WebSite X5 Pro
Until recently Social Media were just virtual places to have fun and socialize on, but they are evolving and becoming real showcases where products are sold and purchased.
Facebook and Instagram have for instance activated in-app purchases for many countries, and we all know how many people they can attract. So, if you already have a WebSite X5 online store, you should consider integrating it with these platforms and starting selling your products on Facebook Shops and with the Instagram Shoppable Posts.
Let's see what to do.
- What's Facebook Shops
- Facebook Shops requirements
- How to sell on Facebook Shops
What's Facebook Shops
Facebook Shops is a set of tools provided by Facebook to help business activities reach a wider audience and sell their products on Facebook and Instagram pages.
With Shops, you can create a real store and manage all the aspects connected to the selling activity. Companies can customize their shops graphic style and set up their product catalog by reporting prices and characteristics.
For the countries for which in-app purchases are active (only in the USA at the moment), companies can set their store up, so that orders are placed directly within Facebook and Instagram. In all the other cases, it is possible to add a buy button which redirects on the own online store or via DM.
The stores the company created are then displayed on its Facebook page, on the Instagram account, in the stories and possibly in the advertising messages. They will look like this:
As far as the potential customers are concerned, they will be able to access the Shop on the company Facebook or Instagram accounts, on their stories and the sponsored posts. They will be able to see the product list, save them as favorites, ask the sellers for information and possibly place the order according to the procedures laid down.
Facebook Shops requirements
Creating a store on Facebook Shops is easy and doesn't require any particular technical skills. However, you have to meet some requirements to proceed:
- You need a Facebook company page and be its administrator. If you want your shop on Instagram as well, you also need an Instagram company account.
- The Facebook company page needs to be trade-related: if it isn't, you can easily edit this setting.
- Currently, you can create a shop on PC, but not using a smartphone.
How to sell on Facebook Shops
If you meet all the requirements listed above, you can go on and create your Facebook shop. You need to follow these steps: first create your WebSite X5 e-commerce, set it up for the integration with Facebook, then export it online. After you've done this, you can set up your Facebook and possibly your Instagram shop.
Let's now go more in details.
1. Setting up the e-commerce on WebSite X5
As we said, you need to have an active e-commerce to start with: in this way, you will be able to import and keep your product catalog aligned, and your customers will be able to place their orders.
- Open your WebSite X5 project and create an online shop you haven't already (see: How to create an e-commerce). If, on the other hand, you already have an online shop, go to Step 1 - Settings > Shopping Cart so to make the necessary changes.
- First of all, please make sure to create a Product Page for each product you want to sell on Facebook: to set it up, you need to open the Product Settings > Details section, select the Product Page entry of the drop-down menu and report the necessary information (see: What's the product page and how to use it).
#tip - You need to have a product page for every product you want to sell on Facebook and you have to report the following details: title, description, price, 500x500 px image.
- Now open the Shopping Cart > Options section and click on the Enable Facebook and Instagram integration option.
- In the read-only field below, you will find the URL of the file generated by WebSite X5 with the product list and details. Facebook will need that file to recreate your catalog on your platform.
- Go to Step 5 - Export > Upload the Website to Internet and upload your website so to export the applied changes and to provide Facebook with the file reporting the product catalog.
2. Creating a shop on Facebook
Now you can work on Facebook. As suggested in the Business Help Center (which you can check out for more detailed and updated information) you need to use the Commerce Manager to create your shop:
- Go to the "Create your shop" section and click on Next.
- You need to choose one of the 3 available purchase processes: select the Purchase process on website so to redirect your customers on your website, so they can complete the order.
- If you want to sell on a company Facebook page, choose or create the Page. If you only want to sell on Instagram Shops, please skip this step.
- If you want to sell on Instagram, select your Instagram Business account.
- Select the Business Manager account or create a new one.
- Now work on the catalog: select the one you want to use for your shop (please consider you won't be able to change it later). If you haven't got a catalog yet, you won't have to select anything: a catalog called "Products for (name and Page ID) will automatically be generated. You will be able to add the products later, when the shop configuration will be completed.
- Check the shop details, read and agree to the Terms and click on Complete configuration.
3. Adding products on a Facebook shop
You have now created your shop: you can move on and add the products you want to sell. Facebook offers 3 ways of doing this:
- Manual: you need to add each product using a form which needs to be filled out manually. This method is suitable if you don't have many products or if you don't have to frequently update them.
- Data feed: you can add more products simultaneously by uploading a spreadsheet reporting all the information about the products. This solution is suitable for any kind of catalog, even the bigger ones or in case you need to update the products frequently.
- Facebook Pixel: it's the more complex way of proceeding. You need to install the Facebook pixel and the microdata tags on the product pages.
Don't worry: you won't have to add all the products manually, nor will you have to find out how to set up the Facebook pixel. As you remember, you have already set up the WebSite X5 store so that the program automatically generates a file reporting all the products, which has then been uploaded online together with the website. Now you just need to report this file to Facebook:
- Open the Commerce Manager and select the catalog.
- Open the Catalog tab and access Data Sources.
- Select Add Items. You can also choose Add multiple items if you see a drop-down menu.
- Select Data Feed followed by Next.
- Under Is your spreadsheet or file ready?, select Yes and then Next.
- Choose how to upload your file: Select Use a URL.
- Within WebSite X5, copy the URL you find in Shopping Cart > Option > Enable Facebook and Instagram integration.
- Go back to your Facebook browser window and add the URL for the file hosting site. Select Next.
- Choose an hourly, daily or weekly upload schedule for your data feed to be checked by Facebook. Select Next.
- Select Save Feed and Upload.
You uploaded a new data list from a URL, and now it is visible in Data Sources.
Each time you need to update your e-commerce, possibly by adding or removing products, WebSite X5 will automatically update the file reporting the catalog: when exporting the website, you will also export this file, so it stays constantly up-to-date. According to the schedule you set, Facebook will recover the file thanks to the URL you reported, so to update the shop. In this way, you won't have to work on this platform.
#tip - Remember: If you apply changes to your products, you need to export the project in order for the product catalog file connected to Facebook to be updated.
As you can see, integrating your e-commerce with Facebook and Instagram so to sell your products on these two platforms as well is pretty simple. Your task on social media, however, isn't completed yet: you can customize the shop, create collections and promote your products with different kind of ads.
So, now that you have an e-commerce, a Facebook shop and possibly some shoppable posts on Instagram you can rely on many tools to boost your business.