Notification of an Order from Your Facebook Store App

There is nothing better for a merchant than receiving a notification of a sale!  So, what happens after the buyer selects a product in your Facebook store and completes the purchase either via credit, debit, PayPal or even for a Cash on Delivery order (COD)? We explain the complete order management process in this link but we want to specifically focus on the merchant notification in this post.

Integrated Cart
ShopTab’s integrated cart uses the PayPal gateway for credit card, debit card and PayPal payments. It is easy to set up (only takes an email address) and if you don’t have a PayPal account, it can be set up in minutes and immediately process orders.

As soon as an order has been completed, you will receive an email notice directly from PayPal, not ShopTab.  An example is noted below.

PayPal_Receipt_ExampleSince PayPal finalizes the receipt of the order AND captures all shipping information it made sense to use their notification system and leverage their features for the management of the order (cancellations, refunds, shipping information, taxes…). Log into PayPal and you can immediately manage the order. An example of the order detail is below.

Beatles order_Ink_LI

The buyer of your items will also receive a receipt immediately confirming their order.

Cash on Delivery (COD)
You will receive an email from ShopTab immediately upon the order’s completion.  The detail that you required from the buyer will be provide as well as all items they put in the shopping cart.

COD_Email

With COD, you should contact the buyer and arrange for the final payment and delivery of the item.

Notification of an order in both cases happens immediately.  Let us know if you have any questions.

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Using Category and Subcategories in your Facebook Shop

What’s the best way to help browsers and buyers to navigate inside of your Facebook Store? If you have significant number of products, we would suggest using ShopTab’s unique two-tier category approach coupled with our thumbnail view of all categories.  Making sure your shop has simple navigation is a key step to closing sales.

First, what is a two-tiered model? This means you can name a category such as “dog food” and then a subcategory to that category such as “small dogs.”  You may have an unlimited number of both categories and subcategories within your store.  Below shows how you one client designated categories in a product listing using two tiers.

Category_and_Subcategory

This option provides to you a flexible navigation design to direct your buyers quickly to the products they are seeking.

Additionally, when you have numerous categories and subcategories, attention is needed to present navigation creatively within a desktop, tablet or mobile phone. To optimize this situation, we have a store layout called a Thumbnail template.  This highlights with an image each category and shows optional subcategories in the left rail listing.  An example of this options is noted below.

Thumbnail_View_of_Categories

 

As your product catalog changes, the use of categories and subcategories changes dynamically within the store. As soon as you make edits to your store products with categories and subcategories those will appear immediately in your store.

QUICK TIP: With ShopTab you can make changes to the order of your categories easily within the administration interface. Just click on the “Product Order” and then choose the Category Order option.Category_Order

Product navigation isn’t a very exciting area to discuss but it proven to have a significant impact on buyer conversions to purchases.  Let us know if you have any questions.

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Add a GREAT Product Listing to your Facebook Store

Black_Dress_ListingIt is easy to add a product to your Facebook store and promote it to your news feed or timeline. This process can be completed in a matter of seconds.  It isn’t all that much harder or take much more time to add a GREAT listing to your store.  A great listing will help you to drive more product views and ultimately make more purchases from the Facebook shop.

Steps for a GREAT listing:

  • Complete all of the product information. Sounds easy but I can’t tell you how many products are listed with incomplete information in the product offering. A quality description, appropriate details about the item and options for them to consider assist in finalizing the sale.
  • Highlight and sell the product. Pictures, pictures and pictures. Your images will make a big difference to buyers. They are used in the listing and likely will be pulled into your news feed for promotion. Leverage great pictures, up to four in a ShopTab listing, with a detailed product description. Load large images into ShopTab and the “magnifier” will allow your buyers to view the product in an extreme detailed manner.
  • Provide purchase options. Buyers like to have numerous payment options. Our integrated PayPal gateway option provide credit, debit and PayPal payments. This demonstrates store sales increases of 10%+ versus those without the PayPal option. Add the Cash on Delivery Facebook Shop option to give that buyer a chance to show their intent and then come into the store or converse with you online before they complete the purchase. More options will drive more sales.
  • Provide a good call to action. Add a Promotion Code in your job description. Provide a flexible shipping option for multiple item purchases. Get creative! The ShopTab system has many ways you can provide coupon codes, discounts or pricing reductions for completing the sales – use them.

