Facebook has changed the complete perspective of modern day life. Predominantly being a social media platform, Facebook also gives you the opportunity to grow your e-commerce business. That’s right, Facebook does not plainly remain as a social networking site. It provides more versatile services with its Facebook Marketplace.
So, what exactly is a Facebook Marketplace and why is this important for e-commerce business?
Facebook Marketplace is a newer trend and is yet to be explored by several e-commerce entrepreneurs. Through this post, we will check how to use Facebook Marketplace to grow your e-commerce business.
However, before we get any further, let us quickly check what exactly is Facebook Marketplace.
What is Facebook Marketplace?
Over the years, since Facebook was initially started, a lot of people use Facebook to buy and sell goods or services. Almost over 450 million people use Facebook groups to buy, sell, barter or trade goods.
To streamline this process and be more buyer/seller friendly, Facebook launched its first ever Facebook Marketplace. Facebook started the Facebook Marketplace in October 2016. This was started initially in 17 European nations before gradually spreading to other parts of the world.
Facebook Marketplace is a one-stop, convenient place to shop or sell products or services within your community.
From the Facebook Marketplace, you can –
- Search products you wish to buy
- Can search for products based on certain category or location
- Co-ordinate and chat with buyer and sellers
- Bid any item posted for sale.
- Can view all transaction history and other details about transactions
- Allows to create item listing. Can use inbuild phone camera or already saved images can be uploaded from the app.
Facebook Marketplace is available over Android and iPhone for users above 18 years of age. A person downloading the app can start using Facebook Marketplace to buy, sell and trade products.
The app contains the shop icon at the very bottom. This icon needs to be used to start using Facebook Marketplace. This is accessible via app or desktop.
By default, the Marketplace will open showing images people have listed to sell. To find anything specific, you can use the filter to add keywords and choose products based on category, price or location.
Once you tap on the image, you can see more details about the product along with the description. From here you can see seller name, profile, photo and location. You can also bookmark it and save it to be viewed later.
You can directly send the seller a message to make an offer.
Facebook does not take the onus of payment or delivery. Facebook Marketplace only acts as a medium wherein sellers and buyers can interact and trade.
Similarly, you can also sell items. To start selling you only need to take the image and post it along with product description, price, category, and price. Once you post, any buyer within your area would find the product and contact you if they want to buy it.
The platform also enables the selling of pre-owned goods.
Currently, Facebook Marketplace is used by over 70 countries and has more than 80 million users. One in three people uses Facebook Marketplace. With no fees, Facebook Marketplace is becoming widely popular.
Small as well as several big e-commerce businesses are exploring Facebook Marketplace to improve their sales. Though Instagram owned by Facebook also allows trading products, on a larger scale Facebook is a more preferred choice. This comes owing to the popularity that Facebook shares.
While Instagram supports over 2 million advertisers and 25 million businesses, Facebook supports 5 million advertisers and almost 70 million businesses. One of the key reasons, Facebook Marketplace is spreading across the e-commerce industry.
Facebook Marketplace has few downsides such as-
- They does not provide feedback or review for products
- Does not handle payment transactions
- No guarantee delivery or quality
However, Facebook Marketplace lets you –
- Reach a wider target audience across multiple geographical locations
- Supports peer-to-peer sales
- Supports features such as browsing, location targeting
- Since its Facebook, based on your profile analytics relevant products are displayed
- Supports almost all kinds of products
- Good support for local markets
- No Listing Fees
Facebook shop tab is often confused with Facebook Marketplace. However, in reality, these are two different things.
Facebook helps e-commerce owners to convert sales using Facebook website. Earlier, Facebook used to display and list products for sellers. However, in such cases, if users need to buy the product, the traffic needs to go outside Facebook. In most cases, users don’t choose to leave the Facebook page and shop. Such conversions in most cases are dropped and sellers lose on potential customers.
To solve this, the Facebook shop tab was introduced. You can buy, pay and checkout using this feature. On the contrary, Facebook Marketplace does this differently. While Facebook shop tab is e-commerce seller friendly, Facebook Marketplace is user-friendly and focuses on the user’s journey. You can chat, negotiate pricing, know more about the product, though Facebook Marketplace does not support payments
So, this is all one needs to understand before starting to explore Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace is quite different as compared to sites such as eBay. To start selling on Facebook Marketplace you would require embracing a different approach. This approach needs to first help in establishing credibility and then rapidly gaining sales.
