Convenience is everything to consumers these days. Just as in-store retail shoppers would be seriously annoyed if cashiers told them to visit the retailer’s eCommerce site in order to buy all the items in their carts, today’s consumers do not want to leave the social media platforms they’re scrolling through in order to buy the amazing merchandise they’re looking at.
Are you featuring merchandise on your Instagram profile? If so, it’s because you want visitors to buy those items. Trust us, your visitors definitely want to have fast access to purchase the items you post on social, and we’re here to say that redirecting your Facebook and Instagram visitors to your eCommerce site is not going to make your visitors happy.
Instagram and Facebook now offer a new platform feature called Shop. Barely a year old, Shop is an eCommerce feature that enables your visitors to purchase your merchandise directly from your social profiles. Yes, by utilizing Shop, your Facebook profile is transformed into an eCommerce store unto itself, likewise your Instagram profile.
And the best part is that because Instagram and Facebook are connected, you only have to set up one Shop within Facebook (or Instagram) and you’ll be able to sell your goods on both platforms.
Consider this article your step-by-step how-to guide for setting up a Shop on Facebook, which will enable you to sell your goods on both platforms. And yes, we are going to focus on setting up your Facebook Shop which will link to Instagram, enabling you to sell on both platforms.
Let’s get started.
In order to set up your Shops through Facebook, you will need to have a Facebook Business Manager account. If you don’t have one, don’t worry. Turning your regular Facebook account into a Business Manager account is as easy as clicking a few buttons. Simply log in to Facebook, navigate to your Facebook page, and click the Edit Page button at the top right of the page.
Next, click on the Basic Information tab, which you’ll find at the left-hand side of the toolbar that appears across the top of your screen. A drop-down menu will appear. Click Category, select Local Businesses and Places, and when another drop-down menu appears, select the Type of Business that best describes your page. Save your changes.
Once your Business Manager account has been created following the steps we just covered, you will be ready to start building your Facebook & Instagram Shop via the Facebook Business Manager.
● Log in to Facebook Business Manager
● In the upper-left corner, click the horizontal bars icon
● Click Shortcuts
● A drop-down menu will appear, scroll down until you see Commerce Manager
● Click Commerce Manager
● Click Get Started
You will be presented with two options:
● Manage with Commerce Manager
● Sync & Manage with a Partner
You will have to choose one or the other.
If you already have an eCommerce platform, Shopify store, or similar, then select “Sync & Manage with a Partner.” If not, then choose “Commerce Manager.”
Commerce Manager is a great option for retailers who don’t have a pre-existing eCommerce site and aren’t prepared to create one just for the sake of selling goods on social media. You do not need any expertise to set up your Shop via Commerce Manager within Facebook Business Manager.
Commerce Manager is also an ideal option for businesses that primarily sell services, but want to attract new customers on social media by offering select merchandise. For example, SaaS businesses might use Instagram & Facebook Shops to sell computer cases, cell phone cases, electronic & hardware accessories, and swag, not because retailing those items is their core purpose, but because their social media profiles and posts contain critical information about the software they sell as a service. By magnetizing visitors to their page via Shop, their visitors will learn about their core SaaS business and hopefully become interested in purchasing Saas through their business website.
● Click Manage with Commerce Manager
● Click Next
You will see three options, which are:
● Checkout on Another Website
● Checkout with Facebook or Instagram
● Checkout with Messaging
The option to Checkout on Another Website is as literal as it gets. This option will enable your social shoppers to purchase your goods on another website such as Etsy or another platform that does not have a partner integration with Facebook & Instagram. We actually do not recommend this option since it will cause your social visitors to navigate away from Facebook and Instagram.
Checkout with Facebook or Instagram is the option to choose if you want to be able to sell immediately on these platforms.
The final option, Checkout with Messaging, enables your social visitors to purchase through the IM / DM messaging features of Facebook and Instagram. Pretty cool! This option, however, is limited, so we don’t recommend that you go this route during the set-up process. That being said, once you set up your Shop, your social visitors will still have the option to purchase via messenger!
