WHERE CAN YOU LIST YOUR PRODUCTS AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER?
It was obvious before the coronavirus pandemic also, but the trend towards having an online presence for a business is getting higher every day now. Especially these days when I walk down the streets of once one of the busiest neighborhoods in Madrid, I see that 99% of the shops have been closed for more than 2 months. There are very few that were opened a few weeks ago for delivery instead of in-restaurant service or there are some local stores that created their websites as quickly as possible to lose less money during these difficult quarantine times. Unfortunately, with all the fixed costs continuing but no cash flow is being created, most of them could not afford and invest in a website for their business. If you are an entrepreneur or a business wo/man, you must have heard “find problems to solve in order to pick a niche” saying a hundred times. I remembered this sentence one more time when I read that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Shops, making it easier for businesses to list products for sale and have e-commerce opportunities. Now let’s think about it together; first in first, according to the data of Statista, as of 2019 there were more than 2,5 million sellers that sold goods through the Etsy platform. Etsy is a platform mostly for people that create artisanal products that do not have time or knowledge to deal with too much technology. As one can make a handmade product and show it off without having to deal with a domain, hosting services or trying to drive traffic to the website, it was gold in the last years. So as Amazon that had its own search engine inside which is another sales source for potential sellers. At this point, please also keep in mind that sellers always keep an eye on multiple platforms to have more freedom and there are many stories of “my shop at Etsy/Amazon is blocked due to X reason, now I do not know how to fix this with them”. One day they wake up and their small business for which they have invested months or years stops all of a sudden. Usually due to a misusage or not obeying the rules of these said platforms, but for a small business owner does it really matter why they cannot work in a platform from day one to the other? It is a huge struggle. That is where Facebook shops will step in…
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Why Facebook Shops will be good for Small Business Owners?
1. Communities are ReadyMost of the small businesses have already communities set on social platforms of Facebook and Instagram. Maybe they need to grow these communities larger, but this is another topic for discussion. So isn’t it perfect to have an online store that your community has already access to?
2. Customer Service is Easy PeasyWhile you are shopping online in Facebook Shops and you need help, the business will be able to reach you through Whatsapp, Messenger or Instagram Direct for support. This will help to increase conversions and sales.
3. Live Product TaggingAnother great future that will be added is that users will be able to tag their products from their Facebook Shop before going live. When they go live till the end of their live stream, the product will be shown at the bottom of the video for their audience. Tests for this have already started. This is also great for all the Instagram influencers for sure.
4. The Bone of Marketing; Loyalty Programs will be Easier to Create & TrackReward creation for your clients and their tracking of the reward points will be easy with Facebook Shops
5. Integration with Other PlatformsOf course no one asks you to use Facebook Shops and deal with it separate from your current channel to sell online. If you have a WooCommerce, Feedonomics, BigCommerce or similar, Facebook will have partnerships with such organizations.
6. You Already Run Ads on Facebook & InstagramProbably you already run some social ads for your business through Facebook or Instagram. Maybe it is time to think about closing your physical store? Considering your physical store’s rental cost, Facebook and Instagram ads cost should not be a big deal to pay as long as they provide you enough leads or customers. Plus you never know when there will be another state of emergency and you will be paying for a physical store you cannot even keep open.
7. You can Checkout and Pay without leaving FacebookAlthough currently, it is valid only in the US, there is onsite checkout and Facebook Pay available for your Facebook Shop. Maybe by the time you read my article, you will be able to use this feature in your country too.
8. Magic Word; FREEThis is one of the biggest advantages of using Facebook Shops, businesses will be able to list their products for free.
9. Just a Few ClicksDo you remember once Nokia had the most user-friendly, do all with one button kind of mobile phones at the beginning of the 2000’s? Facebook Shop reminds me of these phones. Everyone will be able to create a store with a few clicks, you will not really need to have very special skills to do so.
10. It is a Win-WinFacebook loves engagement. The start of Facebook Shops means more actively engaged users and businesses on Facebook and of course more advertisers. Zuckerberg believes that eventually they will make money with the advertisement from small businesses that will use Facebook shops. Can you already imagine how many businesses will be competing and raising the bids? Personally I have already been using some part of this feature in my e-commerce projects. However, for now I have not used the checkout system of Facebook. I was directing Facebook shop viewers to the company’s website to keep it more simple. Soon I plan to give it a shot and see how it goes. Usually it is more efficient to keep your potential client on the same platform that he/she met with your product without sending them somewhere else. I know that we will also not be surprised when the day comes at which we can pay for our shopping through Whatsapp, as this is the plan. My only advice to small businesses would be “Never put all your eggs in one basket”. Use Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, WordPress, Woocommerce, a developer built website, Facebook Shop, Whatsapp Direct Messages, ArtFire, Zazzle, etc. but never get tied to only one option and secure your business.
See you in another post soon!
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