Let us now check
How to use Facebook Marketplace to grow your E-commerce Business
As a first step, to start using Facebook Marketplace you need to sign up to Facebook. Once you log in you would be able to see a ‘shop’ icon. By default, once you log in, Facebook will alert you with this icon.
Once you click this icon, you can start with the setup of Facebook Marketplace. At every point, Facebook prompts you to the next steps to complete the setup.
After the initial steps, Facebook will prompt you to add a photo of the item you are selling. Here you can add multiple photos to listings.
You can add up to 10 photos.
As the next step, Facebook will prompt you to add a title. Facebook imposes a 100-character limit on the title.
Once the title has been added, as the next step you will have to add a description to your product. This includes more details about the product.
Post this you will be prompted to add a price. This will by default show you the local currency. If required this can be edited later.
This completes most of the details required by Facebook. As the last step you will have to choose a location to advertise this and also the best category which the product fits into.
The category contains a Facebook pre-defined list as shown below –
This completes the setup, post this Facebook will set your item as active so that this would be visible to people. This will take you to item management where you can manage your product and chat with buyers.
While using Facebook Marketplace, like any other platform you would require visually appealing images. The images should be pixel optimized and should be equally visible on any device.
In most cases, shopping will be done over mobile phones. So, one needs to ensure the image looks clear and appealing on all device orientation.
One such example is as shown below –
Once you have the right image to ensure to use the right editor to add the required features. Pointers displaying the actual features, make the product look better.
One such example is as shown below where every part is displayed and highlighted.
Adding the image with no edits makes it less intuitive and in most cases, users would not be able to clearly understand the available features.
Start by adding a full image of the product followed by images representing more detailing.
Also, Read– 25 Winning Hacks of Facebook Video Ads
Choose a category that best defines your product. This makes it easily appear in search since most users search for products based on category.
Tagging an irrelevant category would bleak your chances of being found. In the below example, Facebook does not directly provide a watch or smart watch category. However, it does have electronics and computers. This category looks closest to the product.
Title does speak a lot about the product. While Facebook keeps a limit of 100 words, one must use this effectively to showcase as much information as possible.
So too long or too short titles which one will work?
Well, there is no clear one-way answer to this. The title should be quick to read and understandable.
One such example is as shown below –
On search, the title and the image is the one which first gets displayed. Hence the need to make this appealing.
Once you have got the category, title and image right, the next piece of information a buyer would notice, is the description. Again, this should not be too long.
Ideally, this should be less than 50 or a maximum of 75 words based on the requirement. Focus on key points and highlight only the key points such as color, specification, size etc.
One such example is as shown below. The description is not very long, however, conveys the basic essence of the product. It provides specifications about the product also mentioning the available sizes.
6.Link to your product
Once you have provided all the basic details, provide a clickable link. This makes users to bookmark your products as well as buy it immediately.
Add a click here hyperlink as shown below.
While many don’t prefer to leave their Facebook page, still there would be few buyers who may opt to check more details by using a clickable link.
To buy a product, a buyer would first check your profile. A buyer would usually check the profile, search for common friends, common interests, your Marketplace activity, and comments or feedback or ratings if any.
Most cases, buyers will check what else you have sold. While the profile needs to be visible and accessible, one also needs to secure any personal information.
This can be easily done by maintaining your privacy settings.
Facebook Marketplace requires you to develop good networking. Search for groups which are of similar interests to your product. Join groups similar to your products. You can join the 6000 Facebook groups.
As a key strategy remain active in at least 10-20 groups. Make enough research about the group before planning to be a part of it. This includes a number of active members, low spam and good group description.
For a closed group, you would not be able to view these details. However, if at any point you feel the group does not help you grow your business, then you can exit the group.
Learn more about the group from the details provided about the group. Certain groups also contain few rules or restrictions, which you might have to abide. Searching a group can be done either by using Facebook suggestions or Facebook’s Graph Search.
