primarily to small and medium-sized businesses. Why? Because it is they who are looking for the cheapest and fastest possible e-commerce solutions. Often, even relatively cheap SaaS platforms are a cost challenge for them, and open- source solutions are unavailable due to the long implementation time and the skills needed to do it.

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The giant sees the main source of its income in the possibility of broadcasting more ads, and Facebook Stores can be presented in ads on News Feed and Stories.

What are the downsides of using Facebook Shops?

The new solution has hit the US market, where it is currently being tested and it is not known exactly when it will reach Poland. However, Facebook announced that in the next few months, the solution will be available in other markets. What do you need to know before deciding on them?

Setting up a Facebook store is – as we mentioned – free of charge. Facebook also doesn’t charge for transactions if merchants process them through third-party platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce.

Retailers who do not have other e-commerce platforms, however, do not have to use Facebook’s payment gateway – Facebook Checkout – and pay a processing fee of 5%. That’s less than on Amazon or eBay, but it’s worth remembering.

Would you like to become familiar with social media selling ideas and channels? Start reading our article here.

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