Can Facebook Ads Target Individuals
Facebook Shops, Commerce Manager ... everything you need to know
After years of experimentation in the field of e-commerce, Facebook has now decided to go one step further and, for this purpose, launched the online shops “Facebook Shops” in spring. These are accessible via the social network and Instagram. An announcement that could have a huge impact on the online sales ecosystem.
The gradual evolution from Facebook to e-commerce
Facebook's ambitions in e-commerce are not new. As early as 2014, the social network added a “Buy” button to its platform so that users could make purchases without leaving the platform. A few months later, the social network launched the “Dynamic Product Ads” advertising service to enable online retailers to run segmented and personalized advertising campaigns.
In late 2016, the platform took another step towards e-commerce by launching its “Facebook Marketplace”, an exchange zone where members of social networks can buy and sell goods between individuals. In the spring of 2018, Facebook opened this marketplace for professional sellers by allowing dynamic ads.
On May 19, 2020, the social network decided to go even further, this time with the introduction of “Facebook Shops”, a brand new marketplace for online retailers, especially smaller retailers and SMEs. Thanks to this new function, every company can set up an online shop on the platform, the surface of which can be customized and on which you can display items from your product catalog.
Originally reserved for 1 million companies selected in the initial phase, the Facebook shops were quickly expanded to include all companies registered in the social network. This service appears to be a response to Google's new Shopping Actions program.
How do Facebook shops work?
This new professional service is not just a copy or evolution of Marketplace; the Facebook Shops platform is a much more advanced feature that aims to make the social network a major player in online commerce.
In order to offer online retailers great flexibility, online shops can be created on the existing Facebook or Instagram page. You can design the shop yourself or contact a specialized partner. For companies operating in certain countries, integrated payment allows them to manage everything from the platform.
During the checkout process, online retailers can encourage shoppers to visit their online shop, and customer service can be provided in real time via the group's own messaging tools. In the short term, buyers will be able to Track the status of your order through various messaging tools: Messenger, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp.
Further functionalities that are currently under development will be added gradually:
- the ability to view the entire catalog from a chat window and purchase products directly from a video presentation;
- Online retailers will be able to promote their catalog or flagship products with dynamic ads and integrate a loyalty program;
- Recognition of branded products included in photos posted by users thanks to artificial intelligence to make the purchase through the timeline.
At least at this stage, the group does not charge any fees to companies when they create their online store. Only a commission (applicable to the US: US $ 0.4 for purchases under US $ 8, 5% of the basket price if more than US $ 8) will be charged if and only if the buyer has "Check out" - Use the function for payment. There is no commission for payments outside the platform. The service will be funded primarily through advertising.
Registration of online retailers on Commerce Manager
In order to be able to use the advantages of the Facebook shops, you have to register as a retailer with Facebook's Commerce Manager. This is the tool that you can use to start and manage your online shop, but also to collect money from sales.
Several pieces of information must be provided when registering:
- an identification number that corresponds to your legal name for mandatory reports (social security number or employer number);
- the name, social security number, and date of birth of a designated commercial agent in charge of relations with Facebook;
- the name of your company, its physical address (domicile), the e-mail address of your customer service department and the bank details for transactions.
You will also need to provide the country (s) in which you operate, the product category that best represents your business, and any shipping and return options that you offer your customers.
After providing this information, you can choose your sales channel (Facebook or Instagram) in the group or a third-party marketplace partner. And connect them to your existing business accounts. Finally, Facebook carries out a security check to ensure your professional identity.
The launch of this tool is still very young, only a few brands are currently working on enabling this new feature, but Facebook hopes to work with many more retailers in the coming weeks, especially in the areas of fashion, beauty and household products.
Adrian Gmelch is enthusiastic about tech and e-commerce. He initially looked after large tech companies at an international PR agency in Paris before working for Lengow for international public relations.
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