The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of distress to everyone in the business world. However, the worst affected by it are bootstrapped small businesses who’ve had to shut down their shops due to the imposed lockdown. Many small businesses are now considering moving online to sustain their business and earn their livelihood to avoid the economic fallout. 

If you’re a local business owner looking to move their shop online or an existing eCommerce store owner looking for better ways to sell online, not just during the pandemic, but once it subsides, then continue reading.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how local businesses can leverage Facebook Shops to get their business online for free and also dive into how small eCommerce businesses can use Facebook Shops as a channel to grow their business.

What is Facebook Shops?

Launched by Facebook in May 2019, Facebook Shops is a mobile-first shopping experience that will enable small businesses to create their online store for free and sell on Facebook and Instagram.

Before this, Facebook enabled small businesses to sell online through Facebook Page Shops a.k.a Facebook stores. In a way, Facebook Shops will replace the current Facebook Page Shop interface and provide businesses with tools to create a more seamless in-app shopping experience for their customers.

Who can sell with Facebook Shops today?

A small number of businesses who’ve been using Instagram Shopping, Facebook Stores, or both have been migrated to Facebook Shops at the moment. A global roll-out for Facebook Shops is planned in the coming months. Meanwhile, here’s what you can do: 

For Shopify merchants

Facebook has partnered with Shopify to make Facebook Shops available to Shopify merchants at the earliest. Shopify merchants who’ve been using Facebook as a sales channel before May 19, 2020, can use Facebook Shops. If you’re not one of them, you can still set up a traditional Facebook Page Shop and integrate it with Shopify. Follow the steps we’ve mentioned later in the blog to get started.

For other businesses

It’s the perfect opportunity for other businesses to set up their Facebook stores and build their online presence before they transition to Facebook Shops. We’ve covered the details on how you can set up your Facebook store and make the most out of it in the post below.

Why Small Businesses Should Sell on Facebook

Facebook Shops is set to revolutionize eCommerce for both businesses and customers. If you’re still on the fence about using Facebook to sell online, here are five reasons why we believe you should join the Facebook Shops bandwagon right away (Apart from the reason that it’s free and gives small businesses the option to sell without the hassle of running an eCommerce store). It’s a win-win situation for you and your customers!

1. More exposure for your business

As a business owner, would you not like to hang out where your target audience is spending most of their time? According to the Q1 2020 report, Facebook currently has over 2.6 billion active users, and on average, they spend an hour on the platform. Selling on Facebook gives you the advantage to market your products to this audience based on their interests without knowing about your brand. Isn’t that amazing?

If you have your eCommerce website, you can also use Facebook remarketing to win back lost customers or upsell existing customers to boost your conversion rates. In short, if you’re not selling on Facebook yet, you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to grow your business.

2. Native shopping experience


When Facebook started with Facebook Shop Page, it allowed businesses to select between two checkout methods: Message to buy and checkout on another website. While these options still work great, it doesn’t give customers native shopping experience. All that changes with the introduction of Facebook Shops.

Businesses can now enable their customers to complete their entire shopping journey from discovery to checkout (currently available only in the U.S) without leaving Facebook. This move will further empower local businesses who don’t have a website to sell their products on Facebook quickly. All they have to do is add their product catalog one by one or import their catalog in a .xml format, and it’s game on!

Even when your customers are not buying from you, they’ll bookmark your products, share it with their loved ones, or like your product posts. Each of these activities results in boosting your brand awareness, something your eCommerce website doesn’t offer you.

3. Loyalty programs

Facebook Shops Loyalty Program
Source: Facebook

Another aspect Facebook plans to bring with Shops is the addition of Loyalty programs. It’s a terrific value addition for small businesses looking to reward their customers on purchase and increase their retention rate.

While the details on this are still unclear, from what’s known, Facebook Shops will enable businesses to create, manage, and market a loyalty program to their users. The images released from Facebook demonstrate that businesses can run personalized ad campaigns to upsell their customers. Isn’t that great?

Furthermore, if your business already has a loyalty program in place, you can integrate it with Facebook Shops, making it easier for your customers to track their points and rewards.

4. Shop from chat and live streams

Facebook Live Support for Facebook Shops
Source: Facebook

Traditionally, your potential customers could only discover and buy from your Facebook store through Facebook ads or by visiting your business page. As Facebook pushes to increase product discovery on its platform, they plan to enhance Facebook Shops by allowing your customers to browse the store catalog and buy directly from the chat window.

They want to further expand product discovery by including it in live streams. It’ll allow businesses to use Facebook Shops to tag items from their product catalog on Facebook and be displayed on the bottom of live videos.

When this feature launches, small business owners can use it to build traction for their new product launches, campaigns, and much more.

5. Better support for your customers

Facebook Shops Chat Support
Source: Facebook

Customer support now plays a significant role in the overall brand experience. While big companies have the resources to set up a proactive customer support team and leverage multiple channels to streamline their support experience, it’s rather difficult for a small business to offer the same experience, mainly if they’re operating shoestring budget.

