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Facebook Shops: Showcasing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Does anyone remember the pandemic? Where everyone could stay at home and order all the essential and luxury items on a few clicks of your device? In 2020, online shopping and ecommerce worldwide grew at a rate of 3.4%. Ecommerce sales are expected to grow by 102% from 2020 to 2025 as people continue to see online shopping as the new normal. The upward trend of online shopping and ecommerce has been rapid and drastic, and Facebook shops have a huge role to play in this aspect.
In 2020, Meta launched Facebook shops with the idea of providing a resource to help small businesses earn online, with lesser cost and greater technology and efficiency. With an upward tick in ecommerce sales and online shopping, it was good timing on facebook’s part, was it?

Introduction

Facebook shops is an online platform that enables Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) to set up an online retail channel for their businesses and sell their products. Online users can search for a shop by visiting a businesses’ facebook or instagram store, or reach their pages through stories, posts, and sponsored ads to reach their choice of brands or products. Facebook shops allow you to create a customized web page to showcase your products and help create an engaging, dynamic and visually attractive interface to help increase traffic and gain amazing experiences for your audience. With this new feature, you can also use WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram to sell products and tag products through stories, posts and livestreams to help the customer reach their product ordering page.

How to Sell on Facebook Shops?

There is a six-step process involved in setting up a Facebook shop:

1. Set Up Account

  • The physical account should sell goods that comply with Facebook’s agreement and commerce policies
  • Your Business Manager Admin must be managing the Facebook Shop
  • You Instagram Business Account must be linked with the Facebook page managed, and the Facebook and Instagram business pages must be connected to the same Business Manager
  • Instagram Shopping can be set up in the same way as the Facebook Shop.

2. Create a Facebook Business Page

  • A separate business page is required
  • Allow customers to surf through your page through a few clicks
  • Provide a range of marketing and sales opportunities
  • Sell your products to more than 3 billion users monthly, using accurate and relevant marketing techniques, to make your product stand out

3. Set up E-commerce Manager

  • Log In to the Commerce Manager
  • Create a shop to sell physical goods, select catalog and advertise goods
  • Choose a check-out method where the buyer completes their purchase. It could be a website, or direct method on Facebook or Instagram.
  • There is also an additional check-out method via direct chat on Messenger and WhatsApp. Through this method, a WhatsApp business account is required, the same as the Business Manager on Facebook/Instagram

4. Selling via Facebook

Once the Facebook shop is set up, selling options need to be evaluated. Two primary methods include:
  • Selling via fully integrated Facebook shop
  • Connecting your existing online store to Facebook

4.1 Using Facebook Shop (Exclusively)

In this method, products can be entered directly for sale. The instructions on Facebook are clearly laid out, which must be followed. However, there are a few downsides for selling the products using the option of using shops exclusive to Facebook. One downside is that the orders need to be managed manually, which is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Another disadvantage, which is a major one, would be that only the Facebook platform can be used for selling, and our products could not be listed on any other social media app/website, which would mean less sales outlets, and potentially lesser sales.

4.2 Synchronization of an Ecommerce Platform

One method of setting up our online shop is through Shopify, BigCommerce and Ecwid. Solutions like these third-party Facebook shops would allow businesses to create an online store and sell their products, along with the Facebook-only selling option, which would allow a complete listing and catalog of products, automated orders and shipping management tools. The option of synchronization is beneficial because it would help save precious time, and you can sell anywhere - whether it's your own website, eBay, Lazada, Noon, Amazon, Daraz, or any other ERP platforms you prefer to use. They also provide features such as payment processing, order tracking, inventory management, fulfillment, logistics, procurement and inventory planning. Furthermore, they also offer integrations with other platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, which can help business enterprises increase traffic and cover a large customer base. The biggest downside would be that a monthly paid account of either Shopify, BigCommerce or Ecwid would be required which would mean an upfront fixed monthly cost, regardless of the sales or revenue generated each month.

5. Adding Products to the Catalog

After setting up the Business Manager, and Commerce Manager account, the next step is to add products to your catalog, which would involve the following factors:
  • Inventory Size
  • Inventory Type
  • Effort to Set Up
  • Best For (which purpose)
The products are then added to the catalog using manual, product data feed, via Meta Pixel, and through synchronization with other Ecommerce platforms.

6. Marketing Products Online

Once the product listings are created, marketability of the listings is the most critical factor for its success. Promotions can be done via paid Facebook Ads, and organic promotion through posts, shares, promoting through postings in various Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat groups, asking friends and family members to increase likes and purchase the products from our store, and for that we need to have the perfectly organized product listings. To create product listings, the following factors are extremely significant:
  • Detailed product descriptions
  • Clear, good quality and attractive pictures
  • Product Dimensions and Weight
  • Inventory/SKU (Stock-Keeping Unit) numbers assigned
The second method of promoting these listings is through running PPC (Pay-per-Click) campaigns, via boosted posts, running sponsored products and brand ads, which would involve spending a portion of money to increase the view and rank of our listings.

