If you’ve ever tried to learn how to sell on Facebook, you know that it’s (how do I put this lightly) an “interesting” experience. Facebook rules, interfaces, security, and just about every part of the social network changes on a regular basis. Many times, it seems like the modifications have nothing to do with helping out users. And those modifications definitely aren’t trying to help out businesses, unless you’re paying for ads.
Regardless, online stores need Facebook. Ecommerce shops need it for selling, marketing, and even customer service. That’s why we want to teach you how to sell on Facebook in the easiest way possible.
As mentioned, things change quite often on Facebook. Therefore, it’s not always easy to figure out the best way to sync your products with your WooCommerce store or to actually accept transactions directly on Facebook.
Does Facebook send users to your website shopping cart or are the payments done right on Facebook? Both have been offered at some point by Facebook. And to make things even more complicated, it would depend on what country your business is located in.
But enough complaining!
We’re here to show you how to sell on Facebook in the easiest way possible with the least chance of your shop breaking or causing problems for your customers.
The benefits of learning how to sell on Facebook
To some, a Facebook shop doesn’t make much sense. “Wouldn’t you rather have people come directly to your website?”
To others, the benefits are rather clear. “Tons of people are on Facebook. I want access to them!”
Regardless of your position, it’s essential to understand that both are true. Yes, it’s better to have customers buy from your site so you can capture their data and have your own branding on everything – not Facebook’s.
However, almost 2.5 billion people are users on Facebook. Many of these users follow brands and take what those brands say seriously. So, with this type of engagement, it makes sense to use Facebook as a medium for bringing users to your site, and getting some sales in the process.
Here are some of the main benefits of making a Facebook store:
- You get the opportunity to reach billions of potential customers. There aren't many other marketing or advertisement options that provide this type of exposure.
- Facebook targeting ensures that you're only spending ad dollars for people who are interested in your products.
- You can build your Facebook follower base in the process.
- Marketing expenses decrease with the use of Facebook, seeing as how the ads (when done well) are usually inexpensive. Also, marketing to followers is completely free.
- You get to see insights on your users, giving you stats on who they are and how they're finding your business.
- A Facebook shop links directly to your online store, so you're not forced to manually update. Elements like pricing and photo images are synced when modified on your website.
- A Facebook store is a great option for increasing the number of people who come to your website.
- There's no upfront investment to build a Facebook store.
- A Facebook shop instantly offers a fully mobile-friendly experience. In short, you don't have to worry about a WordPress template acting strangely on mobile devices or something of that nature. The dirty work is handled by Facebook.
- Facebook stores have options for grouping products.
- Your store will act similar to any eCommerce shop, with product listings, descriptions, pictures, and even a watered-down shopping cart.
- The Facebook Messenger app integrates with your Facebook business for offering customer support, providing chatbots, and delivering product information to your customers. Some companies utilize Facebook Messenger as their primary form of customer service.
- Your Facebook Shop is part of your Facebook Business Page. With this link, you're able to instantly show product listings on Facebook posts and through advertisements.
How to sell on Facebook the right way
Now that the benefits are clear, let’s take a look at how to sell on Facebook:
It depends on your eCommerce platform, but the result is typically the same. This tutorial uses WooCommerce as the eCommerce platform, but other options like Shopify and BigCommerce work in similar ways. The main differences are that you may have to find a “link to Facebook” button on your platform’s dashboard.
With that said, here are the steps for making your Facebook store!
As we talked about before, the configuration process may be different depending on your country. So, I’m covering how to sell on Facebook in the US, then I’ll be utilizing a VPN (virtual private network) to expand on how it works in Europe and other parts of the world.
Method 1: Sell on Facebook as a US-based business
Begin the process by going to your Facebook Business page. If you don’t have one, learn how to make a Facebook Business page here.
Go to the Page Settings tab.
This reveals a list of options for you to choose from. Select the Templates and Tabs button.
The Templates and Tabs page is where you get to decide which tabs are shown on your Facebook Business page. It’s similar to a website menu – you can choose to have tabs like About, Community, and Offers.
Scroll to the bottom and locate the Shop header. Click the switch to activate the Shop tab.
Now, move to the frontend of your Business Page and click on the More button. You should now see the Shop tab.
Feel free to move around the order of your menu items in the Templates and Tabs module.
Does this mean your shop is configured? Nope!
In fact, you may see an error when trying to visit the actual Shop page. That most likely means you need to adjust your template and start adding products.
Going back to the Templates and Tabs page, look for the header called Templates.
By default, the “Standard” template is installed, which is fine, but we’re looking for something else.
Click on the Edit button.
Find and click on the Shopping button.
That activates the “Shopping” template for your Facebook page, which is made for showcasing your products just like any other online store.
After that, navigate back to your Facebook Business page and click on the Shop button. A popup reveals itself to begin the process of configuring your store. Click on the Go to Commerce Manager button to proceed.
This module asks you where you would like to sell.
As you can see, several partner platforms are available for you to choose from. These are easy enough, seeing as how all you have to do is click on those buttons and follow the steps shown on your screen. We won’t go through all of that, since each of the platforms are completely different.
Instead, we’ll walk you through how to configure your site manually and import products without a one-click setup.
To do so, select the Get Started button.
There’s a three-step process to making your store active for sales. First, click on the Set Up button under the header called Link Business Accounts. This allows you to link your Facebook Business account for managing money.
The first option is to say that you do have a US bank account. We’ll talk about what to do if you don’t have a US account later.
Click on the Next button.
Scroll through your list of Business pages to find the one you want to link the shop to.
The next area asks you to name your business and link it to a Facebook Business Manager account. If you don’t have one, here’s some information to help you. Click on the Save button to move forward.
The following page asks you one more time to choose the page you would like to sell on.
