In 2004, Facebook was launched by Mark Zuckerberg as an exclusive college site in Harvard University. The membership expanded to Boston Colleges, Ivy Leagues, and other universities in the United States and Canada. In 2011, Facebook launched Messenger as its messaging app. Little did Mark know that Facebook will grow to be the largest and most famous social network in the world today.
Instagram was a photo-sharing app founded in 2010. After a year, it has gained 27 million users triggering Facebook and Twitter interest to buy the app. Kevin Systrom, the founder of Instagram, declined Twitter’s offer for $500 million in stock. In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.
Today, Facebook has been implementing features and tools for its family of apps. This is to achieve its goal of making the world connected. At the same time, Facebook has been supporting brands and businesses to thrive. As digital shops and eCommerce boomed, Shops were introduced on both Facebook and Instagram last May 2020. The move aimed to help small businesses to easily sell online. Around two-thirds of Facebook users visit a Facebook Page weekly, while 200 million Instagrammers visit a business profile daily. As such, a social media agency Hong Kong notes the importance of setting up Facebook and Instagram Shops.
WHAT ARE FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM SHOPS?
Facebook and Instagram Shops are a collection of products from brands and businesses that users can find on a Facebook Business Page or an Instagram Business Profile. Users can browse the collection or save a favorite item directly through Facebook and Instagram. They can also place an order on the business website by clicking the shop sticker on a product. In the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, users can checkout without leaving Facebook or Instagram.
Facebook and Instagram Shops allow brands and businesses to set up online stores within the platforms. They can then feature product catalogs and spotlights to boost the awareness and conversion goals of their Facebook and Instagram ads. Among the commerce eligibility requirements to set up Shops are:
- A Facebook Business Page or an Instagram Business Profile must comply with the platforms’ community guidelines and terms of services.
- A Facebook Business Page or an Instagram Business Profile must contain product catalogs or listings available for direct purchase on Facebook/Instagram Checkout or an approved eCommerce website.
- A Facebook Business Page or an Instagram Business Profile can set up shops located on the platform’s supported markets.
- A Facebook Business Page or an Instagram Business Profile must demonstrate trustworthiness and an authentic presence including the maintenance of a sufficient follower base.
- Product information and listings must not contain misleading information such as availability and pricing. Refund and return policies must be displayed either on the eCommerce site, Facebook, Instagram, or the business website.
SETTING UP FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM SHOPS
Eligible Facebook Pages and Instagram Business Profiles can set up digital shops via the Commerce Manager or sync an existing online store. To set up digital shops via the Commerce Manager, the business needs to upload products under a catalog manager. To sync an existing online store to Facebook or Instagram, integration should be done via BigCommerce or Shopify.
A business needs to choose between 3 checkout methods for its digital shop:
- Check out on an eCommerce site or website.
- Check out directly on Facebook or Instagram.
- Check out on a Messaging app – Instagram Direct, Messenger, or WhatsApp.
After setting up the product catalogs and checkout options, the digital shop will undergo an account review from Facebook and Instagram. Once approved, a business can then turn on the shopping settings to enable Shops on its Facebook Page or Instagram Business Profile. To do so, just tap the “Settings” button and choose “Business.” Then, tap “Shopping” to select the product catalog you want to connect to and click “Done.”
PRO-TIPS WHEN SETTING UP FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM SHOPS
A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong has provided some pro-tips when setting up Facebook and Instagram Shops.
- Add the business physical address and contact information when setting up shop payouts.
- Create a new product catalog instead of syncing an existing product listing to enhance the attributes of your Shops’ content.
- Create a test page the first time around to be more familiar with navigating Shops.
- Enter a content ID for each product you will add to your Facebook or Instagram Shop. This is to allow easier use on dynamic ads.
- It is best to add Shops manually if you have more than 50 products in your Shops.
- Optimize your Shop catalogs and listing to mobile-friendly content. Around 98.2% of shoppers use mobile phones.
- Set customized refund, return, and shipping policies on Shops to promote transparency.
- Showcase your offering through a featured collection at the top of your Shops.
- Update your collections during holidays or seasonal sales.
- Stick to a consistent color and design on your Shops relevant to your branding.
- Use a teaser to draw attention to your Shops.
- Videos are a great way to highlight Shops on Facebook and Instagram. A video marketing agency Hong Kong notes that live streams, Reels, and Stories are the most popular form of content around social media networks today.