Facebook Shops: What Is It and How Brands Can Use It

Facebook Shops: What Is It and How Brands Can Use It

This year, brands are increasingly bringing shopping experiences online.

But, as businesses develop online strategies, they might find that launching a fully-fledged ecommerce website is easier said than done. While many tools make this process easier than it was in past decades, launching a successful online store still requires time, money, a web strategy, and a handful of other resources that smaller businesses might not have.

Luckily, tech giants like Facebook are actively launching tools that aim to help smaller brands convert social media followers into customers.

One of the Facebook corporation’s newest ecommerce tools is called Facebook Shops. According to Facebook, Shops enables businesses to easily create a “mobile shopping experience for their audiences.” But, what exactly does this experience look like?

In this post, I’ll walk you through what Facebook Shops is and how marketers can leverage it to boost social media-driven sales in 2020 and beyond.

Download Now: Free Facebook Advertising Checklist

According to Facebook, setting up a Shop is simple and can be done on a desktop. Once a Shop is created, Facebook or Instagram Business Page followers on desktop or mobile platforms can visit the same universal store and make purchases from the app’s they’re on.

On top of linking to business pages on Instagram and Facebook, Shops can also be integrated into a Facebook Business account’s Messenger or a WhatsApp Business account so audiences on all major Facebook platforms can make purchases.

Below is a short demo video that highlights what a Facebook Shop looks like to customers on a Facebook-owned platform and how they can use it to make purchases.

Why Facebook Launched Shops

Before 2020, brands were already looking for ways to scalably make sales online. But, the need for digital transformation grew even stronger during the COVID-19 pandemic when many brick-and-mortar stores were forced to close or move their offerings online.

According to a Facebook announcement, the 2020 landscape was a motivating factor in the launch of Shops.

“Right now many small businesses are struggling, and with stores closing, more are looking to bring their business online. Our goal is to make shopping seamless and empower anyone from a small business owner to a global brand to use our apps to connect with customers,” Facebook noted in an announcement. “That’s why we’re launching Facebook Shops and investing in features across our apps that inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.”

Now that you know what Facebook Shops is and why Facebook launched the tool, you might be interested in using it for your own business.

If so, below is a quick step-by-step guide for setting up your first Facebook Shop.

How to Use Facebook Shops

1. Make sure you’ve fulfilled all the Facebook Shops requirements.

Although creating a Facebook Shop is free for all businesses, Facebook Shops still has a few requirements. To set up a Facebook Shop for your brand, you must:

  • Have a Facebook Business Page and/or an Instagram Business account that you have Business Manager admin privileges for.
  • Have manager privileges for your brand’s Facebook catalog.

One thing to keep in mind is that while you do need to admin either an Instagram or Facebook Business Page, you can have one or the other and still create a Facebook Shop. This means that you don’t necessarily need a Facebook Business account to take advantage of this tool.

2. Go to Facebook Commerce Manager to access Facebook Shops

To start setting up your Facebook Shop, go to Facebook Commerce Manager and click the large “Get Started” CTA at the top of the page. From there, you’ll be given a few settings-related questions, such as, “Choose how you want customers to make purchases.”

 

 

At this point in the process, you can link an ecommerce website or API you’ve already set up and direct customers there to purchase your items or have them make buy items directly through Facebook, Instagram, or direct messages.

3. Add business information.

In this step of Shop creation, Facebook will ask you a few questions about your business, such as what category it belongs in, its location, and your preferred contact information. During this step, you’ll also be able to include an overall business description.

4. Add your products and shipping information.

As you continue to follow the simple prompts given by Facebook Shops, you’ll be asked to add products either one by one via a simple product listing form or in bulk with a spreadsheet list upload:

 

Image Source

After you add products, you’ll be able to add or update product descriptions, images, or other important information. You can also enter shipping information as well.

While Facebook Shops will prompt you to add products before launching your store, you can still add, remove, or edit product listings later on.