Now it’s time to go to the second step in the Facebook Shop setup.
Click on Set Preferences to fill in fields for inventory, return policies, and more.
What you offer for shipping is entirely up to you. So, you might consider having free shipping or to have customers pay for options like standard, expedited, and rush shipping. Select the Next button once shipping is configured.
Moving forward, choose that you would like to create a new catalog for your store. Click on the Next button after that.
The return policy is also displayed on your Facebook page. Type in how many days you offer for returning items, then type in an email address before clicking on the Save button.
Finally, you must set up your payments. This way, any transaction money goes directly into your checking account. With this process, there’s no need to mess with third-party payment processors.
Select the business category your organization falls under. Click on the Next button.
This page asks for your business and email address. This is required to ensure that the bank account being used is associated with an actual address. You could use your home or business address for this, as long as the bank has that address on file. Click on the Next button once you’re done.
Moving on, select the state in which you conduct business. Then, fill in your State Tax Registration number. Some companies don’t have this, so you can skip it for now or read through Facebook’s documentation on how to acquire a Tax Registration number or surpass this requirement.
On the next page, choose your business type, then type in the business representative’s name, social security, and birthdate. Go to the next page by clicking on Next.
The final element to take care of is to link your bank account. This page requires a routing number, bank account number, and your name on the account. This information can be found on a check or by asking your bank. Click on the Finish Setup button.
That’s how you configure a Facebook Shop as a company in the United States!
Now the fun part begins. You’ll want to set up your catalog to add products manually or potentially upload a larger list of items.
In your Commerce Manager, find the Set Up Your Catalog header and click on the Set Up button.
Select the Add Products button on the next page.
This next page is crucial for deciding on how you’d like to import or add your product listings.
- The first method is to Add Manually, which works nicely for new stores, or those with fewer products.
- You also have options for using a data feed, which is great for larger product collections and for transferring over data you already have from another platform.
- Finally, the Connect Facebook Pixels option is great for automatically updating items as people visit your store.
Feel free to go with the setup that makes the most sense for your brand. As for this tutorial, I’ll briefly walk you through the manual configuration.
This works similarly to any eCommerce platform, where it asks you to add elements like photos, the product name, description, website link, and much more. Once the item is saved, it shows up on the frontend of your Facebook Shop.
People can then purchase those items. You can also organize them into collections.
Method 2: Sell on Facebook with a company outside the US
Facebook has varying rules for selling through its platform, and much of it is based on where you conduct business.
Many of our readers are based outside of the US, so they don’t have social security numbers or US bank accounts.
Is it still possible to sell on Facebook?
In the past, Facebook allowed you to be in other countries and collect payments through your local currency. That’s no longer allowed.
The primary way to still configure a store on Facebook is to use an external eCommerce platform like WordPress+WooCommerce along with the official WooCommerce Facebook plugin.
If you’re using any other eCommerce platform, like Shopify, or anything else, you’ll have to check to see if anything is supported. Most of them have apps similar to the Facebook for WooCommerce plugin.
This process doesn’t allow for payments on Facebook, though. Instead, it makes product pages with buttons that redirect to your own website shopping cart. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing!
To show you how this works, I activated a VPN to make it seem like my computer is located in Germany.
The error you’ll see for non-US bank accounts
Let’s say your shop is in Germany, or anywhere outside of the US for that matter. You’ll get an error if you go through the same steps we walked through above (for US businesses).
At one stage, you’ll see this popup that tells you that the business address must be in the US. Therefore, completing transactions is banned for non-US businesses, at least for now.
The main workaround
The official Facebook for WooCommerce app is currently the only method for adding a simple store for non-US companies. Shopify, BigCommerce, and other platforms also have apps similar to this.
The plugin isn’t rated that well, but it does get the trick done. However, don’t be surprised if you run into some interface downfalls.
After activation, Go to WooCommerce → Settings → Integration. Then, find and click on the Get Started button.
This page explains that you need to choose a Facebook Page, install a Pixel, and import your products. All you have to do is click on the Next button for now.
Here, you’ll select the Facebook Page you want in the dropdown menu. Click on the Next button to proceed.
Next, choose the Facebook Pixel you want from the dropdown menu. If you don’t have one already, you can make one. After that, click on the Next button again.
As long as you already have products in your WooCommerce store, this step only takes a few seconds. Choose the catalog you would like to import and click on the Finish button. It should tell you how many products are located in this catalog.
The following popup indicates that you’re ready to start viewing and managing your products on the Facebook page. In short, this new plugin connection gives you the functionality to serve up your products in Facebook advertisements and to show them as a product catalog.
When I go to the frontend of my Facebook Page, I can click on Shop to see the results.
As you can see, all of the products from my WooCommerce website are populated into the gallery. It takes some time to process all of them, but most of it is usually done within 24 hours.
When clicking on one of the products, it shows a Check Out on Website button. It also provides product images, titles, descriptions, and pricing.
Compared to the previous method for US businesses, this Facebook Shop (for companies outside the US) sends users directly to the product pages on your website.
And that is it! This is how to create a Facebook shop page without a US address.
Do you have any questions about how to sell on Facebook?
Facebook was, is, and will continue to be finicky for store owners. Some of these procedures may change in the near future, but what’s good to know is that the process of adding the Shop tab and walking through the steps has largely remained the same.
Right now, US businesses have a tool for completing transactions on Facebook, with the money being sent to your banking account.
Non-US businesses are able to make Facebook Shops as well, but you don’t link to a banking account, and the Buy button is a redirect to your real website.
Some people may find this complicated, but both methods are great for at least showing your products to customers online. Furthermore, you’re able to link to these products for advertisements.
If you have any questions about how to sell on Facebook, let us know in the comments below!
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