The Business Owner’s Guide To Selling On Facebook
With more than 1.6 billion daily users, Facebook can seem like a ripe opportunity for doing business. The question is, will Facebook be a good platform for your small business? Whether you’re planning to start your first online store, you’re ready to expand your eCommerce business, or you just want to make it easy for friends and family to purchase directly from you, Facebook offers options for merchants of all kinds.
If you’re ready to tap into Facebook’s sales potential, this article will show you how.
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How To Sell On Facebook
There are three main eCommerce channels on Facebook:
- Facebook Shops
- Direct sales from your page
We’ll cover each of them, so you can decide which is right for your business. You may be thinking of one more way Facebook allows sales: Facebook Marketplace. Because the Marketplace operates essentially as a spot for online classified ads, rather than ongoing eCommerce, it won’t be included in this guide to selling on Facebook.
How Much Does It Cost To Sell On Facebook?
You have choices when it comes to selling on Facebook, and the price you will pay depends on which option you choose and which payment methods you accept for orders. We’ll go deeper into the costs associated with each method, below. But here’s an overview:
- Free to add to your Facebook account
- No listing fees
- 5% transaction fee or a flat fee of $0.40 per transaction of $8 or less
- Fees include taxes and payment processing
- Payout occurs in 8-10 business days
- No cost to add Facebook through your Shopify admin
- Can add Buy Button using $9/month Shopify plan, instead of paying for a full store
- Shopify transaction fees of 2.9% plus $0.30 apply
- List products on your personal or business Facebook page
- Manage inventory, delivery on your own
- Choose your payment method based on fees charged. You can choose Facebook Pay, with no fees, or accept payments via Facebook Messenger from friends and family who enter a bank-issued debit card or PayPal account. You also can take orders on your page and arrange for payment via cash, check, or a free service like Venmo or Zelle.
Now that you have an overview of the options and their prices, let’s dive deeper into each method of selling on Facebook.
How To Use Facebook Shops
In May 2020, Facebook launched its Shop feature that allows eCommerce operations on both Facebook and Instagram. It’s easy to set up a Shop through a business page, especially if you’re already used to navigating your way around the social media site. If you have only a personal page right now, you’ll want to set up a business page, which is free to add.
What Is A Facebook Shop?
Adding a Facebook Shop is as simple as adding a “buy now” option to a business page. It’s a seamless way to add eCommerce to an existing social media account or to easily transfer online friends and family to your eCommerce site.
A Facebook Shop is a great way to enter the eCommerce market or to bolster existing sales. According to Statista, buying via social media is on the rise, with more than a quarter of U.S. consumers aged 25 to 44 regularly using “Shop Now” buttons on Facebook to make purchases. Those numbers dropped slightly among consumers aged 18-24 and 45-54, to 18% and 15%, respectively, with that number falling to 11% among those 55 and up. Still, if your target audience is between 18 and 54, a solid percentage of them already are using Facebook to buy. A Facebook Shop gives you a vehicle for reaching them.
How To Set Up A Facebook Shop
When you’re ready to set up your Facebook Shop, open your business page — if you already have one. If you don’t, it’s easy to create one from your personal Facebook page. Just click on the Create button located near the top right of your personal page.
From there, select the type of page you want to create. Most likely, you’ll choose the Business option.
Next, you’ll have the opportunity to upload a profile picture and cover photo for your page. Don’t worry if you don’t have those picked out already because you can add them later. Once you have created your business page, look for the blue box that reads +Add a Button. It’s underneath your cover photo, on the right side of the screen. When you click that button, you’ll see a range of options, including on that says “Shop with you.” Click the option that reads “Show Now.”
When you do that, you’ll have a choice to make: You could direct customers to an external website to do their shopping, or you can set up your own Facebook Shop right there.
Let’s assume you’ll use the Facebook Shop option. Here are the steps you’ll take.
Set Up Your Shop
Under your business page’s cover photo and title, you’ll see a row of options, including Home, Services, Reviews, and then Shop. Click on Shop to access Facebook’s Commerce Manager. After you access Facebook’s Commerce Manager, you’ll be able to choose how you want customers to complete purchases from your Facebook store page. For this demonstration, we will be choosing Checkout on Facebook or Instagram. Click that option, then press the Get Started button.
Create Your Product Catalog
What products do you want to add to your Facebook Shop? You can access Facebook Shops’ Catalog Manager and create a catalog of products from this tab. Just click, the blue button that reads Add Products and follow the prompts from there to add items manually, use a bulk upload, or use a pixel, depending on how many products you have to add and how quickly you want to add them.
Use the admin to add images, listing titles and descriptions, SKUs or other identifiers, and link to an external web page where users can find more information about the products, if they want to. You’ll also want to list a price for each item.
Gather Your Information and Records
Before you can go any further in setting up your store, you’ll need a few pieces of information:
- A U.S.-based bank account and routing number
- Tax and payment information
- Preferences and policies for your shop
- Your business name
Set Basic Business Policies
You’ll need to decide on a few policies before you can open your Facebook Shop for business. What shipping methods do you want to offer, and how much will you charge? Will you set a threshold for free shipping? Keep in mind that you’ll be expected to ship products within three days of orders.
You’ll also need to set return policies. Facebook requires a minimum return window of 30 days from delivery. Don’t worry too much at this point: You can always come back and make changes later. You will also need to enter an email where customers can reach you with service needs.
Once you have products entered, you’re ready to start selling. If you chose to use the Checkout option for payment, Facebook will take care of most of the finances for you — including taking payments and calculating sales tax automatically — based on where items ship from and to. You can keep track of payments due to you through the Payouts tab on the admin, under Orders, and you can expect Checkout payments to show up in your bank account three to five days after the payout date.