5. Add banking and tax information.

If you don’t have an ecommerce store and want to do all of your sales through Facebook or Instagram, you’ll be prompted to give information about the bank account where your purchase revenue will go.

You’ll also have to give your company’s tax information and agree to Facebook Shops policies before setting up your shop.

6. Customize your Shop.

Once all of the logistical information is filled in, you can take the fun and creative step of designing your mobile store. Facebook Shops allows you to make basic tweaks to the layout and style of your Shop. As you make edits, such as adjusting text styles or button colors, you’ll see them on a mobile preview screen to the right.

Here’s a look at the Shops customization page. As you can see, it’s simple and easy to understand, even for marketers with less design experience.

 

Image Source

7. Edit products or group them into “Collections.”

Made a mistake with one of your product descriptions or need to add a new product shot? Facebook Shops allows you to edit or remove product listings, even after your mini-store is launched.

Additionally, If you have products that were launched together or with a similar theme, such as a summer line of clothing, you can group products as “Collections” on Facebook Shops. To add a “Collection,” simply click “Layout” on the Shops customization page, then click “Add Collection” under the Featured Collections sidebar.

Once you create a Collection, you can add products to it from its Collection page or by editing the product’s listing.

8. Launch and promote your Shop.

When you feel like your Shop is ready for business, publish it. When you do so, be sure to share about it on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms to ensure you gain initial visitors.

What Brands Should Keep in Mind With Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops might be a great option for brands that want to dabble in ecommerce for the first time or expand their strategy to major social networks.

In fact, in the case study video below, a small printing brand called Ink Meets Paper shares how Shops helped them expand their ecommerce strategy while getting sales from Instagram and Facebook followers, with a small amount of effort required.

While Facebook Shops and other ecommerce platforms might be beneficial to your brand and revenue, there are still a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before launching any online store or service:

  • Promote the shopping experience: If audiences don’t know about your products or your brand, they might not find your Facebook Shop or ecommerce platform. That’s why it’s important to promote your Shop, product deals, and brand as you would with any other online store.
  • Prepare for high demand: If you have a great listing of products, people might rush to buy them. But, if your team can’t respond quickly enough to customer demand, delayed orders or other snags could cause shoppers to avoid your Facebook Shop in the future. Prepare to respond to good purchasing outcomes and high demand, as well as poor outcomes.
  • Brand consistency is still important: Although Facebook Shops exists on a social media platform, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay on-brand. If your Facebook Shop’s style, images, and layout look unprofessional or inconsistent with your website or Facebook Business page, people might distrust it or be less willing to give your Shop their payment information.

If you’re building or revamping your overall ecommerce strategy, bookmark this ultimate guide to ecommerce. If you’re interested in learning more about how brands are pivoting to ecommerce in 2020, check out this piece.

New call-to-action

How Brands Can Nurture and Develop Emotional Intelligence (and Why It Matters)

How Brands Can Nurture and Develop Emotional Intelligence (and Why It Matters)

Emotional intelligence has long been discussed as a critical component of leadership.

The ability to regulate your own emotions — as well as the emotions of others’ — has proven invaluable on an individual level.

Consider, for instance, the supreme importance of having a boss who doesn’t cry or yell every time a meeting doesn’t go her way.

Alternatively, think about how important it is to have a leader who encourages positive, effective conflict resolution between teams when misalignment or miscommunication occurs.

All of which is to say: emotional intelligence matters.

But Kristin Harper, CEO of Driven to Succeed and author of The Heart of a Leader: 52 Emotional Intelligence Insights to Advance Your Career, takes it one step further, arguing that emotional intelligence can (and should) be fostered by brands, not just individuals.

Here, let’s dive into how you can nurture and develop emotional intelligence for your brand as a whole — and why it matters in the first place.

[Note: the italic headings are the questions we asked Harper. The subsequent text is Harper’s direct quotes.]