On Facebook, you can click on Groups à Find New Groups. Facebook suggest new groups based on your earlier activities and involvement in other groups. Also, you can browse groups by Local Groups, New Groups or Friend’s Groups.
Another way to search groups is by searching for keywords on Facebook Graph Search. The default view will show similar keyword posts.
In order to find groups from here, you can select More—>Groups. This will give you groups that match your specified keywords.
You can also create your own group for VIP customers or do market your products. A group created by you would require moderation and the onus to keep the group activities will be largely on you.
In case you are part of multiple groups, ensure you post and share your products across all relevant groups.
From the Facebook Graph search, you can also search a phrase such as “Groups joined by people who like … (your product category)”. Here you can filter by groups.
There are multiple advantages of joining groups which your premium buyers prefer. Not only is this a good opportunity to connect with your buyer, but this also gives you insights about what products sell better, pricing of a product and several other features.
Once you join a group, remain active and share your posts, as well as be part of discussion forums. Joining groups also lets you expand your buyer base since you find more people sharing similar interests.
Remain active on each of these groups by regularly sharing updates, posts, and comments. This lets people know you are genuine and makes it easier for potential buyers to approach you for a trade.
Getting into multiple groups similar to your e-commerce business can help you develop a strategic partnership and also get new referrals. While networking is the key to grow your e-commerce business on the Facebook marketplace, also ensure you periodically drop personal notes stating upcoming products, deals, discounts to your premium buyers.
Along with posts also share eye-catching images of products that your e-commerce store provides. Motivate more people to comment and like your posts. This improves the credibility of your e-commerce store.
Once we have created the required network, it doesn’t stop there. One needs to keep adding more to the network and expanding it. While improving your network is essential, equally important is to maintain credibility.
Based on how many people recommend you, you get a buyer and seller rating. Periodically check your own rating. The rating can be checked on your Facebook Marketplace profile. It has Rated as Seller as well as Rating as Buyer. To know more details about your rating you can see specific feedback provided by buyers or sellers. This includes What you do well and How you can improve sections.
To rate someone as a buyer or seller:
- In the Facebook app click on
- Scroll and click on Marketplace.
- Select You and the go-to inbox
- Select the conversation with a buyer or seller
- Click on Rate Buyer or Rate Seller
- Select the similes based on your rating. You can also select a reason for your rating.
One of the ways to improve your credibility is by ensuring you get a good rating. Few basic tips can help to get good rating and feedback.
Facebook Marketplace facilitates buyer-seller conversations through chats. Ensure you are active and accessible easily to provide more information about your products. Provide as many details as you can and maintain a cordial chat tone.
Facebook Marketplace does not allow you to use a Facebook Store page, but links to your personal Facebook profile. So, your buyer would also have access to your Facebook profile details. Keep your profile updated with latest profile image. Not revealing too many details or revealing too much information, both can be harmful. The intention to use the profile as a key is to show you are a genuine seller.
Provide enough information about payment options and be open to questions. Getting the first or new customer is always challenging. Hence it is important to focus on building right credibility and ensuring you don’t seem like a scammer.
10.Provide additional information
The more information you can provide the better it works. While a lot of information can be shared over chats, there is bare minimum information that needs to be revealed over product description.
If there is a condition on free shipping, ensure to specify this as part of your product display. Similarly, any other important features can be revealed as part of the product display. One such example is as shown below.
Once an item is sold, over Marketplace select Mark as Sold, this helps Facebook understand this can be removed from the listing. You can either post a product on your profile or on Marketplace.
Marketplace helps you with stats such as Number of Views, Offers.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to start selling, especially if you are having a small business or focus more on local business or are planning to sell used products.
Websites such as eBay help your end to end selling journey. However, a product gets more views, shares and has more potential to be sold through Facebook Marketplace.
Though Facebook Marketplace does not facilitate payments or shipping, this still has several other benefits and is least cumbersome.
Having said this, in most cases people visit sites such as eBay and any other portal with the intention to shop. However, when it’s over Facebook, people not always log in with the intention of shopping. The huge customer based on Facebook makes it easier to reach the target audience.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to grow your e-commerce business if used in the most effective way.