Facebook Shops and small businesses

Last week Facebook announced Facebook Shops – their B2C e-commerce offering. This is Facebook doing what Facebook does best, developing new offerings to build a comprehensive eco-system that none of us will live without. And, with their ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp then social selling is going to become even more embedded into our lives.

What will Facebook Shops mean for micro businesses and independent creative businesses that are selling online? Here’s my view…

Overview of Facebook Shops

  • It will accelerate the growth in mobile-first shopping – businesses have to think mobile-first when it comes to content
  • Regulations and safety will be an issue which FB will throwback to the seller – we’ve already seen that this is a problem with pop-up food sellers on FB Marketplace 
  • We’ll all end up using it one way or another
  • Facebook Shops will become the starting point for many small businesses that want to grow into e-commerce. 
  • It is likely to swipe first-time sellers from platforms like Etsy and slow the move to developing their own websites rather than halt the move to websites altogether
  • Boundaries between buyer and seller will continue to be broken down, this is great when it works as it creates greater loyalty, not so good when the buyer is an arse who thinks that you are their servant rather than one half of a business transaction

Shopping with Facebook Shops

  • Convenience will be a huge motivating factor in our use of it
  • Buyer beware, as FB is an international company local compliance laws will be delegated to the seller and not necessarily policed by FB. 

Successful selling with Facebook Shops

  • Make sure you’re current systems and processes are working well before diving into a new platform
  • It looks like it could be an amazing opportunity but you’ll need to have a great social feed and audience engagement to benefit most
  • Invest in your business story – people’s phones are their online home, building a trustworthy  brand and inviting brand voice will be essential to connect to new customers
  • Invest in visual – beautiful product shots which communicate who you and what makes you different will be essential
  • Invest in video – which could be the mantra for the last few years, FB are actively promoting the use of video as a feature so start practising and getting comfortable with video
  • Build up your customer relationships, word of mouth is key to success on social selling
  • Live selling and messaging has the potential to never let your business sleep – this could be good or bad, you’ll need to set-up systems and boundaries for your wellbeing to ensure your business doesn’t rule your life

What are your thoughts?

If you’re a small e-commerce biz I’d love to hear what you think and whether you’re excited to use Facebook Shops, overwhelmed that it’s ANOTHER thing to do, or feeling a bit MEH Facebook! about the whole thing. Pop your thoughts in the comments or catch up with me on social media.

Ruth

1 thought on “Facebook Shops and small businesses”

  1. I have set up a very basic one to get me started but even that took me so long. As a customer I like the idea but I do worry what it will do for the high street where we meet in person and make real connections. Convenience is good but if it stops us leaving the house almost and lessens the time we speak face to face that’s where it’s really unhealthy

    Reply

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