Remember, social selling is very contextual and impulse-driven. You want your listings to be shared and view by your fans, their friends and anyone that might be interested in your brand.  Using every option to connect to your buyers is critical – selling the value of your product within the listing only takes a few extra seconds but can make a huge difference in your sales volumes.

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Sell Event Tickets in your Facebook Shop

Have an upcoming event and need to sell tickets or event sponsorships? You will likely promote the event on all of your social networks to get the word out. Word-of-mouth and social networks are great ways to drive ticket sales.  Have you ever considered the value of actually selling the tickets inside of your Facebook fan page with a Facebook Store? The simplicity of the option may surprise you.

Lazy_WinesSource: Lazy Wines Facebook Store, https://www.facebook.com/lazywines/app/189977524185/

EASY TO SET UP: The creation of a Facebook Shop takes just a few minutes. Create your account, set up your checkout system and add your ticket options.  This process can take as few as 10 minutes to complete. As soon as you have finished your product listings the store is available to promote your ticket options.

SIMPLE PROMOTION:  Immediately create a “SHOP NOW” button that will appear at the top of your fan page in desktops, tablets and mobile phones. Immediately promote your event and purchase of tickets option directly to your FB fan page news feed. Choose to pay Facebook to promote the store or the specific product listings to target special audiences. We’ve had clients spend as few as $5 USD and sell out small events.

MOBILE SUPPORT:  Since most social users see posts via mobile devices, make sure you store provides full mobile product review and purchase options.  Sending a buyer to a website that wasn’t built for mobile purchase will likely discourage a purchase. Use a solution that has been optimized for a mobile Facebook buyer.

FLEXIBLE GATEWAY: Accepting as many purchase options as possible is always best. ShopTab selected to standardize on PayPal’s gateway since it processes credit, debit and PayPal payments in over 190 countries. Additionally, you can add in our Cash on Delivery Facebook option for those buyers or markets where that purchase intent option makes sense.

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Why Use PayPal’s Gateway with your Facebook Shop

Lillians-product-pageWe receive questions each week asking us why we use the PayPal payment gateway to process all credit, debit, bank invoice and PayPal payments in our Facebook Store application.   We recognize that there are hundreds of payment processor options that may be available for our clients across the globe. This made our selection very challenging.  Ultimately, we focused our offering to make it simple for our sellers, allow them to process the largest volume of sales and to have success selling as quickly as possible with their Facebook shop.

Below we have outlined why we think the Facebook Shop with the PayPal payment gateway is the best solution that we can provide to our clients.

  • Security – after detailed analysis we felt the ability for PayPal to store the payment information in their vault provided the highest level of security for our clients in the event of a hacker. Many competitive solutions store the information within the app providers’ servers – higher risk in event of a hacking incident.
  • Process the most sales – external research and our own testing and experience demonstrate that use of the credit/debit/PayPal combination can raise the average sales per store per month from 5 to 15%.
  • Easy of start-up – all you need to begin processing payments in your store is the email address you use to log into your PayPal account. The start-up process is simple, quick and secure. This is significantly easier than integrating other payment gateways.
  • Highest approval levels for sellers – for our sellers PayPal has a simple application and approval process making it easy for our sellers to begin selling.
  • Quick access to money – sellers have access to their payments within PayPal immediately and within a day or two if they transfer the funds to a bank account. Some competitive processors take days or even up to a week to provide funds to the seller.

Success for our sellers is defined by a quality experience and increased sales. The PayPal gateway provides a great solution for our sellers and their buyers to enhance the benefits and features of the ShopTab social commerce application.

It is important to note that ShopTab can integrate with external websites and market places via our Facebook Shop e-commerce URL integration and also can set up the Facebook shop as a Cash on Delivery (no processed payment) store.

 

More resources:

ShopTab using PayPal’s Gateway Set-Up

We recently read this blog post about the value of using PayPal or Stripe and it provided a great comparison – https://hostingfacts.com/paypal-vs-stripe-payment-solution-best-website/.

