By Vikas Agrawal
Facebook is one of the cornerstones of successful social media marketing. It also evolved to be an excellent platform for online selling.
Traditionally, online entrepreneurs start by piggybacking existing marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. Others take the more daring route and build their own e-commerce site from scratch.
With platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento, getting an online store up and running can be done in no time. However, you’ll need to piece together different components of your marketing strategy. This includes paid advertising, search engine optimization, and influencer marketing.
Each of these marketing channels can be too costly for new e-commerce startups. But if you build your online store on Facebook, you can access cheaper marketing strategies that are also cost-effective and scalable.
Below are six quick and easy steps on building a Facebook store:
1. Create a Shop Section
Assuming you already have a Facebook business page, the next step is to create a shop section. You can start by clicking Shop from your page’s main menu:
Make sure you read Facebook’s Merchant Terms and Policies before continuing. You will then be asked to choose how purchases are processed.
If you have an existing store from a separate website, select Check Out on Another Website. Otherwise, pick Message to Buy. Lastly, pick your store’s currency to begin adding products. Don’t forget to write a brief description of your online store by clicking “+ Describe what … sells” in your shop section.
2. Add Your Products
Next, click the Add Products button at the center of the page and fill in the necessary details. Remember to include as much information about your products as possible. A rule of thumb is to use high-resolution product images (1024 x 1024 or higher) with white backdrops.
There will be a brief processing time before new products are presented to users. This usually takes a few minutes.
3. Set Up Your Payment Methods
Facebook allows you to specify methods for receiving payments as well as paying for services such as Facebook ads. First, go to Settings.
Go to Payments from the main menu and then select the Account Settings tab. Click Add Payment Method.
Fill in your credit card or debit card details and click Save.
4. Start Sharing
One of the advantages of selling through Facebook is that you can get free exposure if you are diligent in sharing your products. If you have a decent number of friends in your personal account, then the first thing you should try is to share your product to your own timeline. You can also join Facebook groups with people who could be interested in your brand.
All the options for sharing can be found by clicking the Share Products button from your Facebook shop.
Looking for Facebook groups you can join is straightforward. Just type a keyword into the main search bar and select the Groups tab.
5. Offer Customer Service
As your Facebook store flourishes, you’ll need to get used to handling complaints and direct enquiries from the audience. This can be done through the built-in Messenger app.
To make sure your audience are engaged as soon as they send a message, you can set up an “auto reply”. Doing so will help you retain a positive responsiveness rating. To do this, go to Settings from your business page and select the Messaging tab.
Scroll down to the Response Assistant and enable any of the auto response options. Just click on the Change button to personalize your message.
Take note that customer service on social media is constantly evolving. You need to be extra creative if you want to deliver memorable experiences and stand out from the rest of the competition. For example, you can use Oculus Rooms and Parties – owned by Facebook – to provide customer support or product demonstrations in virtual space.
6. Start with Your “Shop Now” Button
Finally, you can capitalize Facebook’s “Shop Now” button that’s visible to mobile and desktop users. This will lead users straight to your page’s shop section. You can also advertise this button by clicking Get Sales from the dropdown menu.
Take note that launching an ad campaign on Facebook takes money, so be sure to set up your payment method first. You can refer to this post from Buffer to learn more on launching Facebook ad campaigns.
Vikas Agrawal is a start-up Investor & co-founder of the Infographic design agency Infobrandz that offers creative and premium visual content solutions to medium to large companies. Content created by Infobrandz are loved, shared & can be found all over the internet on high authority platforms like HuffingtonPost, Businessinsider, Forbes , Tech.co & EliteDaily.