● Click Checkout with Facebook or Instagram
● Click Next
The set-up manager will ask you where do you want to sell from?
● Choose Ad Account from Business Manager
● Click Continue
You will then be presented with a page that says, Setting Up a Test Account.
There are three primary steps to this process:
● Entering your business information
● Setting up your inventory and shipping preferences
● Setting up your bank account where purchase payments will be deposited
In the next section, we will walk you through all three steps.
Entering in your business information is a straightforward process. Once you’ve entered this information, it’s time to start entering your merchandise inventory. Here you will either create an inventory catalog or link Facebook to your pre-standing inventory catalog if you have one. This step is very easy to do if you already have a Shopify store.
If you don’t have a Shopify store or another eStore that has partnered with Facebook & Instagram, then you can manually enter each inventory item, along with all the pertinent information for each item including photos, descriptions, and prices. This could take some time so be sure to plan ahead.
Once all of your inventory items are entered and saved, click Next, and fill out the Shipping Options prompts. You can set up Standard Shipping, Expedited Shipping, and Rush Shipping. Even though you can always change these later from the Commerce Manager, try to fill out as much information as possible during this step.
That being said, we want to emphasize how important this step really is. Right now, Facebook & Instagram places massive importance on retailers’ shipping capabilities. So much so, in fact, that if and when you launch a Facebook & Instagram ad campaign, the bidding and ad placement process will factor in your shipping capabilities. Shipping directly impacts customer satisfaction so you must be completely honest when filling out the shipping section of your Shop. For example, if you cannot live up to Rush Shipping, then do not include it as a shipping option for your Shop customers.
For all of the shipping options that you are confident you can live up to, click the Edit icon to the right of the option and fill out the information, which includes Estimated Days to Delivery, Price, Price Per Additional Items, and Cart Minimum for Free Shipping.
Pay particular attention to the Estimated Days to Delivery field. As we mentioned, you must be honest, but please be realistic, too. Do you project that it could take 20 days to ship an order? Facebook is not going to like that. You may need to reinforce your shipping department, hire who needs to be hired, and implement the best shipping operations as possible so that the “estimated days to delivery” that you’re capable of offering your customers will please Facebook as well as your shoppers. For the sake of full disclosure, 3 – 7 days for a delivery timeline is acceptable. Any shipments that take longer than that are not generally considered competitive, unless you’re using Drop Ship via a distributor or manufacturer. In that case, you need an even larger buffer. Remember, your customers would rather have a realistic estimate than a delivery promise you cannot fulfill.
The next Shipping Options field to fill out is the Price. Unlike Amazon and other eCommerce platforms that offer advanced intelligence and customized shipping cost estimations, Facebook Shop is not capable of this. Instead, you will have to plug in a fixed shipping cost that will be used to deliver all orders to any location. For example, if you plug in $10, you will collect $10 per order. If the order is 50 lbs and the destination is 3,000 miles away, you’re probably going to lose money. But if your goods tend to be light, such as 5 ounces, then shipping to a destination that’s clear across the US for $10 is reasonable.
The Price Per Additional Item should be reasonable, as well. Remember, profiting from the shipping costs you collect from your customers is a big no-no, but at the same time, you don’t want to lose money. Be careful when you calculate these figures, and be mindful that you will also need to calculate the Cart Minimum for Free Shipping. Will your customers need to purchase $50-worth of goods or $100-worth in order to receive free shipping? Do the math and try to get that figure as low as possible.
You will go through the same process and fill out the same fields for Expedited Shipping and Rush Shipping if you are able to offer those shipping options. If not, then do not select them. Once you’ve completed the Set Your Shipping Options page, click Next.
