Why you should be selling on Facebook Shops and how to get started (infographic)

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions have impacted badly on small retailers that had to close their doors. The businesses that have managed to continue to thrive in this environment have been those with an ecommerce presence, with online orders for primarily store-based retailers up 56% year on year in April when lockdown measures were most severe.

However, only around 1 in 3 specialty independent retailers have an ecommerce-enabled website, so there are many businesses who were unable to make any sales while locked down. Could Facebook Shops be a solution for those retailers without the means or expertise to set up and run their own ecommerce websites?

What is Facebook Shops feature?

Facebook Shops is a way for brands to sell directly to their customers from their Facebook pages or their Instagram accounts, without the need to redirect to an ecommerce platform. For Facebook this makes sense because it keeps people within the platform and encourages businesses to spend more on advertising.

For businesses and consumers it removes barriers between discovery and purchase, which is a huge benefit given that 78% of American consumers have found products on Facebook. With 2.6 billion active monthly users, that’s a huge number of potential customers to find your products.

On Facebook Shops you can manage your catalog of products, customize the look and feel of your store and build up and showcase collections of products that can be promoted through Facebook Ads.

How to get started on Facebook Shops

Before you start setting up your Facebook Shop, there’s some documentation you’ll need to have to hand to verify your identity and prove that you’re a legitimate business. Depending where you are this can include:
  • Business representative name
  • National Insurance Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Federal tax ID number (which matches your legal name) for tax reporting
  • Bank account details
You’ll also need a Facebook page for your brand, so if you have an existing one you’ll need to find the Shop tab. If this isn’t currently showing, go to Edit Page Info and change the template to the Shopping Template.

After clicking on Shop, you’ll be given the choice to Checkout on Facebook or Instagram, so select that to sell directly on those platforms and then select Set Up on Commerce Manager to get going.

Commerce Manager is Facebook’s tool for letting you manage your products and orders and sell them through Facebook Shops. If you’re trying to get set up on your mobile, this is where you’ll need to switch to a desktop browser as Commerce Manager isn’t available for mobile devices.

Facebook recommends that when you’re getting used to Commerce Manager, it’s best to create a test page so you can safely experiment without your customers seeing these experiments on your live page. It’s easy to switch to the live page when you’re ready.

Once you’ve filled out all the key details - not least your bank details so that you can get paid - you’re ready to create your Catalog of products

How to add your products to Facebook Shops

Catalog Manager is Facebook’s tool for uploading your products to your Shop. Selecting Add Products gets you started with uploading them and this can be done manually or via a data feed. Facebook’s recommendation is that you add them manually unless you have over 50 products or you regularly change your product lines.

Here are some tips for creating great product listings:
  • If you have a special offer on, you can use the product name field to tease this.
  • Using your brand name in product names can also help customers easily identify them.
  • Use your brand voice in descriptions and be authentic.
  • Ensure you say what’s unique or special about your products to help them stand out.
  • Keep your product images simple and clean so it’s clear what the product is at a glance.
  • Make sure your images are created with ‘mobile-first’ views in mind as this is where most will be seen.
  • Check Facebook’s policies to make sure your listings don’t fall foul of the review process before going live.
Once you’ve uploaded them all, added your gallery of images and written a captivating description for each, it’s time to create Collections. These are groupings of similar products or themed lines that you will use to create your Shop’s layout and to promote them in ads across Facebook and Instagram.

After selecting Create Collection, you need to give your new grouping a name, description and eye catching cover image. Then you can add between 6 and 30 products to this Collection, which can be a great way to promote seasonal items or special offers.

Putting your Shop live and managing orders

One of the most important steps in this process is customizing what your Facebook Shop will look like, which you can do in Shop Builder. This is your chance to make your Shop look visually appealing and connect it with your overall brand through use of text and colors, as well as picking a layout template that showcases the products and collections you want to stand out.

When everything is finished and live, you’ll hopefully start to see orders coming through and these can be managed in Commerce Manager through the Orders tab. There you’ll see the information for each order and will be able to buy a USPS delivery label, contact the customer as well as cancelling and refunding orders if necessary.

Tips for running your Facebook Shop

  • Collection Ads are a great way to advertise your Collections on mobile devices, targeting your audience and creating visually appealing ads from a selection of templates.
  • Facebook’s Insights Tool is essential for understanding how customers are using your Shop, giving you information on sales, views, wishlist adds, cart adds and checkouts initiated.
  • Customer service is just as important on Facebook Shops as anywhere else, so try to respond quickly to queries and dispatch items within three working days. If you receive bad reviews, these can be used to label your Shop as ‘low quality’, affecting your visibility in search rankings.
Facebook Shops feature has a lot to offer, especially for stores without an ecommerce offering of their own. So if you want to get started selling on there, this guide from Headway Capital has everything you need to know, and more.Facebook Shops make it easy for small businesses to set up an online store that customers can access on both Facebook and Instagram. And in times like these, being able to conduct business online can be vital for a small business to survive. This visual guide outlines how to set up, manage, and optimize Facebook Shops for a small business.
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