If you’re using Facebook Shops, you won’t have to worry about that anymore as it allows all businesses to handle customer support issues through WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. They are making it easier for small businesses to resolve their customer issues and serve them better proactively.

How to set up your store on Facebook

In this section, we’ll walk you through how you can easily set up a Facebook store to get your local business online or to gain more traction for your existing eCommerce store.

Please note, the steps mentioned here are for Facebook Page Shops, a.k.a Facebook store. If you’re one of the businesses with early access to Facebook Shops, you can set it up using the steps mentioned here.

Requirements to set up a store on Facebook

Before you set up your Facebook store, here’s what you need to make sure:

  • You must have a Facebook Business Page with admin access.
  • You must sell physical items. Facebook doesn’t support digital purchases at the moment.
  • You must agree to Facebook’s Merchant Terms.

How to Add the Shop tab on your Facebook page

If you don’t have the Shop tab visible on your Facebook page, follow these steps to activate it.

1. Login to your Facebook page as admin and click on the ‘Settings’ tab.Facebook page shop step 1

2. Then click on Templates and Tabs button in the sidebar.

Facebook Settings Templates and Tabs

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Add a tab’.

Facebook settings add tabs

Select the ‘Shop’ tab from the list, and you’re done! You should now see the Shops tab on your Facebook page.

Add the Shop tab on Facebook

You can also rearrange the Shop tab’s order on your Facebook page by clicking on the reorder icon in the ‘Templates and Tab’ page and drag it to the order of your choice.

Steps to configure your store on Facebook

Once the Shop tab is visible on your Facebook page, it’s time to set up your Shop section. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Agree to merchant terms and conditionsFacebook Store Accept Merchant Policy

To be able to proceed with setting up your Facebook store, you first have to accept Facebook’s Merchant Terms and Policies. We recommend you to read this in detail and then agree by clicking on the checkbox. Then move on to the next step by clicking on Continue.

Step 2: Select the checkout method and currency

Facebook will then prompt you to select the checkout method for your Facebook store. If you’re based outside the U.S., you’ll get to choose between ‘Message to buy’ and ‘Checkout on another website’ as your checkout method. Businesses based in the U.S. can accept payments directly from their Facebook store by linking their bank or Stripe account.

Once your checkout method has been set up. You will then be prompted to select the preferred currency for your store. You can choose it using the provided drop-down menu.

Facebook Store Currency Set UpThen click on ‘Save’ to move on to the next step, i.e., add products to your Facebook store.

Step 3: Add products to your Facebook store

It’s now time to add the products to your Facebook store. You can do this by going to the Shop tab and clicking on the ‘Add Product’ button.
Facebook Store Welcome Page

Once you click it, you’ll see the pop-up shown below. It allows you to add the following information for your products:

  • Photos/videos for your products
  • Name of your product
  • Product price
  • Product description
  • Checkout URL
  • Product visibility
  • Product Condition

Facebook Store Add Products Page

Fill in the details for these fields and click on ‘Add Product’. Facebook takes a couple of minutes to review your inventory; once approved, they’re listed in your store for purchase. Now all you have to do is repeat this process to add all your products to your Facebook store.

Note: To ensure Facebook approves your product listings, please comply with their inventory guidelines mentioned here.

Step 4: Manage products and orders for your Facebook store

Manage products and orders on Facebook Page Shop

To manage your Facebook store’s products and orders, just head over to the ‘Shop’ tab in publishing tools. It allows you to manage your Products, Collections, Delivered, and Pending Orders all in one place.

How to Add Collections in your Facebook store

Collections on a Facebook store allows you to feature your store merchandise and categorize it, so your customers can browse through your Facebook store without getting lost.

Here’s how you can add collections in your Facebook store:

Add Facebook Collection

Login to your Facebook page as admin > Go to Publishing Tools > Collection > Click on ‘+Add Collection. You can then name your collection and set its visibility to ‘public’ or ‘unpublished’. 

If you want to feature this collection on your Facebook store, just check ‘Feature this collection’ page. Now click the ‘+Add Products’ button and select the products you want in this collection from your inventory. Once you’re done, click on ‘Add’ and hit Save to publish your collection to your Facebook store.

Here’s an example of how a collection will look on your Facebook store:

Master Dynamic Facebook Collection
Source: Master Dynamic Facebook Shop

How to Tag Products in your Facebook store

Facebook allows you to tag the products from your store in your photos and videos. It’s a great way to enable your customers to shop directly from your posts. For example, suppose you post a picture of a model wearing the products from your inventory and tag them in the post. In that case, your customers can click those tags and start purchasing those products without having to go to your Facebook storefront.

We’ll cover both the methods Facebook gives you to tag the products in your post below.

Method 1: Tag products when creating a post

Tag products while creating a Facebook post

Upload your photo or video > click the ‘Tag Products’ button. In a photo, click the product you want to tag and type in the product’s name. In a video, you can start typing the name of the product. Once you’ve tagged the products, click ‘Publish’.

Method 2: Tag products in an existing post

Tag Products in Facebook Post

Go to your photo or video post > click the Tag Products button. In a photo, click the product you want to tag and type in the product’s name. In a video, you can start typing the name of the product. Once you’ve tagged the products click ‘Done Tagging’.

