Are You Ready to Create a Storefront on Facebook?
Although Facebook storefronts are not entirely new, Facebook is currently working on improving and enhancing the shopping experience for users on its platform.
According to a recent article on SocialTimes,
Facebook is testing mini e-commerce shops on select pages, with many featuring buy buttons that enable transactions to be completed without leaving those pages.
By taking this giant leap into the always evolving e-commerce world, Facebook may soon begin looking like a virtual shopping mall as well as a social network.
This is exciting news for online shoppers and for business owners who are already using their Facebook Pages for growing their online presence. It seems like a bold move for Facebook, but also seems like a potential win-win situation as well.
Are you wondering whether your brand should build a storefront on Facebook?
First, here are a few questions you may wish to consider before opening a Facebook storefront:
- Are your brand’s products a good fit for e-commerce?
- How will you promote your storefront on Facebook? (Even though you plan on selling items, people still primarily use Facebook as a social network. Finding a good balance between social and selling will be key for a successful store).
- Will you have enough original content (photo galleries of products, videos of products in use, and testimonials, for example) that entices online shoppers?
Source: OPEN Forum
Now, if you’re ready to create a storefront on Facebook, here are tips to help you get started…
1) Take time to do some research and find the right app for you. There are currently several third party apps that are available to help you build and manage your Facebook storefront.
Doing your own “shopping around” will help you more easily choose the right app that best fits your business’ storefront needs.
Here are some of the e-commerce apps you may be interested in:
1. Ecwid is the #1 e-commerce app on Facebook with over 40,000 stores. On average, merchants with synchronized stores receive 15% of their sales from Facebook.
The Ecwid app resides on your Facebook page so your customers can shop and pay without leaving Facebook.
You can also learn more about Ecwid by visiting their website: http://www.ecwid.com
2. Gary Victory gives all Shopify apps in general a glowing review in his article for Crazy Egg, “Integrate Your Website & Facebook with These 7 eCommerce Apps” by saying the following:
Although not a Facebook store in the traditional sense, as many of the other Facebook e-commerce apps profiled here, Shopify stands out for its user-friendliness and integration abilities, of which Facebook is a part.
As it turns out though, Shopify’s Facebook Store app for business Pages offers all the features you need to successfully and easily create a storefront on Facebook.
All you have to do is decide what products you want to sell through Facebook, and they’ll show up for all your fans to view, share and securely purchase. And your fans/shoppers can easily do all of this without ever having to leave Facebook.
3. Another popular app for those who are interested in easily creating and managing Facebook shops is Storefront Social.
Among its other benefits, Storefront Social extends the reach of your Facebook shop to your other social media platforms:
Products are available on Social Media and can be shared through Facebook, Twitter and even Google Plus. Create a branded storefront that connects directly to your ecommerce site so you don’t have to manage two customer portals, deal with faulty security from conducting transactions through a social network, and promote traffic to your true converting site — your online store! Save $$$ by not spending so much on advertising on Facebook and spend more time ENGAGING your fans to talk about you and your brand!
2) Personalize your storefront
Most of the apps that allow users to create a storefront on Facebook also provide them with the opportunity to personalize them.
Take advantage of this feature to personalize your storefront in ways that match your brand, personality, and products. Choose a design that helps make your brand stand out from your competition. Be as creative as you desire while making your storefront attractive to your potential and current customers.
3) And finally – always remember that Facebook is a “social” network. Focus first on building and engaging with your community.
Give your virtual customers the same treatment as you would if you ran a brick-and-mortar shop. Good customer service is just as important online as off.
Keep your Page active by posting regularly and consistently. Engage with fans by replying to their questions and/or asking them questions. Keep conversations going as much as possible – this goes a long way towards building a loyal fan base of followers who will hopefully become interested in your Facebook store as well.
Over to you
What are your thoughts about Facebook evolving into a virtual shopping mall? Do you think current e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Google should start feeling threatened? Are you, or have you already, created a storefront on Facebook for your business?
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to leave comments below.
Image attribution: http://www.123rf.com/profile_neyro2008 (Stock Image)
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