Recently, we have witnessed a growing growth of online stores, partly due to the pandemic that virtually closed most physical stores around the world (except, of course, essential stores such as those that sell food and other necessities for survival), and partly due to technological advances that have enabled almost everyone to open online stores with much less investment of money, time and effort than before, practically regardless of the size of the company or the goods and services they offer.
We believe that most of you who are reading this article have bought something at least once through online stores, and if you are thinking of opening one yourself, in the following text we will take you through some of the most common types of webshops and highlight some of the disadvantages and advantages of the most famous and widespread platforms.
If you own a Facebook profile or company Facebook page, you’re probably already familiar with advertising on this social network, so we won’t delve deeper into this topic in this blog (if you’re still unfamiliar with the details, we recommend reading our last week’s blog), but we’re sure there are still among you those who have not yet heard of Facebook Shops.
What are Facebook Shops and who can use them?
Facebook Shops is one of the latest tools that Facebook has released that allows anyone who doesn’t own a webshop to open one on Facebook, regardless of the type of merchandise you sell or the size of the business you own.
In layman’s terms, whether you are producing unique jewelry, selling clothes, or something else, Facebook allows you to open a store on your brand’s Facebook page for free (until June 30th this year), which will generate additional traffic and increase reach to your target audience, without any additional investments. Of course, we’re not talking about paid ads and campaigns here, which is one of Facebook’s reasons for launching this project.
Although the tool itself and the opening of the store is free, the possibilities it offers are limited, and only by using and paying for third-party applications it’s possible to make some major changes and features within the Facebook Shops store.
What if I already own a webshop on another platform?
In case you already own your webshop on platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, you’re probably thinking about how much it pays off to get into that project and open a new store on your Facebook page. There is no universal answer to this question, because every company is different, as are its customers, so it is necessary to weigh all the pros and cons and see what is best for your brand.
One of the pro sides is that through Facebook Shops, a person can easily buy your product without the complicated process of checkout. You can also pair it with your Shopify store, so all changes related to stock status, prices, and anything else you change through Shopify are displayed in real-time on the Facebook Shop store. The drawback is that this option still poses more problems to users than it brings them good.
But when we put this in the context of building a new brand, strengthening our market position and achieving greater visibility, we come to the conclusion that the Facebook Shop alone is not a strong enough channel and tool to achieve all that.
Namely, apart from the already mentioned reduced possibilities of store personalization, it is needed to say that with Facebook Shops there is no complete freedom of decision-making, technical possibilities, and in-depth monitoring of analytics, nor the possibility of optimization for digital advertising when it is necessary to achieve better results. Because it’s still Facebook that imposes its rules and whose regulations you must abide by if you want to continue to have your store on this social network.
Open a store on multiple different platforms or focus on just one?
Without detailed research, analysis, and verification of cost-effectiveness, it is difficult to give a concrete answer, because as we said before – every company and every business is different and has its special needs. But one thing is clear – a dedicated website or webshop is still number 1 in the e-commerce world, and all the benefits are especially visible when synergy is achieved through several channels.
One of the advantages is payment security, which is very important for everyone who buys online, especially at this time with an increasing number of online stores. It’s getting hard to recognize which ones are there to take your money and data, without any intention to pay goods ever delivered to your address and those that will send you what you ordered and paid.
With an official website or store, there is a greater trust and bond created between the customer and the store, which results in satisfied customers who will be happy to return and buy a product once more. Also, through descriptions and texts on the site, you can bring the product closer to interested audiences or show its purpose, features, and how it can be used every day, which is another important aspect when you’re making a purchase decision.
After all, which option is best for me?
To conclude – if after all, you decide that Facebook Shops meet all your criteria and you think they will be enough to achieve results, it’s not a waste to go and try. But if you have decided that you still prefer the idea of a dedicated website or shop, as well synergy through several channels and networks, and you do not know how to start a page or achieve satisfactory results, we invite you to contact us without obligation. Together we will go through all the positive and negative sides and find the best option for you and your brand.