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How to sell on social networks? [stores on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp]

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How to sell on social networks? [stores on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp]

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people do business around the world. When social confinement measures began to be taken, face-to-face purchases in supermarkets and stores soared to unprecedented levels. Later, when the lockdown became more rigorous, offline purchases plummeted and online purchases took off.

list_altIndex of contents
E-commerce through social networks
How to sell products on Facebook?
How to sell products on Instagram?
How to sell products on WhatsApp?
Social commerce vs. own ecommerce store
However, at this point, not all companies had developed the necessary channels to meet the demand of the digital market . For example, despite its easy implementation, Croatia Phone Number List commerce (commerce through social networks) was still unknown by many organizations, considering that it is an electronic commerce modality that had already been in full operation for several years.

Croatia Phone Number List

This is where the pandemic began to mark the tipping point, for businesses and customers alike. Out of absolute necessity, people had to increase their online purchases, and businesses had to manage to improve the online availability of their products, searching and discovering new sales channels online, such as those offered by social networks. In this way, according to IBM data , the pandemic accelerated the adoption of ecommerce at least in 5 years.

E-commerce through social networks
Today, the confinement measures have become social distancing, which means that we are already in a new normal in which we must “live” with the coronavirus. In this context, e- commerce in all its forms became a fundamental element to facilitate the transition and permanence in this new normality, with social commerce being one of those modalities that allows companies to reach buyers much more directly .

Online stores and product catalogs on social networks are functionalities that are available to any business. From an entrepreneur or micro-business to a large multinational company, they can start selling their products today through platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The interesting thing about social commerce, and what differentiates it from any other type of electronic commerce , is the high level of interaction that exists between the user and the company. The social media ecosystem is interactive by nature. Publications, comments, “likes”, shared content, tags, hashtags, among others, are elements that, added to payment processors , shopping carts and digital catalogs , make the purchase and Selling products online is as natural, enjoyable and intuitive as it has never been before.

Next, we are going to describe the social commerce functions offered by Facebook , Instagram and WhatsApp .

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How to sell products on Facebook?
On Facebook you can use three different functionalities to sell products: the stores , the catalogs and the marketplace .

1. Stores on Facebook
Also known as Facebook Shops , they are online stores within the social network that can fulfill two functions:

If you have your own ecommerce site (outside of Facebook), you can use the store only as a showcase for your articles to, from there, redirect interested parties to your ecommerce site, where they will have the option to make purchases.
If you do not have your own ecommerce site, then in your Facebook store you can enable the option “Checkout” , which will allow users to purchase your products within the same social network.
To create your Facebook Shop you must go to the Commerce Manager (or Sales Manager), and there choose the option Create a store .

sell on social networks facebookThen, you will have to choose a purchase method among the three available, which are:

Finalize purchase on another website (when you have an external ecommerce site).
Finalize purchase with Facebook and Instagram (when you want the purchase to be made within the social network).
Finalize purchase with message (the purchase can be made through Messenger or WhatsApp).
Once the purchase method has been chosen, you have to link your Facebook business page with the store you are creating . You can use an existing page or create a new one. You must do the same with your Facebook business account , you must link an existing one or create a new one.

Finally, one of the most exciting steps arrives: adding the products .

2. Product catalogs on Facebook
The catalogs on Facebook serve to show your audience the details of everything you want to offer, which can be from one product to millions, as well as different kinds of services.

However, keep in mind that the catalog itself works as a kind of showcase, without any option that allows the direct purchase of the products . To enable the purchase option, you have to link the catalog, either with your store on Facebook or with the marketplace (also on Facebook and that we will explain later).

In this sense, if you don’t want to link the catalog with one of these two resources, then what you can do is use it to generate traffic to your external ecommerce site.

That said, to create a catalog you must go to the Commerce Manager , select Create a catalog , and then choose the type of catalog you want to publish based on the products or services you offer in your business.

sell social media productsOnce done, it is time to start uploading the products or publishing the services. Something important to consider is that Facebook stores are only available for the sale of physical products, while catalogs have the option for both products and services. However, and as we have already mentioned, the sale and purchase transaction cannot be carried out through the catalogs alone.

3. Facebook Marketplace
The Facebook marketplace is a place where any user of the social network can buy and sell products. Its operation is similar to that of the most famous marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay. Basically, the person who is interested in buying a product must go to the Facebook marketplace, search for the product of their interest, compare the different results of those users who have published that same product for sale, choose the most appropriate seller and contact them to process the purchase.

Now, if you want to sell through this system, keep in mind that the marketplace is designed only to maximize the reach and discovery of your products, and to facilitate the relationship and communication with your potential customers. However, payments cannot be processed on this platform , so you will have to have an external payment mechanism.

That said, to start publishing your products you must go to the marketplace section , click on + Sell ​​item and then select the type of publication you want to make, since each category has its own characteristics.social commerce

How to sell products on Instagram?
Instagram is the social network that has been developing and presenting the most social commerce options during these times of pandemic, with the aim of increasingly helping all types of companies, entrepreneurs and content creators to sell their products.