Keep exploring the admin page to learn how to view sales analytics, print shipping labels, and more. Facebook will offer some helpful advice about how to place ads to draw attention to your business page. If your budget allows, that can be a good strategy for drawing traffic.
How To Use A Shopify Facebook Store
The familiar Facebook platform may feel very comfortable, and you may already have a huge Facebook following that’s ready to purchase from you. Those are two huge benefits to selling on Facebook, but it’s important to note that Facebook is at heart a social media platform, and while it’s definitely possible to sell there, you may find some aspects lacking.
Most notably, Facebook Shops do not incorporate inventory tracking. So if you’re selling from a large or complicated catalog, you may find you’re looking for more help than is available on Facebook. Never fear, there’s a solution. You can jump into Facebook selling simply by adding the Facebook sales channel to your Shopify store. If you don’t already have a Shopify store, it’s easy to set one up. And once you link your Shopify store to Facebook for sales, you’ll find that Shopify features like analytics, customer rolls, and your products all are available to use on Facebook and Instagram.
Shopify lets you create one integrated product catalog for Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Shop. Simply add the Facebook Sales Channel app to your Shopify store, and you can start selling on Facebook right away.
Linking your Shopify store to your Facebook account makes sense when you have an established Shopify store and you’re interested in growing your sales. It’s also a smart way to build a strong eCommerce store when you’re starting from scratch. After all, why not tap into your Facebook following for additional sales, when Shopify makes it so easy? You’ll also find that Shopify can support you in spreading out to other social media channels, such as Etsy, Amazon, or eBay.
How To Sell On Facebook With PayPal Or Facebook Pay
So, you’ve read about Facebook Shops and Shopify’s Facebook Integration, but maybe neither option sounds quite like what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re someone who is looking for a more low-key entree into eCommerce, anticipating lower sales volume and less traffic. Is there still a home for your store on Facebook? Absolutely!
While some sellers will want a full-on Facebook store, others may find eCommerce success by simply posting about what you have to offer on your personal or business Facebook page. For example, you could post an image of the items you have available, and invite your followers to add a comment if they are interested in purchasing something from you. In that case, you might arrange payment electronically, via a Facebook Pay, Venmo, or PayPal request before you ship items — or even arrange to meet in person to exchange payment for the items. You can even arrange payment via Facebook Messenger if both you and your customer have added a debit card to your accounts.
That’s a good approach for vendors anticipating low sales volume and/or highly customized items, especially if you have a large Facebook following. Keeping it simple makes sense for some sellers. You’ll still find a large and receptive audience on Facebook, you can change your approach whenever you’re ready to expand your sales, and you won’t unnecessarily (or expensively) complicate your sales process any more than you need to, for now.
Tips For Selling On Facebook
Facebook represents an enormous potential customer pool. And you may already be using the social media site to connect with many of those potential buyers. So it makes perfect sense to make it official and start using Facebook for your eCommerce efforts. We’ve described three ways of doing that. No matter which method you choose, you will want to use some similar tactics in your sales process.
Build A Loyal Customer Base
You’ll find that Facebook sales come easily when you have a receptive audience. So keep them engaged by posting frequently. That doesn’t necessarily mean multiple times a day, but it also doesn’t mean you should post only when you have something to sell. Post engaging content frequently, and you’ll build a community that’s receptive to your sales offers.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
Make it as easy as you can for customers to purchase from you. That means letting them pay for items in whatever way is most convenient for them. Fortunately, when you’re selling on Facebook that’s easy to do. From Facebook’s Checkout and Messenger payments to PayPal, Stripe, Venmo, and cash or check, you can offer a few options and find out your customers’ preferences.
The best part about selling on Facebook? It’s free! You won’t pay anything to list items for sale, and you don’t have to worry about limitations on how many images you can post. So be sure to include high-quality visuals of everything you list for sale. Show items from multiple angles, show them being used, show optional customization, and different choices like color or style.
Make Special Offers
No matter how successful you are at using Facebook for eCommerce, it is, at its core, a social media site. So you should work to create connections between your followers. One way to do that is by treating them as special. Make Facebook-only offers, like free shipping or free customization on items. Encourage them to share your special offers with their own followers too, and you will build your online community — and your sales.
If you’re selling on platforms other than Facebook, or if you do in-person sales as well, let your followers know about those other venues. If you’re a small vendor who makes appearances at local marketplaces, for example, post the dates and times when you will be offering in-person sales. Let your Facebook followers know how to find you live, and offer them something special, like a sample or a discount, if they visit you in person. Post links to your Facebook account on your website and on other social media sites. Meet your customers wherever they happen to be, make it easy to buy from you, and you’ll draw in more sales.
Build Traffic Through Shares
You can pay for an advertising campaign on Facebook, and that may be an effective use of your marketing dollars. If your budget’s a bit thin, or if you just want to try your luck with a free tactic, post content that your followers are likely to share. What type of content is most likely to be shared? According to Statista, native video generates the most likes, comments and shares on Facebook, followed closely by native photos. So, upload a video of your product in use, or of you creating your product, if you’re an artisan. That’s the best way to engage your followers and encourage them to share — which builds awareness and draws others to your site.
Using Facebook For Your Business
Facebook is the biggest social network platform in the world with billions of users. How many of them would be interested in buying from you if they knew your product and how to reach you? With its vast reach, combined with its low cost of entry, Facebook can be a tempting venue for eCommerce businesses of all sizes and types.
A Facebook store is easy to set up, and if you’re using a shopping cart platform already, adding a Facebook channel might be even easier. What’s stopping you from giving it a try? You have very little to lose and nothing but sales to gain.