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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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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The Value in Managing Inventory within 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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Simple Google Feed Works with your Facebook Shop   

Google Search Logo

What’s the easiest way to update or populate a Facebook Shop with your products? If you have an existing website or using a marketplace to sell your products you can likely export a file with all of your product details.  This file is a quick and easy way to start and update your Facebook selling efforts via a Facebook Store.

Most website e-commerce solutions or market places support the Google Product Search format for export.  Google uses these files to provide enhanced ability for any seller to make sure your products are optimized for searches online.  Just export your information from your website or marketplace site and then load it into Google for optimization.  You will then have options to even advertise via Google based upon these listings.

ShopTab allows you to upload this file directly into our system to update your Facebook store either manually or in an automated fashion.  Once uploaded into ShopTab, you will have a complete store within Facebook to sell your products or services.  The optimal file type to use is Google’s text tab-delimited file format. This simple format doesn’t require any modification prior to loading into ShopTab.  Upon a successful upload you will receive a notification that the products are now listed.

Data Feed for Facebook Shop

Other ShopTab Data File Resources:

Google Based support for Facebook Shop
Enhance data file support for Facebook Store

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Use Social Media for Social Selling During the Holidays

As we are gearing up for Cyber Monday many of us are left wondering how to we let our customers know about our promotions and special offers in our Facebook store app. We believe you can effectively use social media channels to promote your products and your store.

There are several different ways that you implement your promotion strategy through social media. The first one we are going to look at is the different option you have for the promotion of specific products from your Facebook store. Some social selling apps, such as ShopTab, offer an easy “Promote” tool that enables you to feature key deals and products on your Facebook page.

product_wallpost_shareddeal

When you view your products in your Facebook store you will also notice there are options to Tweet about your product or to Pin it. When you click the “Tweet” an auto generated message will appear along with the link to your product. Here you can customize your Tweet and quickly post to your Twitter page.

Twitter_promote

When you click “Pin it” a dialog box will appear that will again enable you to create a message and provide a link to your product. You can add it to one of your current boards or create a new one specifically for your item.

pinterest_promote

Now that we have taken a look at specifics of what you can do through your Facebook store app we are going to look at a few general rules of thumb to use social media to effectively drive sales to your Facebook store. You need to use your social media channels to be engaging with your customers and fans. According to Social Media Today, there are 3 rules of engagement to be successful in your social selling efforts.

  1. Don’t focus on sales, provide value. People are on social media to find interesting things, get more information, and to have their questions answered. Answering questions and interacting with your customers is a great way to promote your Facebook store. The most important thing to remember when engaging with people on Facebook is to be authentic. Social users know when you are being yourself and they respond to authenticity.
  2. Interact and build relationships. Answering questions and providing value to people helps to develop relationships. Using social media gives you a unique opportunity to communicate with people in different geographic areas and enables you to expand your customer base.
  3. Listen and take in information. By monitoring keywords and conversations you can determine what is relevant on social media and drive new sales to your Facebook store. Social media also enables you to track your competition so that you can effectively compete with them.

We’re in the middle of the holiday selling season; take the time to use social media the correct way and you will realize sales results in this new dynamic sales channel.

Sources:

  1. 1.       Hall, Amy (2013). 3 Rules of Engagement for Successful Social Selling. Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/amynhall/1917321/3-rules-engagement-successful-social-selling.

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Sell Subscription Products in Social Networks

subscribeMany believe online commerce is solely oriented toward the one-time purchase of physical products.  However, numerous products are sold every day as a subscription to the buyers that may be a physical product, a service or even digital goods.  In fact, the New York Times proposes that selling via subscription may be a new “rage.”

Subscriptions have been traditional model for a magazines, newspapers, multi-level marketing firms or even gym memberships. These subscriptions are typically purchased via a designated monthly or annual price.  As noted in the NY Times article, we are being exposed to this model for many new products such as buying clothes, viewing movies, wireless service and even for buying dog food. There are a number of reasons to consider a subscription model and you can even roll this out in your social networks or via a Facebook Shop.

  • Easy to try: For many products creating a subscription price makes it easy for users to try the product. The upfront monetary commitment is typically much lower and the opportunity to cancel is simple for the buyer. As an example, ShopTab’s apps pricing leverages this easy to try concept with a 7 day free trial.
  • Creates predictability: For the buyer it evens out the cost of purchase based upon their use of the product or service. For the business or retailer, this model creates clarity to their user demand and financial cash flow in a predictable fashion versus less predictable one-time product sales.
  • Relationships: This model creates an on-going contract for the provider and the buyer to stay closely aligned. Long term the value should be apparent to both sides in terms of increased product value for the buyer and higher life cycle revenue for the provider.

It is interesting to note that the traditional users of the subscription models are now looking to use this model in their social network marketing. As outlined by Adage in a recent article, the opportunity to position a magazine subscription offer to their Facebook fans is a compelling option for them to leverage.