In this context, Instagram Shopping has been consolidated , which consists of a range of different functions that you can use to sell products, among which the digital stores , Instagram Shop , purchase labels and badges on Instagram Live stand out .

1. Digital stores
Sell ​​on InstagramOn May 19, 2020, Instagram announces the functionality of digital stores , which users can access by clicking the View shop button , which is located just below the description of the accounts that have this function enabled. They can also be visited from the stories and the feed.

Each digital store is a kind of showcase where the publications occupy the entire screen, in order to offer a more immersive experience while users explore the collections of your products.

The process of creating a digital store on Instagram is similar to creating a store on Facebook, so much of the setup will be through Facebook’s Commerce Manager .

2. Instagram Shop
store on instagramIn Spanish, Instagram Shop could be translated as Instagram Shop. However, this functionality should not be confused with the digital store , which we explained in the previous point, since each one has different characteristics.

The Instagram Shop function was introduced on July 16, 2020 , and it is a shopping in-app in which users can explore and receive product recommendations taking into account the profiles they already follow.

For your products to appear on Instagram Shop, you just have to open a digital store on Instagram, create collections of your products and tag them in the content you publish. In this way, the contents with the tagged products will begin to appear in the Instagram Shop.


3. Shopping labels
Instagram shoppingThe shopping labels serve to highlight the products that appear in your content, whether you publish the feed, the stories, advertisements, etc. By doing so, these tagged content may also appear in the Instagram Shop section. In this way, people get to know your products better and even buy them directly on the platform through the function buy without leaving Instagram , which is based on Facebook Pay (although this function is only enabled in the United States, for now).

4. Badges on Instagram Live
Catalogs on InstagramOn May 27, 2020 , the badges functionality is presented on Instagram Live , through which you can sell products during the live broadcasts you do on Instagram Live . However, this feature is still in the process of expansion. For now, it is only enabled for a series of specific brands, and it is expected that in the future it will be available more openly in Spain and other countries.

How to sell products on WhatsApp?
Although WhatsApp Business is a relatively new application (born in 2018), its functionalities for businesses have been evolving quite quickly. Taking into account that WhatsApp belongs to the Facebook technology ecosystem, Mark Zuckerberg’s goal with the business version of this application is to turn it into an “all-in-one” for sales and customer service processes .

On November 7, 2019 , the functionality of the product catalogs came to light , which is a kind of mobile virtual store through which you can publish and display a maximum of 500 products within the application. In the file of each item you can place data related to the price , the description , the product code and the link to your website .

Now, as of July 9, 2020 , it is possible for you to share this product catalog on external sites, such as on your own website, on your Facebook and Instagram accounts, among other places.

It should be noted that the most useful functionality of any social commerce system is to allow payment processing within the same platform in question. That is why WhatsApp Business has been experimenting with in-app management of electronic payments. For example, in June 2020 the payment service within WhatsApp began to be tested in Brazil , and in November in India . This service is known as WhatsApp Pay , and it works on the infrastructure of Facebook Pay .

However, it is not yet possible to make the payment for the purchase of products within the application. Despite this, WhatsApp Business has continued to improve its other e-commerce features. Such is the case of shopping carts , a functionality enabled since December 8, 2020 , and through which your customers can select various items from your product catalog, add them to the shopping cart and send you the consolidated orders with everything. that you want to buy. Once the orders are received, you will have to manage with each client the payments by means external to WhatsApp.

sell by WhatsApp

Social commerce vs. own ecommerce store
Finally, you should know that, although social networks offer you a very high level of interactivity with customers and mass distribution of content, it is not convenient for you to depend solely on these platforms for the sale of your products.

It is true that social commerce has been evolving rapidly, with increasingly interesting features, but bear in mind that if you create a store on Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp, that store will never really be yours , but will be 100% owned by Facebook or the company behind that social network in question.

If for X or Y reasons, that company that owns the social network decides to close, block or disable your store or your business profile, then you will lose all the information in your customer portfolio, in your catalogs, in your online inventory, in your history. shopping, etc.

If you want to have a store that is 100% owned by you, then it is recommended that you create your own website , either through CMS platforms such as WordPress, Shopify, PrestaShop, among others.

Thus, you manage to take advantage of the full potential and scope of social networks to send your potential buyers directly to your website, through inbound Forex Email List strategies . If you want to know more about it, I recommend you consult the following specialized articles:

WhatsApp Marketing: How to Build a Powerful Campaign Today
Advertising on YouTube Ads: 8 keys to successful ads [Real cases].
How to Use Pinterest for Business: Complete Guide.
TikTok for companies: 7 steps to integrate it into your marketing strategy.
Social networks are evolving very quickly to offer more and better functionalities for the purchase and sale of products. If you want to keep up to date on these advances, subscribe to our blog and we will be sending you the latest news from the industry so you don’t miss anything.

If you have already sold products on these platforms or on others like Pinterest, write us your experience in the comments section. You can also leave us any questions you have about social commerce so that we can solve them for you. You dare?

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