 

 

 

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Why it Makes Sense to Pay for my Facebook Shop Application

free-vs-paid-ecommerce-software

We receive questions from prospects each week asking why we don’t provide our Facebook Shop software for free. Seth Godin’s blog about free software reminded us of our decision over five years ago to charge for our software after the initial trial period. We hope this explanation helps potential users to understand that the decision to charge a subscription is the foundation for our serious commitment to their success.

Why it made sense for ShopTab to charge for using our software:

  • Focus on product value. We wanted to be clear with our clients we would validate how a social store would prove value for their organization by justifying it against a financial payment. We didn’t want to sell our user’s information, blast them with advertising or act as a lead front for some other sale.  We believed that if a user can’t sell more than $10 a month against the subscription rate, our application doesn’t work or you and it isn’t a good fit. Seth articulates the concept that either you buy the product or “you” are the product. We picked the first.
  • Be responsive. We wanted to set a standard for providing great support. This meant being available to help at any time during the set-up of the store or support after it was in operation.  It takes good people to provide great support – this wasn’t an area worth cutting corners or pretending like technology or great FAQ’s would solve it.
  • Continual improvement. Seth’s post nails this concept – we didn’t want mediocre software that might work adequately, we wanted software that can make a big difference for our clients and provide us the resources that would allow us to continually improve it.
  • Allow you a real evaluation.  Many software companies allow you to try a version for free with a very limited set of features.  This drives you to pay to upgrade to get what you really need.  We felt like that isn’t a great way to start a relationship – personally or in business. We present the value we can deliver and allow you to make the right decision for you and your opportunity – no future surprises.

Within our first couple of years of operation two large venture capital funded competitors that were attempting to scale with free software offerings went out of business. This left thousands of clients in a desperate situation needing to change platforms quickly.  This was a significant blemish for those companies and for the overall market. I guess it is a fast way to figure out if you have a product or business but leaves the users in a really tough predicament.

ShopTab has been delivering our Facebook Shop app since November of 2009. We’re honored that our clients allow us to continue to improve the software to assist them in bridging the e-commerce market with their social networks.  We believe the decision to charge for our software is the key behind our ability to be in business and server our clients for over six years.  We look forward to doing this for many more years to come.

 

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The Value in Managing Inventory within your Facebook Shop

Inventory Management
We’ve had three questions in the last 24 hours about managing inventory inside of a Facebook Shop. The option to manage the inventory levels of products listings can be critical for sellers with limited products in stock, those with custom items or with limited options for supply. Providing a system with both control and transparency was the goal for the ShopTab’s Facebook Store.

We designed the inventory system to provide flexible management functionality for our sellers. These features and options are highlighted below:

  • On/Off – a seller has the ability to turn inventory on or off for the store. Some sellers don’t have inventory limitations so having to set this inventory for each item would be a waste of time.
  • Unit Volumes – a seller has the ability to quickly set the number of units in stock or can leave it blank to demonstrate an unlimited supply. This may be done manually of via a data file upload.
  • Variable Support – a seller may set variables by individual product. Typically, the number of units are designated by things like size, color or other unique product distinction.
  • Inventory Cycling – the system supports the ability for a buyer to place an item in their cart but the system will cycle that product back into inventory if the buyer doesn’t complete the purchase in a specific timeframe, so that it may be purchased by other buyers
  • Sold-Out Conditions – in a product sold-out situation, the seller may designate if they want to show the items as “sold-out” or to make the product invisible to buyers within the Facebook Store.
  • Online Payments and Cash on Delivery (COD) Support – our system supports inventory management regardless of which option the seller or a buyer uses to pruchase a product.
  • Manual or Data File Updates – the ShopTab system supports both methods for updating the inventory levels in your store.

