E-commerce has become an integral part of our daily lives and rightfully so. It’s easier than ever to browse through a ton of great deals, find what you need at an affordable price and simply have it shipped to your home. Combine the utility of online shopping with a popular social media website like Facebook and all of a sudden a huge number of people have access to your products without even having to spend the minimal effort of opening an additional tab and doing some research on Google. Another great thing about using Facebook to sell your wares is that a big chunk of Facebook users log on exclusively via mobile – meaning that you get access to potential customers even if they are away from their computers.
Whether you have a company and want to get some additional exposure online or you simply have some products you want to sell online and avoid the hassles associated with running a real-world shop, this can be a great platform for you. So let’s take a look at some of the options you have available when setting up a Facebook shop.
Benefits of F-commerce
Facebook commerce or F-commerce is a popular term for focusing on offering products and services on Facebook as your main avenue of income. Facebook is still ahead in the social media race and gives you access to a huge audience. Since you have great sharing options – a huge Like button really helps spread the word across walls of family, friends and coworkers – once the wheels start rolling your brand awareness can grow exponentially. Don’t underestimate the power of human psychology as well: social media websites are a place where people come to relax, get some info and generally procrastinate. It’s an environment they feel safe and comfortable in. They have been pretty much conditioned to click around aimlessly, like and share, spending a huge deal of their free time on such sites. It’s like opening a shop in a crowded market – the trick is to get people to take the right turn and end up in your store.
Setting up shop
On to some of the options. Depending on the size of your business and the nature of your shop you may want to go for different shop designs. You have two basic options:
- Creating a full-blown shop – you have several great, professional tools at your disposal to create a nice shop. Whether you already have an online shop and want to expand to Facebook or have a real shop and are simply looking for a way to expand to the online market and reach a wider audience. Since these are complex shops they will require more work to set up and run effectively and this is one thing to consider.
- Adding a shop tab on your fan page – here we have an easy set-up process that takes a few short steps and enables you to offer some merchandise right on your fan page. This is a great option for writers, artists, bands, singers and just about anyone that wants to provide their fans with products they will appreciate and earn some money in the process.
Facebook’s general theme will dictate the look and feel of your shop – a minimalist design that right to the point and user-friendly – but it’s about the quality, pricing and the visual appeal of the products themselves, rather than the flashiness of the environment. You can look at some popular Facebook shops for inspiration on how to set up your page and run your business.
Since you will be going for a very basic, stripped-down look and dealing with people with pretty short attention spans, you want the whole shopping process to be quick and easy. They see a cool watch or cute pair of shoes, it’s within their budget and then they just click a few times – BAM! – purchase made, no time for regrets. You have your standard options like credit card payments and PayPal, but these will require the shoppers to go to a different page and fill out forms.
There are some emerging options that rival the old ones in terms of ease of use and speed. One such option is Selz, which allows you to stay on the same page on Facebook when making the purchase and offers a cool selection of different buy buttons and widgets, as well as ultra-fast download for digital media such as eBooks and songs. It can be a great option if you choose to add a shop tab on your fan page and you can get the easy to install Facebook app here. Whatever you choose, just remember to keep it simple so there are no unnecessary obstacles standing between the customers’ money and your bank account.
Using other social media sites to promote your shop
Despite the fact that Facebook is a very popular social media platform, you will still need to spend some time and divert more attention to your Facebook shop from other websites. Start being active on Google+, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest and engage friends and family to help you get your social media campaign of the ground. YouTube is great for doing product reviews and showing the potential customers what they can expect – you can even utilize some showmanship and humor to hype up your products. Pinterest is another great platform that can help you put out high-quality images and descriptions of your products, while Twitter can help you spread news of special offers, holiday sales and various promotions.
Use Facebook to its full potential
You can use this versatile platform to get feedback from the customers, create a loyal fan base and just generally get people more engaged. Don’t be afraid to show your face in the comments section and organize giveaways from time to time. Always be active and keep working on good online marketing campaigns.