Facebook Shops: How and when can I sell on Facebook and Instagram?

Image: Facebook

A new feature turns your page into a storefront. But which platform is better to sell your art on?

Facebook recently announced new feature Facebook Shops that allows small traders to turn their Facebook pages into more accessible and attractive storefronts. It’s the company’s latest push into e-commerce for business, as opposed to its existing buying and selling section Marketplace. Being aimed at small businesses, the tool may be a new one to add to your arsenal if you're selling or want to sell art goods online.

Should you sell on Facebook Shops?

The feature has just started rolling out to select users in the US, with no dates set yet for widespread release there or other territories.

Later this summer, starting in the US, Facebook is introducing Instagram Shop, a new way to feature products in the photo app's Explore tab.

Quite frankly, we think Instagram Shop will be most useful to artists and designers looking to make money in 2020. The presence of an in-built audience for art is an obvious attraction, alongside that of your followers and friends, and we have noticed engagement rates with Facebook dropping over the years/ In fact, many creatives aren't even bothering to have a Facebook presence anymore.

Keep checking back to this page to see when both Facebook Shops and Instagram Shop are on general release. We hope to show you how to sell on either platform with a quick tutorial.

What exactly is Facebook Shops?

In a release, Facebook said: 

“Facebook Shops make it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. Creating a Facebook Shop is free and simple. Businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalogue and then customise the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colours that showcase their brand. This means any seller, no matter their size or budget, can bring their business online and connect with customers wherever and whenever it’s convenient for them.”

Businesses can create a ‘Shop’ section on their page and create listings from there. Buyers meanwhile will be able to message directly with businesses using Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram, all integrated as they are all Facebook properties. The above video shows a transaction happening through Facebook’s in-app checkout, which is optional. Most transactions will likely start on Facebook Shops and end up being completed on the business’ website.

Facebook is positioning this as an aid to businesses who may be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, but it's also a feature that should help both sides of the transaction in making Facebook a better place to buy things.

Live Shopping and Loyalty Features on Facebook Shops

Soon, sellers, brands and creators will be able to tag products from their Facebook Shop or catalogue before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and purchase. The social media mainstay is starting to test this with businesses on Facebook and Instagram, and will roll it out "more broadly in the coming months."

There are also plans afoot for customer loyalty programs on Facebook Shops.

Additional reporting by Digital Arts Staff.

Read next: How artists, illustrators and photographers can get free cash with DACS payback royalties

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