Social Commerce For Brands: Facebook Shops

July 28, 2020

Facebook recently launched its own ecommerce platform, called Facebook Shops. Its aim is to help small businesses to build and grow their shops on the social network. While there are many benefits to using Facebook Shops, brands that are typically reliant on third party retailers have found themselves unable to make the most of this platform so far. This is due to the complexity of aggregating and presenting real-time purchase information from multiple sources.

There are some challenges for brands looking to utilise Facebook Shops, however Dotter can help to overcome these. This piece will outline the reasons to use social commerce, as well as the pros and cons of Facebook Shops, before looking into the ways in which brands can still benefit from social commerce.

What is social commerce?

Social commerce enables users to make a purchase from a third-party business, while staying on the social media platform that they are engaging on. This creates the opportunity to present consumers with relevant information and allow them to buy quickly and easily, without even needing to leave the platform they are on.

The importance of social commerce

There’s no denying the importance of social commerce, with 87% of people saying that social media helps them decide what to buy. It has the ability to shorten the consumer journey from discovery to purchase and means that people can make a purchase on a platform that they are confident using.

The benefits of Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops is free to use, creating an additional channel for those who don’t currently utilise social commerce. Facebook has an enormous reach, with more than 1.47 billion active users every day and 89% of U.S. social referral traffic to ecommerce sites originating from Facebook. 

Businesses can add products individually, or import them through an .xml file, straight from an ecommerce site. What this means is that those with existing ecommerce sites are able to carry this across, customising the look of their Facebook Shop (to an extent).

Facebook Shops is particularly suitable for SME retailers or those with a brick-and-mortar presence, as these businesses typically use social media to keep in touch with customers. In turn, this creates a cost-effective method of growing online sales for new and existing customers, without the need to invest in a large ecommerce presence.

The challenges of Facebook Shops

While there are many benefits of Facebook Shops, unfortunately, these do not all translate to brands. This platform is best suited to SMEs and retailers, but not necessarily to brands that don’t have existing shopfronts online. For brands that are reliant on third-party retailers, or who do not have the required infrastructure and ecommerce system in place, this can present challenges.

In addition to this, Facebook Shops enable businesses to customise their social shopfronts, however this can be somewhat limited. Because of this, brands may not be able to present as much information as they would like to, or they may be limited to available templates if they stick to the Facebook Shops offering. For now at least, Facebook Shops don’t cater for those brands who rely on third party retailers to sell/fulfill customer orders 

As a result of these limitations, brands may be unable to effectively communicate their chosen messaging on Facebook Shops, as well as being unable to fulfil orders using this platform.

The solution for brands

There are ways for brands to leverage social commerce in the meantime, even if Facebook doesn’t currently have a suitable solution.

Dotter is able to integrate digital shopfronts into brands’ social media channels, aggregating purchase options from multiple retailers, and supporting purchase influencing content from an even wider variety of sources, meaning that brands that don’t sell directly to consumers can still benefit from social commerce. Campaign Shops can be tailored to brands’ specific requirements and are fully customisable to promote specific USPs and calls to action. By presenting the information that is most relevant to the target market, brands can even have Facebook-specific messaging, tailored to the users on their channel.

By capturing the attention of those on social media and presenting them with a range of purchase options, brands can give consumers the information they want, when and where they want it - and by leveraging the insights on shopper behaviour to optimise campaigns on the fly, not only will consumer experience improve, but ROAS will increase dramatically.

How Dotter can help

To speak to the Dotter team about the ways in which brands can make the most of social commerce, contact us on theteam@dotter.me.

Author: Holly Worthington