The proper management of inventory may determine if you are able to run a compelling and profitable Facebook Shop. Make sure to evaluate all inventory options that you will need to manage the products or services that you sell.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Other Resources:

How to set inventory in your Facebook Store

Setting Variables in your Facebook Shop

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Drive Increased Foot Traffic with your Facebook Store

FOOT-TRAFFIC
Selling in social networks is made easy with your Facebook Store app. However, sometimes completing the purchase online and shipping the item doesn’t optimize your revenue or profits. We’d like for you to consider using a couple of our favorite features to pull more buyers into your physical location.  When you do, you’ll sell more!

The truth is that buyers enjoy seeing, touching and experiencing the merchandise – a real bonus for sellers with a physical store location.  When buyers have this opportunity, your chance to upsell them can be increased dramatically. In one situation with ShopTab’s app, Lillians Shoppe,  increased their purchase amount by over 20% on average.

When you sell via a Facebook Shop, consider using these two features to drive up visits to your location and your purchase totals.

  • Store Pick-Up – Many local buyers don’t mind dropping by to pick-up their purchases saving the shipping charges and delay in getting their items. This gives you a great opportunity to show them other items and upsell them.
  • Cash on Delivery – Our COD Facebook Shop option creates a logical opportunity for the client to visit your location to complete their purchase and make final payment. Also, use this option to arrange delivery at an external location and bring items for them to consider for purchase.

Last week we talked to one client, based in the United States, that indicated she was only going to sell via Cash on Delivery since bringing clients into the store was her prime objective – she wasn’t going to offer online payments or shipping. The online social selling was a promotional effort to drive awareness about the store and her products. Getting to know the client when they come in the store was her goal and this solution was a great way to accomplish it.

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Cash on Delivery Selling in Facebook

Facebook Store Cash on Delivery

Today we announce a major upgrade to our social Cash on Delivery option for our Facebook Shop. Since we introduced this option to Facebook Selling three years ago, we’ve been amazed at how many clients have built a substantial revenue stream through this powerful purchasing system.

Let’s highlight the changes:

  • Flexible form design – you can design the form fields with the field names and if the field is required input for your users.
  • Full cart integration – your buyers can add as many products as they would like to the cart prior to final checkout.
  • Support of promotion codes – create promotional codes for discounts that will be fully recognized in your Facebook Shop at checkout.
  • Inventory integration – all COD purchases are deducted from your inventory immediately.
  • Ability to leverage incremental shipping charges – while COD doesn’t include shipping charges, some of our clients wanted options like expedited or long distance delivery surcharge options.
  • Powerful sales reporting – you have complete details inside of the admin as well as full details in a downloadable spreadsheet.
  • Ability to offer COD along with a payment gateway for credit, debit and PayPal – couple the power of COD with a payment gateway to increase your conversions.

Simply adding a Cash on Delivery option to your Facebook Shop may increase your conversions.  If nothing else, it will show your clients you are willing to work with them on whatever best suits their purchasing needs.

Other COD resources:

FAQ for COD in your Facebook Store

Cash Selling in Facebook

COD option for Facebook Fan Pages

Using Cash on Delivery in Facebook in Cash Based Economies

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How to Restrict Traffic to your Facebook Page and your Facebook Store

No-Thru-Traffic-Sign
Periodically we hear from clients that they desire to restrict traffic to their Facebook Fan Page or even just to their Facebook Store inside of their Fan Page. The reason can range widely from a desire to only connect with those within their country to wanting to restrict purchases from countries that have a high propensity of fraud. Here’s a recent comment from a ShopTab support ticket below.

“I simply cannot afford to have purchases from fraud-prevalent countries
like XXXXX, XXXXXX, XXXXXX etc”

We blocked out the countries but it gives you the flavor for the concern.  We have found that there are two ways to solve this problem. We’ll outline those below.

1) Restrict Country Traffic to your Facebook Fan Page.

Facebook allows you to either restrict specific countries or to only allow traffic from a list of countries as noted below under the Settings/Country Restriction option. This solution can work for most fan pages.

Restricted_Country

2) Restrict Traffic for your Facebook Shop

If you are using ShopTab’s integrated cart, we allow you to use the shipping options that are set up within PayPal. In most countries, PayPal allows you to set specific countries where you do not want to ship your products. See the option noted below.

Restricted_Country_#2

Click here for more information on Facebook Store Restricted Country Sales.

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