The following is an excerpt from the Facebook Marketing Bible, the comprehensive guide to marketing your company, app, brand, or website using Facebook. The full version of this article includes 10 more important features to look for in an ecommerce app, with explanations of each, as well a discussion of why you might want to send users offsite to complete transactions.
Future articles in our ecommerce series will look at examples of well executed Facebook ecommerce strategies, compare different storefront applications, and provide, walk through how to set up your store front, and provide best practices for promoting your Facebook ecommerce experience.
Facebook offers a huge opportunity for increasing brand loyalty, but there’s also a way to earn money directly from the social network’s built in audience of hundreds of millions of users. Ecommerce delivered through Page tab applications can help you to generate a return on investment that is easy to measure.
In this first installment of a Facebook Marketing Bible series on ecommerce, we’ll discuss what features to look for when choosing what ecommerce storefront app to use for your business. We’ll list the features, such as product catalog importing, checkout, design, and promotion, and explain why each is important and what choice is best for different business types.
Facebook Pages can install third-party ecommerce storefront applications that allow them to display a catalog of products, let users add items to a shopping cart, and the checkout either within Facebook or on an external website.
Some key features of Facebook ecommerce storefront apps include:
- The ability to import your existing ecommerce webstore or catalog of products
- Integration with other ecommerce software such as Magento and Shopify
- Checkout functionality that either lets users complete the payment process within Facebook, pay with popular payment system, or that direct users back to a business’ website to finish the payment process
Ecommerce software integration or catalog importing will make it much easier to get your ecommerce storefront started and keep it up to date as your product line changes. When choosing an application, make sure it is compatible with whatever software or product database format you use. In terms of checkout functionality, there are advantages to both checkout on and off of Facebook. Checkout on Facebook means there will be fewer clicks in the purchase flow, which can significantly reduce drop off. Some users may not want to navigate away from Facebook to complete a purchase, as the primary reason they were on Facebook in the first place was probably not ecommerce.
Other Important Features
Some additional features to look for in a Facebook ecommerce storefront application include:
- Product search, browsing and display options
This will define how easy it is for users to find the products they want. “Most Popular”, “Recommended for You” based a user’s Likes, and “Liked by Your Friends” display options can quickly lead users to the products they’ll find relevant and may be more willing to buy.
- Display customization and branding
Some apps require you to use a default color theme, layout, may show the developer’s name, and may not allow you to add a branded banner. In contrast, some white-labled apps allow you to customize your storefront’s them and layout as well as brand the store with a banner and other signage.
- Ecommerce analytics
Analytics about product views, checkouts, sales and other metrics can help you optimize your storefront and track your return on investment. For example, analytics could help you determine what step in the purchase flow is causing the most dropoff, and then allow you to track the results of design changes. Conclusion
Look through the features above and decide which are most important to your business. You can then use this as a checklist when choosing which Facebook ecommerce storefront Page tab application to choose.
For the complete list of important storefront features and a discussion of why offsite checkout might be best for your business, visit the Facebook Marketing Bible. Future installments in our ecommerce series will include case studies of Facebook ecommerce, a comparison of storefront apps, a storefront set up walk-through, and strategies for promoting your storefront.