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Leveraging Facebook Shop for Business Growth

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19th Apr, 2018
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Leveraging Facebook Shop for Business Growth

We all know and live with Facebook in our lives. With more than 1.4 billion daily active users, this social online property is growing leaps and bounds every day and influencing our lives immeasurably. Today, it is an obvious irony to say that every business needs to have its presence on Facebook. Almost a decade back, Facebook launched its Facebook Page, the new model of marketing and advertising. The Facebook Page is one of the most popular features used by all startups, entrepreneurs, and established business organisations. In the present scenario, every business firm, whether it is small or large, must leverage Facebook Shop for its business growth.

The F-Commerce or the new Facebook Shop challenges the traditional brick and mortar shops and also other e-commerce firms, high street outlets and malls. The Facebook Shop is an alternative channel for all the e-commerce outlets, along with enabling the audience to shop at one digital destination. A phenomenal idea to augment and leverage the optimum use of a Facebook Page and offering an exclusive shopping experience for the consumers with exceptional luxury and comfort.

Facebook Shop
The latest ‘shop’ section of the business’s Facebook Page is a significant augmentation, allowing business owners to merchandise and exhibit their products directly on the page. This fresh idea of social commerce is allowing the merchants to transform the engagement into revenue, creating millions of opportunities in the fast-paced business ecosystem. Consumers today invest exponential time online to browse and learn about their needs. With the ‘shop’ as an option, merchants can convert this organic traffic into their potential customers instantly.

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Facebook is changing the game of selling. Selling on Facebook is a new way to augment the profits of the business and ensure your audience are glued to the brand forever. For instance, you have a one-person company or you’re an entrepreneur who sells fashion apparel for women and children. The ‘shop’ feature of the page not only allows the targeted and loyal audience to see the new collections and products but allows them to make an immediate purchase. Guess what? All this happens on the page with just a few clicks. The consumer doesn’t have to get out of the Facebook world to make a purchase, offering the best technological and shopping experience.

The shop section has different features depending on the geographic location of the business. The proprietor can add products and product information without any limits. This feature also enables the user to curate and customise a product inventory for the brand and offer a seamless, user-friendly exhibition of the goods and services. The user can also communicate directly with the targeted audience instantly from the page. Besides this, the clutter of a real-world store can be avoided and a better distribution pattern can be established with this virtual shopping sophistication.

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Having a shop in a virtual world has always been a hazy scenario with respect to the profit and loss incurred for the business. In order to have a clear and structured path and picture for the merchants and business owners, the ‘shop’ option can help analyse the traffic of the page, the number of people viewed the product, and purchases made on each product. The orders can be shipped, canceled or refunded right from the page. The owners must be vigilant about the Facebook content guidelines in order to make the optimum benefit of the ‘shop’ feature. Remember, this feature is slowly rolling out and it is available in only a few countries such as Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, India, Argentina, and Taiwan.

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The post-purchase services such as ratings and reviews can also be handled on the page itself. The ratings and reviews help to build trust and credibility of the brand among the potential customers. Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce are the third-party partners of Facebook to integrate Shop section on the Facebook Page. The products from these third-party pages would instantly appear on the Facebook Shop section of the page once integrated. This integration with Facebook provides almost 50% of their online sales and is evidenced to be as active as email marketing.

What started as a simple way of communicating and generating the fan following for business and brands, has turned to be an established digital purchase portal. The small and medium enterprises are making incomparable benefits with this new ‘shop’ feature as it is easy to set up with zero investment. If you already have a Facebook Page with the loyal followers, shop feature can be added with just a few clicks and information of the product. Ensure you follow all the guidelines for setting up the shop section. Once this feature is added, the user can share the products on the timeline and schedule it as per the availability of the product.
When a consumer makes a purchase online, there are always questions and apprehensions about the quality and reliability of the brand. Some of the best practices that merchants can follow are responded quickly, encourage customers to leave ratings and reviews, adding the address of a physical store (if you have one), and share the products regularly on the timeline of the page.