→ Download Now: Free Brand Building Guide

1. How can brands nurture and develop emotional intelligence?

Let’s start first with the definition of emotional intelligence for individuals, which is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

EI is a combination of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

For brands, I define EI using four pillars:

  • Brand Consciousness: Defining the brand identity including its attributes, values, heritage, tone of voice, and personality in a way that resonates with your target audience and distinguishes itself from key competitors
  • Brand Management: Providing relevant, predictable brand assets and experiences that delight the target audience, address their unmet needs, and build loyalty
  • Customer Intimacy: Taking a genuine interest in the challenges, concerns, feelings, perspectives, and unmet needs of its customers and stakeholders to build an emotional connection
  • Customer Engagement: Activating marketing campaigns while engaging in thoughtful, intentional, two-way dialogues with customers

Whether people or brands, the most effective way to develop emotional intelligence is through unbiased curiosity. Spend time learning, observing, asking questions, and discussing what’s on people’s hearts and minds. Doing so in a non-judgmental way will increase empathy, emotional intelligence, and naturally lead to more relevant products, services, and advertising.

2. How can a brand learn to measure its emotional intelligence? Are there any quantitative or qualitative opportunities to measure EI in companies?

It’s not uncommon for mature brands to measure brand consciousness through equity studies.

In addition to awareness, performance attributes, brand imagery, and purchase behavior, these quantitative studies can also measure customers’ feelings and attachment towards a brand and how it changes over time.

However, in a competitive marketplace where consumers are evolving, the pace of business is accelerating, and there is more data than people know what to do with, it’s important for brand teams to complement their brain power with heart and intuition on a regular basis.

This is best done through lively, meaningful conversations with your customers or target audience. At Driven to Succeed, we offer online Community Dialogues, where we uncover deep insights around brand perceptions and opportunities for growth.

3. Which brands stand out to you as examples of ones with high emotional intelligence?

The insurance industry’s response to the economic challenges caused by COVID-19 is a prime example of brands demonstrating high emotional intelligence.

From Allstate to Nationwide and beyond, multiple insurance brands have adapted to these unprecedented times by issuing premium refunds, deferring payments, and communicating with customers with an on-time message and an empathetic tone of voice.

Image Source

4. How can emotional intelligence impact a business’ bottom line? In other words, why does it matter for brands to try to develop and demonstrate emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence leads to empathy, action, and increased market share for brands.

When a brand is in-tune with their customers, they can develop and charge a premium for innovative products and services, deliver more relevant advertising, and engage with customers in a way that is distinct and preferred versus their competitors.

Ultimately, demonstrating emotional intelligence builds loyalty, increases market share and helps to drive top and bottom-line growth.

Kristin Harper is CEO of Driven to Succeed, LLC which provides market research, brand strategy consulting, and keynote speaking on leadership and emotional intelligence. She is also author of The Heart of a Leader: 52 Emotional Intelligence Insights to Advance Your Career.


New Call-to-action

How Brands Are Increasing Business with Online Calculators

How Brands Are Increasing Business with Online Calculators

Remember when you had to buy a calculator and have it on you at all times when you were in school? It was one of the most important things you needed to have, and it was often a big deal to make sure you bought that special Texas Instruments version with all the fancy buttons and calculations for math and science classes!

For Texas Instruments, this was a dream come true, as they simply had a product that students and teachers needed to have, and there wasn’t a need for much marketing behind it. Until the mobile device came along that is…

With the introduction of the mobile device, anyone can quickly pull up a calculator or even download an app for more advanced or specific calculator tools. This has opened a whole new world of opportunity for businesses and brands to reach new audiences by offering quick and easy tools to solve complicated problems.

The smartest businesses and brands in the world today are using these methods to not only generate more value to their audience, but also to increase traffic, leads, sales and revenue in the process. It’s not just about the products or service a company is offering, it’s also about the creativity and marketing behind them as well.

With this in mind, today we are going to take a look at three different businesses and brands in three of the world’s most lucrative and sought after markets (business, health and beauty, and finance). Each has created unique calculators of their own, to not only provide value to their audience, but to also increase engagement, sales and brand loyalty in the process.

