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Increase Sales With 3 New Online Shopping Platforms

While many retailers were already selling online before the pandemic, the stay-at-home orders pushed others to launch e-commerce websites quickly to still sell products and connect with customers during the shut-down. While your store’s website may be the first place you think to sell goods, several social media companies also have online shopping platforms.

These online shopping platforms are not only free for companies who have business pages on Facebook and Instagram, but they are an excellent way to capture more customers. According to Instagram business, 90 percent of its users follow a business page. In 2020, 18.3 percent of Facebook users purchased products through the platform. 

Below, find three new shopping solutions from Facebook and Instagram that can help you connect with your online audiences and increase your sales.  

Facebook Shops

With this tool, companies with a Facebook business page can set up a single online store that works on both Facebook and Instagram (Facebook owns Instagram). The shop shows up on your business Facebook page or Instagram profile and you can choose what products you want to sell and upload them in bulk or as individual listings. You can customize the way your shop looks with a cover image and accent colors. Your customers will see your shop when they visit your pages, and you can also promote shops through stories or ads. 

Facebook shops allow you to enable a checkout feature, so that a customer can purchase items right from the Facebook or Instagram app rather than being directed to your website to complete a purchase. Customers can also message you through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct if they have questions or need support. 

Instagram Checkout

If you have a few items you want to sell, Instagram Checkout gives customers the ability to purchase right from one of your Instagram Shoppable posts. Previously, when you created a Shoppable post, the user could click on a product in that post and be directed to the business website to purchase. With Instagram Checkout, the purchaser can pay right there in the app. Customers can also store their payment information to use for future purchases. 

So what’s the difference between Facebook Shop and Instagram Checkout? Facebook Shop allows for more products and feels more like an e-commerce site, while Instagram Checkout is ideal for a small number of products you want to highlight and sell. Instagram Checkout is also a great way to test selling on social media platforms because you can easily put one or two items up to see how they sell without having to create a whole Facebook shop. 

Facebook Live Shopping

Released in May 2021, Facebook Live Shopping allows you to go live on Facebook and sell during the live feed. Facebook Live works by having related products pop up during the feed. The user can then click on those pop-ups to purchase those products right there during the feed or they can save to purchase after the feed is over. 

This option is an excellent way for home improvement retailers to engage with their audiences and sell online. Consider doing a home improvement how-to live video and selling the needed products for that project in the live feed. Facebook Live Shopping can also be a great way to increase add-on sales; feature a low-margin product, like a power tool, during a live feed and include all the accessories and add-ons for that tool as pop-up products. 

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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