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Just adding an image of the product is never enough. A substantial content with necessary information about the product availability, product description, product price, and a complete context for the product. For instance, if you are having a festive sale or a yearly sale, it is better to mention it and create an urgency amongst the audience. Showcasing the products effectively is the way to reap maximum benefits of the ‘shop’ feature. The fully integrated Facebook store with the ‘shop’ feature is the modern sophisticated approach to growing the business reach, enhance the community and leverage giveaways and promotions during special occasions.

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The vast spread and outflow of the internet and technology have enabled many Indians to disrupt this digital platform and take optimum advantage. Today, starting a business has become far easier than ever. With this new feature, business owners have a lesser headache of finding the potential customers to sell their products and services. Not just in urban, but also rural India has stepped into the digital world and leading to a path of the connected world. A decade back, who would have thought that a textile merchant from rural India could sell his products to the Indians living in the western world. Could you imagine, selling the native Indian homemade medicinal products or traditional eatery delicacies to travel all over the world? The power of Facebook ‘shop’ section is immense and the future looks like the ‘Amazon of Rural India’.

The Facebook targeted e-commerce platform along with the latest addition of ‘shop’ section to the matured Facebook Page is giving a stiff competition to other market players such as Amazon, Flipkart, Olx, QuikrBazzar, Paytm, etc. If you are a merchant, you got to skin in this social business game and reach new customers and markets across the world. Every business firm needs to rethink the marketing strategy with exclusive ‘Facebook Strategies’ to be designed and deployed immediately. In order to make the best of the Facebook page options, users must participate in Facebook Groups and listen to the changing needs of the audience and strategies to target these needs. The Facebook Page owners can tap into Facebook Ads for topical and targeted advertising.

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The decisive objective of this ‘shop’ feature is not just increasing the sales and leveraging social business, but also reducing the resistance of the audience to make a purchase in the place they love to hang out at their leisure. In short, business going to customers world, then the customers coming to the business world. The F-commerce revolution has begun and it is going to stay for a while, challenging the traditional way of marketing and selling of products and services.

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Aditya Sharma

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Aditya is social media manager at UpGrad. He learnt and re-learnt writing, designing, communication, creative direction and social media management in last 5 years. He loves everything that includes words like Design, Communication, HCI, UI, UX, Creativity, Social Media, Customer delight, etc.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is e-commerce?

E-commerce, short for electronic commerce, is a digital marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to transact with each other over the internet. It can be consumer-to-business, consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, or business-to-business.

E-commerce can be conducted over smartphones, tablets, or computers. Nowadays, almost all products or services that are available in the physical world can also be found on e-commerce platforms. This includes financial services such as online banking and stock investing, plane tickets, music, books, etc.

2What is a business ecosystem?

A business ecosystem comprises of a complex network of organisations. This includes government agencies, competitors, customers, distributors, and suppliers. Together, these institutions cooperate and compete to deliver a specific product or service to the end-user.

A business ecosystem is similar to a biological ecosystem in that each entity within it is expected to complement the other entities and maintain an evolving relationship with each other.

3What is product inventory?

The quantity of tangible products, goods, and services that a business offers to its customers is known as its inventory. These goods are cataloged and itemized into an inventory management system.

The goods that are cataloged can be finished products, goods that are presently in production, or raw materials. Most e-commerce businesses deal in finished goods that are already in their possession.

The company’s assets that are ready to be sold or ready to be ordered are referred to as its inventory.

4What is a third party?

An entity with which an organization may enter into a business relationship may be referred to as a third party. This may include agents, resellers, distributors, brokers, business affiliates or partners, contract manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers.

For an organization to be considered in a third-party relationship, it need not offer business-critical services. For example, a cleaning services company that is responsible for maintaining the hygiene of the organization is also a third-party business affiliate.

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