Business – Time Scheduling and Cost Savings

When running a business of any type, it’s all about minimizing costs and maximizing profits. This often comes down to how much money you are spending on employees and on-going projects, versus how much they are actually bringing in.

For most organizations, this isn’t something they often have the best numbers on. They know they need employees and they know they need to get the work done, but how effective is it really being for the ROI of the business?

To help with this process, we can take a look at this time scheduling calculator from Deputy, which specialized in time management and scheduling tools. Through the use of the tools on their site, it allows for anyone to try employee scheduling tools for personal, business and organization use.

It allows anyone visiting the site to enter the number of employees they have, their average weekly hours, how much they are paid and more. After submitting the numbers, it then spits out an immediate report on Monthly Cost Savings, Annual Cost Savings and ROI.

For the end user, the advantage to using a calculator like this is that it makes it super fast and easy to change employee numbers, hours worked and rates, to see how it could make a big financial difference for the business. And for the site offering the service to users, they aren’t just offering a quality experience, they also have a service in place to further help optimize such tracking as well.

Health and Beauty – Weight Loss and Dieting

Have you attempted to start a new diet or tried to exercise in the past few months? If so, you aren’t alone. The weight loss industry is one where people are always coming and going non-stop. However, when it does come to physical fitness and seeing weight loss results, it really does come down to the numbers you are taking in, and then putting out.

By this, of course we mean your calorie intake. The more you eat, the more you need to burn… otherwise it turns into fat.

The concept is easy enough to understand, but once you have a calculator to help understand the process, you will likely improve your eating habits and see better results across the board.

To see a perfect example of this, take a look at this weight loss calculator from Lifespan Fitness, which is a fitness website that helps individuals plan out how they would like to lose weight, exercise and meet their goals.

Unlike other sites that might have a similar calculator for figuring out BMI or calorie intake, this one is a big more advanced.

In three simple calculations, the site allows you to create the right plan for your weight loss. It starts off with a gender profile and goals, how hard you are going to exercise and work, and also your diet plan and exercise. Based on these calculations, the tool will then provide you with an estimate on how many calories you can eat per day and the amount of calorie burn and exercise needed.

The addition of the weight loss calculator to this site is just added value to visitors and customers of the brand. Lifespan Fitness offers exercise equipment through their site and this is just an extra added value for everyone to experience without the need to purchase anything.

Finance – World Currency Calculator

To think that your business and preferred currency is the only one in the world would be quite naive. Instead, there are roughly 180 different currencies in the world today and millions of businesses and individuals are likely converting their money daily.

This is often due to traveling and global business transactions, but there is still a need for quick and easy currency transactions without the need to look each one up individually and then pulling out a calculator of your own.

A real-time example of this can be seen with the Yahoo Finance currency converter tools offered on their investing, stock marketing and personal finance section of their site. It’s one of the easiest and most simple tools out there, but it provides the end user with the exact info they are looking for.

While many of the other calculators featured in this article are quite advanced, this currency one is quite simple. All you need to do is select the two currencies of your choice and then input your values. The tool will instantly convert accordingly, and if you happen to put it in backwards, you can click the flip button for an easy switch. Historical charts for currency changes are also available.

With Yahoo Finance already having a heavy focus on world investments, stocks and currencies, adding this feature to their site was just another added bonus and reason for users to keep coming back to the site.

How to Grow Your Brand and Business with a Calculator

No matter what type of business or brand you might currently have, if there are any reasons why someone might need a calculator in reference to your services, products or information, it’s a great idea to try and add one to your site. Not only is it a free service that offers extra added value to your site’s user experience, it will likely also get shared and referenced to from other authority sites as well.

Best of all, there are already plenty of pre-made widgets and scripts available for different calculators out there. This means you can get one live on your site much faster and cheaper than if you were to have one custom coded. After all, you don’t need to have the flashiest looking calculators and forms on your site, you just need to have one that works.

Take a moment to look through each of the examples above and see how a custom calculator might be able to grow your business across the board.