How Shopify users can set up a Facebook Shop

In this section, we’ll walk you through how Shopify merchants can set up a Facebook Shop. Please note, the steps shown below are for businesses that have access to Facebook Shops at the moment.

These steps will apply to all Shopify merchants when Facebook Shops have been globally rolled out. For now, other Shopify merchants can install the Facebook app on Shopify to integrate their Facebook store with Shopify and promote their products through Facebook Ads.

Step 1: Add Facebook as a sales channel in Shopify

Add Facebook as a Sales Channel on Shopify

Once you’re logged in to your Shopify store, click on Sales Channels in the left sidebar and add Facebook as a channel. This step installs Shopify’s official Facebook app to your Shopify store.

Step 2: Connect your Facebook accounts to ShopifyConnect Facebook accounts to Shopify

To set up your Facebook shop begin by linking your relevant Facebook account, Business Manager, and Facebook Page. You just have to click on the ‘Connect’ button in the respective tabs and it’ll guide you through the process.

Once that’s done, read and agree to Facebook’s Seller’s Terms and Policies. It may take up to 48 hours for Facebook to review and publish the store on your Facebook page. When it gets approved, click on ‘Enable’ to start selling on Facebook.

Doing this will create the Facebook shop automatically for your linked page, and you’ll also be able to run Facebook ads from within Shopify to promote your products.

Step 3: Add products to your Facebook store

Add Shopify Products to Facebook Store

Now that your Facebook store is ready, it’s time to add the products from your Shopify store to Facebook. To do that, go to the Products tab, select the products you want to add, then click on ‘More actions’ button > Make products available > select Facebook as a channel, and you’re done. Your selected products will now be available in your Facebook store for purchase.

Note: It takes about 15 minutes for Facebook to review your products and publish them to your store. You can also check your products’ publishing status by visiting the ‘Products’ tab in Shopify’s Facebook app.

Bonus Tip: Popular Shopify integrations with Facebook

Now that you’ve synced your Shopify store to Facebook, we’ll walk you through a few popular Shopify and Facebook integrations that will help you get rid of the repetitive tasks as you focus on marketing your eCommerce store.

1. Create a Facebook post for new Shopify products

Want to share the new products in your Shopify store with your audience on Facebook automatically? Let this simple integration take care of that task for you. It’ll run every time you add a new product in Shopify and create an image post on your Facebook page for your followers to see. Instantly gauge the traction for your new products and amplify social reach by asking your Facebook audience to share it.

2. Add new Facebook leads as Shopify customers

You or your marketing team should be spending time on ideating, creating, and optimizing new marketing campaigns for your business rather than being involved in the grunt work. If you’re running a Facebook Lead Ads campaign for your Shopify store, use this integration to automatically import those leads to Shopify.

You can further customize this Bot to also add that lead in your email marketing apps like HubSpot or Mailchimp to nurture them. It’s time to convert your leads into your customers!

3. Add Facebook offline conversion events for new paid orders in Shopify

If you’re running multiple campaigns online and offline for your Shopify store, how do you know if a conversion has happened because someone saw your Facebook ad or attended an event you hosted? That’s where Facebook offline conversions help you. It matches the offline event set you to upload with the people who interacted with your Facebook ad, which helps you identify which channels and audience set combination converts best for you.

Adding the Facebook offline conversion event data to Shopify manually can be quite a task, that’s where this automation can help you. Set it up and identify the right targeting and channel for your eCommerce business.

4. Add Shopify cart abandoners to a Facebook custom audience

Facebook custom audiences work great to re-engage people who’ve previously interacted with your business. You can use a custom audience list on Facebook to target a specific cohort of the audience and personalize your message according to their stage in the customer journey.

For example, you can create a custom audience list for Shopify cart abandoners and then follow-up with them through a Facebook ad to remind them. A sense of urgency or an exclusive offer works best to win back these customers.

You or your team shouldn’t be working on manually creating Facebook custom audiences list from your Shopify data. Instead, you can use that time to keep your customers engaged by creating targeted Facebook campaigns for your website visitors, loyal customers, or new customers. The choice is yours.

While Facebook Shops is currently available only for Shopify, Facebook is working with BigCommerce, WooCommerce, ChannelAdvisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to help more small businesses and provide the support they need in these dire times.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve come to the end of this post, we hope you’re better informed on how you can start selling on Facebook. Even if Facebook Shops aren’t available worldwide yet, don’t worry. You can take the first step in getting your business online for free by setting up your Facebook store. 

Work on increasing your social media presence, keep your community engaged and if you’re a Shopify merchant, use the Facebook + Shopify integrations mentioned in this post, so you can focus on activities that grow your business while we take care of your repetitive work.

Want to learn more ways to integrate Shopify with other apps? Check out our Shopify integration page.

Matias-Hernandez---Velites“We are forecasting 2X growth in revenue compared to last year because of the personalized post-shopping experience we were able to create using Automate.io.”

Matias Hernandez, CEO of Velites Sport