How should brands use Facebook and Instagram Shops?

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eBusiness Institute Team

Are you as excited as we are about Facebook and Instagram Shops? Learn about how we think brands should be using these groundbreaking new eCommerce channels.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced the launch of Facebook and Instagram Shops, which will let businesses set up product listings for free on their Facebook Page, Instagram profile, Stories and in targeted ads[1]. 

‘Shops’ will effectively become free digital storefronts for brands on Facebook and Instagram – and it’s very exciting.

We’ve known for a while that something like this channel was in Facebook’s pipeline, but Zuckerberg has accelerated the first iteration of Shops in order to meet consumer and business needs during the COVID-19 lockdown.

So, how can brands make the most of these fascinating new Facebook and Instagram channels?

Facebook and Instagram Shops Example 1
Facebook and Instagram Shops will be digital stores that will allow brands to sell their products for free on Facebook and Instagram – Image source: Facebook

Social commerce 

We’ve talked about the rise of social commerce in previous blogs. 

Consumers are spending more and more time on social media[2] and are becoming increasingly comfortable with interacting with brands through social and searching for products on social platforms. 

In the (hopefully not too distant) future, Shops will introduce new functionality that will allow businesses to sell products to customers through WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct social commerce chat features. 

Checkout will also become available in the future, with more details about that due to be announced soon.

Brands will really need to enhance their social strategies and content if they are to compete on this new battleground. Social commerce shoppers demand excellent content, clear information, recommendations and seamless buying experiences, so brands will need to make sure that the people in their teams have the skills and tools required to satisfy them.

Western brands should also look at the success that brands operating in China and South Korea have had in using KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders – or simply influencers) to drive conversations around products and make recommendations that result in sales[3]. 

Influencers do, after all, play a major role in the make-up and success of Instagram as a whole, so it would make sense to leverage them as a social commerce sales tool on the platform.

Facebook and Instagram Shops Example 2
Social commerce has well and truly taken off in China – and Facebook Shops promises social commerce tools in the near future – Image source: Facebook

A fantastic Product eContent opportunity

The quality of a product’s digital content – or Product eContent – has a proven direct impact on how likely a consumer is to buy that product when shopping online. And Product eContent is going to have a major part to play in creating conversions on Shops. 

You’ll be competing with the hottest brands on Facebook and Instagram Shops, so you will have to make absolutely certain that your Product eContent entices and thrills shoppers.

Your images, video, product titles, descriptions and storytelling will need to be ‘on point’ if you are to entice shoppers and get them buying.

Think about how you will differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd with best-in-class Product eContent that will drive traffic to your Facebook or Instagram Shop and keep shoppers coming back for more. 

Perhaps Augmented Reality (AR) will really come to the fore? 

And, as ever when creating Product eContent or doing anything related to eCommerce, make sure that you take a mobile-first approach.

Livestreaming on Facebook and Instagram Shops

Brands will soon also be able to tag products during Facebook and Instagram livestreams – which, again, is becoming an increasingly influential channel – so that customers can click on the tags and be taken to a product ordering page.

Facebook and Instagram Shops Example 3
Facebook Shops could be the ideal channel to test the West’s appetite for using livestreaming to buy and sell products – Image source: TechCrunch

We’ve previously explained how powerful a brand and sales channel livestreaming has become in China, and there’s no reason why it can’t generate similar levels of success in the West on a platform – like Shops – ripe for this kind of interactive content.

In conclusion

Mark Zuckerberg has framed Facebook and Instagram Shops as a great channel for smaller businesses struggling to reach customers during lockdown. And that’s commendable. 

But Shops is of course going to be a fantastic channel for established brands too. 

Our advice is to jump right in and get on with planning how to create great Product eContent and next-level online shopping experiences for these channels that will have consumers coming back for more.

Please contact us if you would like to benefit from our considerable experience in driving sales through irresistible Product eContent that creates great shopping experiences. 

This article was written and created by the eBusiness Institute team.

Would you like to benefit from eBusiness Institute’s expertise?

eBusiness Institute focuses on the integration between marketing and sales to drive business results online and offline.

Our team has considerable experience and expertise in successfully delivering strategies, capability building and creative assets for brands that understand the importance of Digital Transformation, Product eContent, Data & Analytics, Retail Search and Retail Digital Media (RDM) to eCommerce sales success.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how the eBusiness Institute could help your organisation gain a competitive edge through these activities.

Sources

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/19/zuckerberg-announces-facebook-shops-e-commerce-for-businesses.html

[2] https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-adults-are-spending-more-time-on-social-media-during-the-pandemic

[3] https://medium.com/@hello_73030/what-is-a-kol-marketing-in-china-and-why-should-you-care-dedd2459bcbc

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