Did you know that your companies social media accounts could be used for more than just a way of brand awareness? Facebook and Instagram, specifically, have developed new shopping features over the past few years that will take your e-commerce sales to the next level. If you haven’t noticed, online shopping has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years and has been paving the way consumers shop. The evolution of online shopping has gone from surfing the web on desktops to purchasing on the go through our smartphones, to being able to purchase directly on our social media platforms without being redirected to a website. Yes, you heard me right, we can purchase directly from our social media platforms, specifically Facebook and Instagram.
What better way to keep your brand in the public eye than bringing your products onto the social platforms that your customers are using? Not only will this make it easier for your customers to purchase products from you, but it will open up the possibilities for future digital advertising strategies and marketing efforts.
So you are probably wondering...how do I get my products on these social media platforms and how exactly will it increase my e-commerce sales? Well let’s start with Facebook’s feature:
Assuming your business already has a Facebook page and followers then here is how you can best utilize Facebook by adding a shop section to your company page. The shop section feature allows you to create a shop page within your company's Facebook page as a tab on your sidebar. You will be able to add your products and collections (organized groups of similar products) to this section. Not only can you add your products, but you can also dictate whether you want certain products or collections to be featured on your main page at the top of your Facebook page.
This allows your customers on your Facebook page, who are seeing and engaging with your content, to have easy access to browse through your current products without ever leaving that social platform. It also helps ensure a smooth buying experience since Facebook is designed for all digital dimensions. So whether they are on a desktop, tablet, or phone, the facebook shop interface will appear clean, and easy to use. This could be a great temporary solution if your current e-commerce site isn’t currently modified to be mobile-friendly. A multitude of e-commerce sites lose out on mobile sales due to bad user experience on mobile devices. This is where having your products also on a shop section of your Facebook page could make up for any potential missed sales opportunities on your current website.
As stated above, Facebook doesn’t just allow you to add your products onto your Facebook, but it also allows you to curate and group certain products together into a “collection”. Collections are a great way to showcase your products on your Facebook page, but it also allows you to have an added resource to advertise when using Facebook ads. The collection format includes an Instant Experience that makes it easier for people to discover, browse and purchase products from their phones in a visual and immersive way. Your ad in the Feed will feature 4 products under a hero image or video that opens into a full-screen Instant Experience when someone interacts with your ad.
Able to pair video or imagery with relevant products to engage people and drive product discovery.
- Deliver a seamless browsing experience on mobile
- Get interested customers to continue to purchase on your website or app.
Another shopping feature that both Facebook and Instagram have is product tags. This feature is a game-changer. Now you can subtly promote the products that you have in your “Facebook Shop” by posting a tag on your photos or videos. When people see your products tagged in your posts, they can click those tags to shop for your products. Now, instead of having to go straight to your Facebook page and click on the shop tab, that whole step is eliminated, making it one step closer and easier for the client to purchase your products. Now all they have to do is click on the tag of the product and they will be redirected to the product page of your website to continue the purchase. This allows you to advertise your products with just your posts instead of having to run ads.
Instagram “Checkout” Feature
This feature is still very new. The beta version is currently being tested out by big brands like Adidas, H&M, Dior, and so many more. This feature allows you to buy the products that you discover without leaving the app. Unlike the product tags that would direct you to the actual website product page, this “checkout” feature allows you to have a checkout page directly on your Instagram app. This is how it works: when you tap on a brand’s shopping post, you’ll see a “Checkout on Instagram” button on the product page. Tap it to select various options such as color or size, then you’ll proceed to a payment portal without leaving the app. You’ll only need to enter your name, email, billing information, and shipping address at the time you check out. Once your first order is complete, your information will be securely saved for the next time you shop. Not only that, but you will receive notification about shipment and delivery right inside Instagram. No more having to open a new internet browser to check your tracking on an order when it is built into the app itself. This feature is still not released to the general public, but Instagram says “public figures, creators, athletes, publishers, and artists” will gain access to the feature, which will let them tag articles of clothing and let followers buy those items immediately within the app.
Conclusion: Increase sales by utilizing these shopping features
There are around 2.1 billion users on Facebook alone in 2019. With this huge of an audience, it is imperative for brands to be thinking of their social media platforms as more than just a place for discovery and engagement, but also a place to really drive sale conversions in the online shopping space.