It has been exciting to help our clients understand that they can position a subscription offering with the well-known PayPal service to attract buyers worldwide. The use of PayPal’s system for credit cards and PayPal payments makes offering this service very simple for those with blogs, websites or a Facebook fan page.  This simple to deploy offering makes sense on any scale – large organizations or someone that walks pets or services your pool.

Let us know if subscription selling inside of social networks is for you.

Review ShopTab’s installation instructions for building subscription products in a Facebook Store.

 

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Facebook Fan-tasy Pays Off

Every wonder if your social marketing efforts are worthwhile? According to recent research by Syncapse, “the average value of brand fans in key consumer categories has increased 28% to $174.17.” Based upon our interpretation of this research, social marketing is well worth your effort!   We highly recommend that you take the time to review their insights in this research report, Value of a Facebook Fan 2013.  However, the specific declared dollar value may be only a portion of each fans value to your business.Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

As a social marketing apps developer, we come to this party as biased. This comes from continued client validation of ShopTab, our leading Facebook Shop application, which has been used by tens of thousands of retailers.  Regardless of our bias, this new research is further evidence to organizations that there is a hard dollar payoff for your participation in the emerging social channel.  This new information can be extremely important for organizations that have been hesitant to embrace new marketing methods and channels.

Syncapse provides further evidence (read the report!) that these fans are “super consumers” of your products – they spend more, engage more and advocate for you. We believe this is important information because many companies, especially smaller ones, struggle to segment their clients.  The data suggests that social networks, like Facebook, give you an opportunity to segment your best clients inside of a unique channel.  If these users are going to buy more, give you more feedback and tell more people about you, shouldn’t you treat them in a very special way?  This report reveals excellent validation for you to put a unique and compelling marketing plan together for these social channels to enhance your relationships with your best clients.

As it relates to your Facebook Shop, we believe you can easily leverage this app as a way to facilitate discussions about your brand and products. Some of these discussions will drive revenues but more importantly it can encourage discussion about your products. These prompted or spontaneous conversations can be invaluable for your future product developments.   Most people call this “market research” and it is typically very expensive to conduct.  We’ve seen tremendous response from fans to our clients that ask for feedback on a product (colors, options or features needed), encourage new ideas for products or a recent example when a client promoted a product before it was produced to determine client demand – how brilliant is that? And extremely valuable!

We suggest you use this report as a call to action to drive more users to become a fan of your Facebook Fan Page.  On your Fan Page you’ll need to provide compelling conversation, new ideas and engagement opportunities for these special customers to encourage their participation.  Additionally, the use of Facebook marketing (promoted content posts or targeted ads) and other marketing vehicles (website, email, newsletter, print marketing and client center contacts) are great opportunities to encourage qualified individuals to connect with your page.  We don’t just want numbers; we want new quality fans that will fit our profile of a hyper-valued client.

What do you think about the research that each Facebook fan is worth $175? Does it make sense to you?

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Creating Deals in ShopTab’s Facebook Shop

In the last week or so we’ve had fantastic feedback from some of our new clients using our Facebook Shop. One retailer indicated he sold more with his Facebook store in two weeks than he had with his website in over six months. The other told us she sold-out her inventory within 48 hours on a product special.  And another said he sold over $100 in product in less than a week and only has 15 fans for his store!  We love to hear this kind of news and it prompted us to write this week to help some of our PayPal Checkout clients to creatively use their store to increase revenue by driving urgency, awareness and opportunities for their fans, friends and new prospects.

Most of our recent social research validates that clients like to learn about your company and its products AND that they view social channels as a great opportunity find deals, unique offerings and to share these with their friends.  Don’t let them down! We’ll outline three ideas that you can use to increase the engagement with you clients and help you to drive revenues.

Free Shipping

Who doesn’t like free shipping? In many cases this can save your client 5 to 10% on their purchase.  We suggest the following to make this work for your store:

– Turn off your shipping costs in ShopTab listings or PayPal (depending on where you have them set). Find video details on setting your shipping here.

– Put a banner on your store header highlighting your offer. Also, highlight the offer on your Facebook page.

– Use the “PROMOTE” button to highlight a product to your news feed and the free shipping period of time.

Promote New

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Let your fans know that this is only available through your Facebook Fan Shop.

Purchase Multiples

Again, shipping is a great incentive to help upsell a client.  We’ve seen great calls to action around buying more than one product to get free shipping.

– Update your shipping charges for “By Quantity” to reflect free shipping of 2 or more product purchases. Make this setting active.
Quantity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(PayPal Shipping Configuration above)

– Update your header/banner for the store highlighting the opportunity to for your clients and prospects to remind them on every page to buy more than one product.

Discount your Price

– While there isn’t a way for PayPal to discount the prices, you can set the price to your “sale” price inside of ShopTab’s admin.

– Create your messaging in the product title with a description – “Black Dress – 35% off until Thursday” and in the description field.

– Set your inventory levels correctly so you don’t oversell what you don’t have in stock.

product list 1  (update your listing)

product list 2  (set inventory levels  in the listing)

There are all kinds of ways to promote specific products or even all products in your store. We like these ideas but know that you probably have implemented even better ideas. Let us know what you have done to create opportunities with your clients. Good Selling!

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