Facebook Shops: A complement, but not a substitute for your business website

Facebook have just announced the release of Shops, a free eCommerce platform designed for businesses across both Facebook and Instagram. Shops will utilise third-party services, such as Shopify, Woo, and BigCommerce, to turn the social network into a shopping experience for users. Online shopping is growing at a rapid rate. Consumers increasingly understand how easy it is to make a purchase from the comfort of their own home, and this rapid acceleration of a long-growing trend has no doubt inspired the debut of Shops. 

In order to remain operational, many traditional retailers are making the transition to eCommerce out of necessity. And although businesses will soon open again, online shopping isn’t going away, so putting your business in a position where it is accessible and available to buyers in the comfort of their own home will be an immediate advantage. 

While Facebook Shops will provide an easy shopping experience for the end consumer, it’s worth considering the advantages and disadvantages of Shops compared to other channels, including your own online store. So, why have an eCommerce website when platforms like Shops are available?

The reality is, people want to buy from brands they can trust

Studies show that between 70-80% of people research a company online before visiting the small business or making a purchase with them (1). Having a business website will set you apart from any competitors who operate solely on platforms such as Etsy, Amazon, Ebay, and now, Shops. Existing only on these platforms won’t help you build direct relationships with your customers.Think about your future goals for your business. Developing sales channels across multiple platforms will help you build your brand’s footprint, and can increase sales. Having your own website gives you control over your branding, design and SEO; and it supports you as a professional and reliable business. This makes it easier to secure partnerships with other online stores in the future, as large retailers do not buy from a business which is only listed on Ebay or Etsy. 

While Shops will assist in brand recognition for your audience, we recommend businesses to send their customers to their website to complete their transaction. While Facebook’s goal is to keep users inside of their platform, you need to consider what’s best for your business. Are you more likely to get repeat business from someone buying your product through Facebook, or someone who has completed a purchase through your independent, branded online store?  Shops will allow eCommerce businesses to connect with their customers through Messenger, Whatsapp, or Instagram. While this is an easy solution, it prevents your business from gaining valuable information about your customers, such as their email address, and data about all of the products they looked at on your site before they made a decision about what to purchase.

Shops has many advantages and exciting features, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket 

From what we know so far, there are some interesting features that will appear in Shops to enhance the social experience for consumers. Businesses products will appear in Facebook and Instagram stories, and can also be promoted in ads. There are also plans to browse store catalogues and purchase directly from the chat window in the future, as well as enable shopping from Live Stream videos. Facebook is also looking at integrating a loyalty program with Shops, to further enhance the consumer experience.

While these features are positive, and exciting, businesses should always sell through multiple channels.

You can read the full article here: https://gipps.tech/blog/facebook-shops-a-complement-but-not-a-substitute-for-your-business-website


- GippsTech

GippsTech is a locally-grown social enterprise that helps regional businesses get the most out of their technology. We put you and the community first, helping you grow with cutting-edge skills that have been honed via our past experience with companies like Google, ANZ Bank, CSIRO, and the very best of the startup community.

We provide web design and development, digital marketing, and reliable technology solutions that keep your business growing, predictable, and secure. Our suite of services can support any business - from complimentary advice in the early stages of a project through to bespoke commercial solutions that scale with your business growth. Our team can help your business and its challenges with reliable expertise, world-class technology skills, and no complex jargon.

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