Facebook Shops: Showcasing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

  • The Facebook platform was launched by Mark Zuckerberg, when he was a student at Harvard University, in March 2004
  • In 2022, Facebook had a net profit of $23.1 billion
  • By December 2022, Facebook has a total of 2.93 billion active users
  • As of November 2022, 36.7% of the world’s population is using Facebook monthly
  • As of April 2023, 70% of active Internet users are at least on one Meta platform at all times, whether its Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger
  • By December 2022, Facebook is the 7th most valuable brand in the world with a value of $101.2 billion
  • Facebook.com is the third most visited website worldwide
  • Over 1 billion Stories are posted every day across Facebook apps
  • 67% of monthly users are active daily, which makes 1.98 billion users
  • More than 72% of Facebook users also use YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram
  • 7% of Gen Z users plan to quit Facebook in 2023
  • Only 18% of American Facebook users think the platform protects their privacy and data
  • People are 53% more likely to buy from a business they can message
  • Facebook accounts for 71.64% of all web traffic referral from social media
  • 54.9% of Facebook users follow or research brands and products on the platform
  • Facebook’s potential advertising reach is 2.08 billion people
  • 18.7% of Facebook’s ad audience is in Southeast Asia
  • Facebook’s ad revenue grew 6% in Asia-Pacific from Q3 2021 to Q3 2022
  • Facebook Reels accounted for 3.3% of ad impressions on the platform in 2022
  • 37% of Facebook users will make a purchase on the platform by the end of 2023
  • Each month, the typical user averages 12 likes, 5 comments, and 1 share.
  • 93% of marketers use Facebook advertising
  • Here are eMarketer’s estimated U.S. buyers on each platform in 2022:
Facebook: 63.5 million
Instagram: 41.0 million
TikTok: 23.7 million
  • The average Facebook Page in the retail industry sees 974,000 impressions per month
  • Since its inception in October 2016, Facebook’s Marketplace has grown 7.69% in 2022 from last year.
  • According to Facebook, as of March 2023, Facebook Marketplace is available in 92 countries across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe
  • As of December 2022, Facebook ads reach increased to 62.6% of all Americans aged 13+
  • In 2022, Facebook Marketplace sales totaled $28 billion. That’s a 7.7% increase from the $26 billion in sales that were reported in 2021
  • On average, Facebook charges $0.97 per click.
  • 63% of marketers say Facebook is the most important social media platform and the most effective way to advertise

Facebook annual revenue 2010 to 2022 ($bn)

Facebook’s annual revenue dipped for the first time in the company’s public history, dropping from $117.9 billion in 2021 to $116.8 billion in 2022.
Date
Revenue ($bn)
2012
5.08
2013
7.87
2014
12.46
2015
17.92
2016
27.63
2017
40.65
2018
55.83
2019
70.69
2020
85.96
2021
117.92
2022
116.6

Facebook revenue by region

About 46.7% of Facebook’s revenue comes from North America. Facebook revenues from Europe and Asia-Pacific both declined in 2022.

Facebook annual revenue by region 2015 to 2022 ($bn)

Year
US & Canada
Europe
Asia-Pacific
Rest of World
2015
7.2
3.4
2.3
1.5
2016
12.9
6.2
4
2.4
2017
19.4
9.7
6.7
4
2018
26.4
13.5
9.5
5.4
2019
33.4
16.7
12.5
6.8
2020
40.5
20.4
15.4
7.6
2021
51.5
29
26.7
10.5
2022
54.5
25.7
23.4
12.7

Facebook profit

Facebook reported $23.1 billion net profit in 2022, a decline on the $39.3 billion made in 2021.

Facebook annual net income 2012 to 2022 ($bn)

Year
Net income ($bn)
2012
0.03
2013
1.4
2014
2.9
2015
3.6
2016
10.1
2017
15.9
2018
22.1
2019
18.4
2020
29.1
2021
39.3
2022
23.1

Conclusion

Overall, Facebook Shops have become a huge platform for small and medium (particularly small shops) businesses to gain traction, open their stores at minimal costs, and earn money from the comfort of their homes. The trend has gradually started to gain prominence worldwide, and the Asia region, specifically the Middle East, which is starting to expand and grow sustainably in the digital and ecommerce space, will adopt this new norm, within the next 2 years.

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