How To Start Selling On Facebook – The Independent Retailer’s Guide
E-commerce has come a long way since the early days when you created a website to sell products and hoped that your customers would find you through keyword searches and buy from your site.
These days, consumers want to have more of a connection with the retailer they choose to buy from. It is no longer enough to simply list your goods online to get sales. People like to know and trust that there is a real-life person behind the online shop, and this is why social commerce is now coming to the forefront, with more people than ever buying from Facebook Shops and the Facebook Marketplace.
Before we start it’s important to note the following. If you’re planning to set up a business online, you’ll need to consider how to protect your website and customer data. Data theft is becoming one of the most profitable industries in the world so it makes sense to secure your online footprint.
What’s The Difference Between Facebook Shops & Facebook Marketplace?
Facebook Shops are set-up to help sellers reach their customers on both Facebook and Instagram. A Facebook Shop is a single, easy-to-access online store that enables you to sell products using the chat features on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram.
But you can also tag products for sale when holding Facebook and Instagram live streams. Clicking on the live links will take your customers directly to a product ordering page, saving them lots of time and encouraging them to buy products instantly without needing to browse for them on your online store.
This method is excellent for offering time-restricted promotions or when you have limited stock and want to sell out quickly. Live streams and tagged products can encourage FOMO (fear of missing out) and a feeling of exclusivity about your products.
Facebook Marketplace is set up more like eBay, where your customers are free to spend time browsing for the things they want and discovering new products. It can be used by individuals and businesses as a selling platform and is an ideal set-up for e-commerce businesses selling a large inventory of different goods.
Set Up Your Personal Facebook Account
Before you can access and use the Facebook Shop and Facebook Marketplace features, you must register and have a personal Facebook account. Setting up your account is easy and free and takes only a few minutes to complete.
There are a few things to note before getting started. You can only create one Facebook account per email address, and you must be at least 13 years old to create an account. You will need to use your real name and information for your account. You can use a nickname as long as it is a variation of your real name, for example, Sue instead of Susan, or Rich instead of Richard etc.
Go to the Facebook homepage and enter your personal information. You will be asked for your first and last name, email address, password to use with your account, birthday and gender.
Once complete, click on the Sign-Up button. If all of your information is correct, Facebook will email you with a verification link. Open the email and click on the verification link, and your account will be activated.
Take some time to fill out your privacy settings and profile information and upload a profile picture. Your profile picture will allow family, friends and others to recognise you, making it easier for them to accept your friend request.
Create A Facebook Business Page
Once you have set up your personal page and have been verified, you can set up a Facebook page for your business. You can only have a Facebook business page if you have a personal profile.
A business page will allow you to grow and promote your business, and they come with free business tools to help boost your reach. Start by opening your personal Facebook profile. At the top of the home page, click on Create and choose Page from the menu.
Add a name to your page (business name) and choose the category that your business page fits and best describes your page. Complete all the business information needed and then click on Continue. You can always go back to add more details and upload a profile photo once your page is set up.
Set Up Your Commerce Manager
If you already have an e-commerce shop, you can connect it to your Facebook business page, or you can build your Facebook Shop manually. Before you start setting up your Facebook Shop, ensure that your shop will only sell physical goods that comply with Facebook’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.
You will need to set up your Commerce Manager. This is where you will initially set up your Facebook Shop or connect your eCommerce platform. If you have an existing shop on Facebook or Instagram, it automatically converts to the new shop experience.
Select the Business Page that you want to add to your shop. Fill in the information under Account details, including payment methods, shipping details etc. Under ‘where people can view your shop’, select whether you’d like your shop to be based on your Instagram business profile, your Facebook Page, or both.
Add Products To Your Catalogue
You can add new products to your Facebook Shop via the ‘Add a catalogue option’. Choose your existing product catalogue if you already have a store, or create a new one if this is your first shop. Facebook will create a catalogue for you automatically, which you can see in the Commerce Manager marked as Items for (name and ID of your page).
You can spend time setting up your shop before adding products to your catalogue to sell. There is no need to have an entire inventory before completing your shop set-up. Take time to check over your shop details and supplied information and review the Merchant Agreement. Once you are happy with your store, click Create Your Shop.
You can manage your product listings using the Catalogue Manager tool in the Inventory tab in your Commerce Manager.
Market Your Products With Facebook Ads
Your Facebook retail shop will be instantly viewable by your Facebook followers. Still, you can widen your reach to countless potential customers by using Facebook retail ads to promote your shop and its products.
You can quickly select certain products or groups of products to promote via Facebook posts and ads or mix and match with a bit of organic promotion via posts, social sharing, and paid advertising.
Make Sure You’ve Got The Right Insurance
Getting insurance for a new business, regardless of whether it is a traditional brick-and-mortar store or an online shop, is a sensible move. Even though you will do your best to ensure the products you sell are good quality and reliable, accidents may still happen.
Product liability insurance is a must-have for any retail business. It will protect you should your customers or any of their personal property, is harmed by any products you sell. This means you’ll be protected compensation claims made against your business.
Even if you don’t run a brick-and-mortar retail shop, you will still need to store your inventory safely and securely.
Many online retailers use warehousing facilities to store their products, but your stock can still be susceptible to risks such as loss or damage to fire, flood and theft. If that happens, you will need stock insurance to cover your losses and enable you to replace your stock as quickly as possible.
Compare quotes with Brisco Business now, and find a policy with covers to meet your needs.
Facebook Shop and Facebook Marketplace are excellent platforms to promote and sell your products online. Whether you are a seasoned e-commerce seller or new to using social media to sell goods, there will be an option to suit your needs. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the complexities of business insurance and help you make informed decisions.
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