Zuckerberg has done it again! Facebook announced a new platform (within the existing platform) of Facebook Shops, which are designed to empower small businesses to engage in e-commerce sales directly on Facebook’s website and apps.
Both Facebook and Instagram have been rolling out e-commerce features slowly over the past few years, such as Marketplace and Instagram Checkout. Facebook Shops appear to be taking this to the next level.
Competition for Amazon?
Third-party e-commerce stores have been gradually losing market share to Amazon. One of the main reasons for this, is Amazon’s ease of use. Amazon saves your shipping data, your credit card, and delivers promptly.
One of the main things missing from e-commerce stores (like those using Shopify) is that there is not a good universal login platform for these stores. So each time you want to purchase something, you have to create an account and enter all your data, which is very inconvenient on mobile, especially!
Setting up your Facebook Shop
Creating a Facebook Shop is a no-brainer! While Facebook wins by gaining market share and customer data, your business wins by making checkout easier and giving you a few marketing tools to enhance your online sales.
Facebook Shops are managed within Facebook Commerce Manager. You’ll need to complete a few steps to be started, like linking your business manager, setting shipping preferences, and configuring payout information.
Facebook Commerce Manager Features
Facebook Commerce Manager is the hub where you manage your Facebook Shop. Here are some of the features you’ll find:
- Setting up item listings for purchase on Facebook
- Uploading inventory
- Purchase protection for your buyers
- Customer insights and analytics
- Platform recommendations for improving your Facebook Shop
- Access control for team members to view live data and make changes
- Viewing past and current orders
- Seeing current balance and payment history
- Tax settings and financial reports
- Facebook Support options
To use commerce manager, Facebook lays out the following requirements during setup:
- A Federal Tax Identification Number that matches your legal name
- A State Tax Registration Number for every state where you do business
- Your bank account info to get your payouts (currently US only)
- Your physical business address and email address
- The category that best describes your business, your business type and name
- A business representative name, SSN and DOB
- Your shipping options, return policy and customer service email
What businesses can’t use Facebook Shops?
Facebook has a lot of rules. Among its Commerce Policies, there are several big industries that won’t be able to use Facebook Shops.
- Ingestible Supplements
- Medical and Healthcare Products
- Subscriptions and Digital Products
- Ticket sales
Unfortunately, this leaves many companies out of the Facebook Shop endeavor. Facebook Shops, based on their marketing materials, seems to be targeting clothing and accessories as its primary industry.
Facebook: The Ultimate Middle Man?
Facebook is positioning itself among e-commerce platforms like Shopify, payment options like Square, and merchandising operations like Amazon. To be honest, this is a pretty good play for Facebook. They’ll be able to skim off advertising dollars, and payment fees, all while increasing their database of customer behavior.
Deutsche Bank is predicting this will add $30 billion in annual revenue for Facebook. This is huge. If you’re selling products online, then you’ll definitely want a piece of this e-commerce pie.
Facebook Shops – Agency Management Services
If you run a business that is looking to use Facebook Shops, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are looking to add this service to our current offerings. Because it’s a new service, we’ll be able to offer competitive management rates. We look forward to working with you.