As David and I talked about during our MGR Unplugged Podcast a couple of weeks ago, one of the highlights of this year’s Shopify (Re)Unite was the launch of Facebook Shops. This is a very important new feature that I’m afraid, for some reason, has been unnoticed by many eCommerce and Shopify merchants so far, so I wanted to spend a bit more time going over the details.
The shift from traditional shopping at physical retail stores to their online counterparts has continuously evolved and grown over the past decade. Yet, with the COVID-19 crisis affecting everyone’s lifestyle over the past 3 months and the different “shelter-in-place” laws across the globe, online shopping has seen exponential growth like never before. With stores closing and no more foot traffic, the next available option is to meet your customers where they are spending their time these days. When they are at home, they are on the Internet and if your store is not online to “meet and greet” them, you have already lost before you even have a chance to play.
Social media has become the new ‘water cooler’ conversation hub, or the new gathering place for shoppers that can’t go out and shop anymore. And that’s where the new Facebook Shops comes to play. By joining forces with Facebook, Shopify is now able to bring Facebook Shops to all Shopify merchants allowing them to create a new shopping experience with a customized online storefront on Facebook and Instagram platforms.
What Exactly is the New Facebook Shops?
In a nutshell, Facebook Shops is a simpler version of your current Shopify online store that lives inside the Facebook and Instagram mobile apps. According to Shopify, “Facebook Shops make it easy for billions of users to find, browse, and buy your products in the apps they use daily to discover new experiences.”
With this new option, you can bring your products to Facebook and Instagram’s digital market with a shopping experience that feels native to each platform, on any device. Showcase your distinct brand and products by customizing the colors and layout of your Facebook Shop, and organize product collections into featured tiles to match the look and feel of your Shopify store.
One of the key features of Facebook Shops is that the shopping experience is fast and seamless, so customers can quickly discover the right product on your Facebook Shop and complete checkout on your Shopify store. And with Shopify’s integration, your products, inventory, and back office will stay in perfect sync with your Shopify store, so you can run your business in one place while selling on many sales channels.
How Can You Getting Your Store Ready for Facebook Shops
If you’re already a Shopify merchant, you’re in luck since you will be among the first to get access to this new channel, something that without a doubt, will be very beneficial during these times.
As I mentioned before, the process is designed to be very simple and seamless for Shopify merchants. In fact, if you already have access to product tags through the Instagram sales channel, Facebook Shops will automatically become available to you in the coming weeks and you will be directly notified. Facebook Shops can be created on Instagram very soon, with a version for Facebook coming shortly after that.
If you haven’t set up product tagging on Instagram yet, Facebook Shops will be available to you in the coming months. We will now more about the specific timeline in the coming weeks. However, based on Shopify’s own instructions, to prepare your store, you can install Shopify’s new Facebook channel today, which will be your new home to power all of your sales and marketing activity across the Facebook family of apps. Once you’ve synced your products through our Facebook channel, you’ll automatically get access once Facebook Shops is available for your account. If you’re an MGR Agency client, you won’t have to worry about any of these steps since we will automatically complete them for you once they become available.
Again, this is great news for all Shopify merchants, and with Facebook and Instagram daily users in the billions, it’s a marketplace that you can’t afford NOT to be part of. Every business should be an online business first to be able to meet their customers where they spend most of the time. Foot traffic has been replaced with online traffic and all sellers should stay current with where their customers choose to spend their time.
As always, if you need any assistance with your eCommerce, DTC branding and digital marketing, our MGR Team will be happy to chat with you one-on-one. Use this link to contact us and set up your free consultation.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR).