With many companies shifting their business strategies due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a growing emphasis is being placed on the importance of digital and social media opportunities. And although states have begun to reopen their economies, the way customers shop retail locations has likely changed for at least the foreseeable future.
In late April of 2020, Facebook announced some new features to help retail shops sell directly to customers using a new “shops” feature on both the Facebook and Instagram platforms. The feature allowed retailers to set up a digital storefront, list products and pricing and accept payments directly from the platforms themselves.
By setting up the “Shop” tab of your Facebook business page, you can promote products — with images, detailed descriptions and pricing — right in your social posts. Furthermore, if you connect your payment processing to the platform, such as Square or Stripe, you can take payments right on the platform — essentially creating a secondary storefront for customers to shop without ever having to leave Facebook, let alone their home.
Instagram has also created and made available some incredible tools for retailers during the COVID-19 pandemic, changing the way retailers and businesses are able to position their posts for not only optimal exposure, but in-platform shopping, as well.
When you create your Facebook “Shop” page, as mentioned above, you will have the option to link your Instagram page to this shop — creating the ability to “tag products” in your posts. This allows your customers scrolling Instagram to learn more about a product, from the description and price to the different colors or related items, all from within Instagram.
Another new feature rolled out in April from Instagram was the ability to sell gift cards directly in Instagram Stories, providing retailers with a new, more creative way to keep their customers engaged during stay-at-home orders. By linking a payment processor like Square or Stripe, retailers can use the “Gift Card” sticker in an Instagram Story to allow their customers to purchase gift cards, directly from the platform, of any size.
No matter where you currently find yourself as a retailer, the fact that you need to be pivoting to online shopping — if you haven’t already — is becoming abundantly clear. By setting up an online shop, you open up your business to an entirely new audience, as well as a treasure trove of tools to promote your business and your products digitally.
At times like this, SmartSolutions understands that managing the current state of your company in the midst of a global pandemic can be a massive undertaking. Our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan that will not only help you get through the COVID-19 outbreak, but thrive in the online space well after. Contact our team today to get your free consultation!
Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story.