You do not need to draft a legally-binding return policy, because Facebook supplies one. However, you will need to plug in how many days a customer has to return an item. Thirty days is fairly standard for retail, so we recommend that you allow customers to return items for up to 30 days if they want a payment refund for their purchase. But the return policy time frame is really up to you. That being said, the information you supply here is extremely important and Facebook will penalize your future ads if you plug in an unreasonable time frame, such as stating that customers only have 5 days to return items. Finally, enter in the Customer Service Email address that visitors and customers can use to contact you, and click Save.
You will be redirected to the Setting Up a Test Account page where you must now fill out the 3rd and final section of your Shop—Payouts. This section is as straightforward as it gets. Simply enter in all of your banking information, business information, and tax information, and click Save.
Once you’ve completed those sections of entering your business information, setting up your inventory and shipping preferences, and setting up your bank account where purchase payments will be deposited, you can then begin to focus on your product catalog.
As we mentioned earlier, you can either link to Shopify or another partnered eCommerce online platform or enter your products manually. But the set-up manager will walk you through this.
● Click Catalog
● Click Items
Here you will have three options:
● Add Manually
● Use Bulk Upload
● Use a Pixel
The next section of this how-to article will focus on the process to Add Manually.
● Click Add Manually
You will see a form with blank fields and upload boxes where you can enter in product information, photos, descriptions, and prices. Pay particular attention to the Content ID fields. If your catalog is relatively large or if you’re pulling your catalog in through Shopify, you may need to include a Content ID per item in your Facebook Shop. In this case, the Content IDs will be your SKU codes or UPCs. That being said, entering Content IDs is optional, so you can leave these fields blank if you prefer.
A cool aspect to be mindful of is that you can create an automatic discount that your visitors will see. Let us explain. The difference between the Sale Price and the Price fields will appear to your visitors as an item’s discount. For example, if you enter an item sale price of $50 and plug in $100 for the “price” of that item, then your product page will show a $50 discount. However, if you enter a Sale Price of $50 and leave the Price field blank, then the product page will only show one sale price with no discount. Depending on the sales you’re managing, you can adjust your products’ Sales Prices versus Prices.
There are more fields within each Product page, including Variations, which pertains to various sizes and / or colors of your products. If such variations apply to your products, then be sure to fill these out so that your visitors can see all of the item options that are available.
As you can probably tell, manually filling out a Product Page for every inventory item you have within your catalog will be a time consuming process. For this reason, we don’t recommend that you enter your items manually unless you do not have a product catalog ready to import.
You can also Activate & Deactivate inventory items and set your on-hand inventory quantities.
This is the really fun part, and best of all, designing the look of your Facebook & Instagram storefronts won’t be time consuming since the Shop platform has highly limited options. That being said, by adjusting and modifying the stylistic options that are available to you, you will be able to present your unique brand to your social visitors in the right light.
On the left-hand side of your Facebook Shop screen, under Catalog, you will see an icon for Shops.
● Click Shops
You will be able to start setting up your storefront.
Once the Shops page loads, you will see your Facebook account as a visitor. Based on what you see, you can enter additional information and change the design layout and features to your liking, though there aren’t that many variables to toy with.
● Click Style
You will be able to change the design colors and theme colors of your Shop to suit your unique brand, including the color of the links and buttons that appear and the text content, font, and alignment. You can also use Tiles to spruce up the exact layout of your Shop. You can also group your items into Collections for an even more stylized layout. Take your time and play around with the options until your Shop captures and presents your brand exactly how you want!
Why do we recommend that you create your Shop on Facebook and not Instagram? We’ve lived and learned, and therefore we strongly advise that you set up your Shop within Facebook, as opposed to setting up your Shop from Instagram. Though these two platforms are conjoined thanks to Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram a number of years back, the Shop set-up process differs between the two. In our collective experience, the Facebook Shop set-up process and the functionality that subsequently results on both Facebook & Instagram is superior to that which is offered by Instagram.
Want the social media marketing experts at FTx 360 to set up and handle your Facebook & Instagram Shops? Our social media management team can have you up-and-running in no time! Contact us to learn about our rates and what FTx 360 can do for your business.