I have wrote 3 parts, this is part 1 the others are here…
Why we should be selling on Facebook
If you’ve already opened an eBay shop and you have your own website is there any point in setting up on Facebook as well? Well yes is the quick and easy answer to this. Plenty of sellers are very disillusioned with eBay – particularly small businesses like you so selling on Facebook makes sense.
In fact, given that Facebook has over 1.44 billion ACTIVE users every single month (and is growing) that’s one hell of a lot of noughts (1,440,000,000) and one hell of a lot of potential custom, isn’t it? Of course you can’t target them all, and many of them will be outside the UK, but still, even a micro fraction of 1.44 billion potentially makes you a very happy businessperson, doesn’t it? Just directly targeting 100,000 active Facebook users, will have a significant effect on your business.
But just how do you do it?
Facebook allows you to sell products on your Facebook page and will let you set up a store. You need a Facebook page that is dedicated to your business – so you would need to distinguish this from your own personal Facebook account.
Setting up a Facebook page for your business is relatively straight forward. You can click here
1. Click to choose a Page category (in this case BUSINESS)
2. You get a new box to fill in. Select a more specific category from the dropdown menu at the top and fill out the required information (let’s say Shopping/Retail) etc.
3. Click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions
Incidentally – a useful tip. When you set up your Page, you can request a web address such as “facebook.com/nameofmybusiness“, which makes it easy for people to find. Then, to maximise the impact, include this address on your business card, website and other marketing materials.
Theoretically, once you have your own Facebook Page set up, you can then add your store to the tabs on your page which means you can skip between one or the other, and when people visit your Facebook Page, they can click through on your Store Tab and actually purchase products directly through your Facebook Store. Ingenious. I just wish I could do it…
Setting up your Facebook store
To maximise your potential for selling on Facebook you need to create a store. However, many people don’t necessarily do this, they just post photos with the price and details of each item and invite people to message them, so that’s an option if you want an easy life and can cope with that level of admin. You have to invoice people through PayPal which can be a bit of a fuss. If the person messaging you via Facebook is not known to you, you may get the message in your ‘others’ folder (which seems to be the Facebook equivalent of spam), so look out for that.
Facebook will allow you to start up a store on your Facebook Page, but you will have to know how to create an App, and then upload your products and pricing information into Facebook, then somehow connect all that to some sort of shopping cart to process your payments. It is very technical if you don’t know what you’re doing, as I don’t, and hence why I’ve been banging my head into a brick wall for the past hour or so. So what’s the alternative?
Sadly you need to spend some money and use reputable ecommerce solutionsThere are a variety of ecommerce solutions out there and at this stage I don’t know which of these are the best. They all big themselves up. The ones that shout the loudest about what they do are Shopify and Bigcommerce, as well as website builders such as Wix. These have built in programs so that you can quickly create your own Facebook store based on your existing portfolio of products.
I found this gem of useful information online – create a separate landing page using a platform that allows you to ‘create custom pages, different categories, an SSL certificate, a responsive, adjustable format, etc. Just search around through different apps and platforms, read real user reviews, and find a store platform/app that’s affordable, feature-rich, and one that can be used to tie your store in with Facebook seamlessly.’
And then once you have your page and your store created, you simply use your Vulcan superpowers to mind meld the two together to ‘create a seamless store experience on Facebook’ using an e-commerce widget, such as Ecwid – which is apparently affordable, and provides 30 separate payment options. Or you can use StoreYa, which allows you to create multiple product categories, list dozens of products, choose from a variety of templates, and integrate your store with your Facebook page to ‘create a seamless e-store experience’ – there’s that seamless experience again. I feel quite exhausted and just a little disheartened!
Link in your social media
If you do want people to buy from your Facebook Store, it makes sense that engaging with your Facebook audience/community should be part of your overall business marketing strategy. Target users and their specific interests –we’ll come back to this next week.In Part 2 and Part 3 of my selling on Facebook guide I’ll look at some ingenious ways to market your goods, as well as taking a peep at advertising. You could consider running promotions or events for example, or hold contests to help you market your products. Anything that draws people in and gets them to share your page is a great idea.
Over to you
Do you have a Facebook store? What sort of experience have you had with it? Did you design it yourself or how did you go about it? I’d really like to hear from you so get in touch, either below or come and have a chat to us on our Facebook page.🙂