As a retailer, you do your best to figure out ways to use social media to delight, inspire, and educate your customers. But also, you are trying to figure out the best ways to use those channels to make sales. For most travel and tourism based retailers, Facebook and Instagram deliver the most return on investment.
How Zoos, Museums, and Travel Destinations Can Use Facebook Shopping
Today, we’re going to start with Facebook. 69 percent of people in America use Facebook. This makes it the most used social network in the U.S. Facebook (which now has 2.45 billion users worldwide) has made significant investments in its website, apps, and platforms in order to get small businesses to become more successful.
As of today, retailers can sell their entire inventory on the Facebook Marketplace, create mobile storefronts and catalogs in WhatsApp, and use ads to target and sell products to new and current customers. Most importantly, you can do this in any city, state, or country that Facebook can be accessed. In order to have a presence on Facebook, here’s what you need to do:
- Set up a Facebook page;
- Select a business category for your page;
- Select a layout for your page;
- Add all the details you can, including your address, links to your website, and reviews;
- Create a customized page URL for your store;
- And set up your shop.
Once you’ve done this, you can start publishing content, creating events, and leveraging Facebook as part of your marketing strategy. As you become more comfortable with Facebook, you can try using new features. One thing you should do right away is to ask your customers to write store reviews and rate your business on Facebook as Facebook Reviews are just as important as Yelp or Google Business reviews when it comes to SEO, organic search, and building trust.
If you want to sell on Facebook, you should study how businesses are using Facebook Marketplace to do so. If you want, you can sync your inventory to Facebook Marketplace. Once you’ve submitted your product feed, Facebook will review your products and approve them so that you can sell on the Marketplace. If you use Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, ShipStation, or any commerce engine to manage your inventory, you can automatically connect your inventory feeds to the Marketplace in several simple clicks! If you don’t have an inventory software they support, here’s how you get your products listed.
After you’ve mastered Facebook, you may want to create WhatsApp catalogs in order to have a mobile storefront for your business so that you can expand your geographic reach via mobile apps. Facebook users are extremely mobile, so take advantage of anything you can with the Facebook Mobile App, Messenger (109 million monthly users), or WhatsApp (1.5 billion monthly users).
Facebook Marketplace currently has no set listing fees or commissions, so it’s free to sell (this could change down the line as more retailers make use of this!). If you want to learn more about marketing your business on Facebook, you can take free classes to learn how to run ads. You can also sign up for their free local small marketing bootcamps that take place in many cities across the U.S.
How to Set-Up a Facebook Shop For Your Store
In the last month, Facebook took note that small businesses are struggling due to COVD-19. With stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online. The platform wanted to offer any small business owner the ability to use their platform and apps to connect with customers.
Retailers can create a Facebook Shop for free. If you already have an old Facebook shop, it can easily be converted over (just use that link). You simply choose the products they want to feature from your WhatsApp catalog and then customize the look and feel of your shop with a cover image, your logo, and brand colors. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them. To create a Facebook Page shop:
- Click the Shop tab on your Facebook Page. If you don’t see this tab, you can change your Page template to the Shopping template.
- Click Go to Commerce Manager. You’ll be redirected to a Sell on Facebook page in Commerce Manager.
- In Commerce Manager, you’ll complete a few steps to get set up. You’ll be prompted to link business accounts, set shipping and return preferences, and set up your payouts.
- Once your Facebook Page shop is set up, your next step is to create a catalog of your products.
After you get set up with your Facebook Page shop, you can use the Commerce Manager to manage sales across Facebook and Instagram. Products from your Facebook Page shop may appear in Marketplace if they’re eligible. With Facebook Shops, your customers will be able to message your store through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries, and more. And in the future, customers will even be able to view your shop and make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct.
What’s super cool is that your customers can find your Facebook shop on your Facebook Page, Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order — either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US.