However, collecting the money from customers supporting these new revenue streams has brought a whole new set of challenges as many event professionals lacked an e-commerce tool that would facilitate the checkout process in a socially distant world.
Nonetheless, this has not stopped members of the event industry from building out their new business models. We've seen some really creative ways to get money in the door--from using a combination of Instagram and CashApp to creating drive in pop up booths.
This month Facebook released Facebook Shops, which allows businesses to create an online store on Facebook and Instagram for free. It includes a variety of customization options, including custom fonts and colors.
Facebook also announced that it will be adding features across their apps, "like Instagram Shop, live shopping features and loyalty programs to help people discover and shop for things they love."
Here's a quick look at Facebook's video explaining how Shops works.
How to sell with Facebook Shops
There are two ways to sell with Facebook Shops:
1 – Use Facebook’s platform itself to create your Facebook Store, list products, and set up a shopping cart to connect payments. This is a more basic way of selling and will get the job done in a pinch.
2 – Use an e-commerce website builder to create an online store, then automatically link your products to your Facebook Store page. This requires little technical know-how and is simple to set up and manage.
We recommend option two. It’s better to use an e-commerce tool to sell through Facebook: not only is this option a lot simpler, but it gives your online business a much more extensive online presence. By connecting your online store to your Facebook Store, you get the best of both worlds!
To see what a Facebook Shop might look like, check out our mock shop Curate Florals on Facebook.
See @curate_flower on Instagram to see what an Instagram shop looks like (Instagram shopping is only available within the Instagram app).
How to set up your Facebook Store
To add a store to your Facebook page, select the ‘Shop’ tag on your Facebook Business Page. If you can’t see this tab, your page may not be on the shopping template, so you’ll need to switch templates. You’ll then be walked through the process of setting up your shop, and can hit ‘Finish’ when you’re done.
If you want customers to check out on your website, you can choose "Check Out on Another Website" at this time.
Curate Orders is our new tool that makes setting up shop on Facebook/Instagram simple!
To add products to your Facebook store:
- Go to the ‘Shop’ tab on your page (this has to be done from a computer)
- Hit ‘Add Product’
- Add a product title and upload product images or videos
- Include a product description, including information on features and sizing, if applicable
- Add an inventory count. If your product has variations in size or color, you can add an option for this by hitting ‘Edit Options’
- Complete options around delivery, returns policy and select a product category (if applicable)
- Click ‘Save’ once you’ve added all this information
Once you’ve added a product, it will display as ‘Processing’ while Facebook checks that your product complies with their policies. It should be approved and displaying in your shop within 24 hours.
For more information on Facebook's options for e-commerce, check out their short course "The Power of Commerce on Facebook and Instagram."
How to Sell on Instagram Shops
At this time, Instagram Shops is still being tested. However, you can try to be approved for the feature by going to your profile's settings, tap Business and tap Instagram Shopping.
Important note: your account must be set up as a business. This absolutely will not work if you are using a personal account.
Follow the steps to make sure everything is all good to go and submit your account for review. Usually the process takes a few days, but sometimes it can take longer.
If your account is approved, here's how to connect your account your Instagram account to your Facebook Shops catalog.
- Go to your profile and tap
- Tap Settings
- Tap Business.
- Tap Shopping. Note: The option to tap Shopping is only available to accounts that have been approved for Instagram Shopping.
- Tap Continue
- Select a product catalog to connect to your professional account.
- Tap Done.
If you don't see Shopping, your account is probably still under review or it hasn't been approved for Instagram Shopping.
Curate is introducing a new transactional + e-commerce tool that you can use with Facebook/Instagram Shops!