With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many small businesses have suffered greatly. Fashion businesses have not been left out of this as clients are no longer buying fashion items like clothes, accessories, and footwear like before.
This is mainly due to the restriction on movement many governments put in place and the need for social distancing.
In a survey carried out by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable, 31% of small businesses reported that they have stopped operating and an addition 11% say that they could fail within the next 3 months if the current situation persists.
What is Facebook Shops?
With the increase in the online presence of businesses and online retailing, Facebook has decided to launch Facebook shops. Facebook shops is a way businesses can set up storefronts on Facebook and Instagram for free.
“If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people, we’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time.” – Mark Zuckerberg.
The store will appear on Facebook business pages, Instagram profiles, and through targeted ads. Shops will let business owners specify which item they want to feature, merchandise with product collections, and tell their brand story with customizable fonts and colours.
The shops will be powered by third-party apps like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce so small businesses can have the support they need. The shopping feature will eventually appear on WhatsApp Messenger and Instagram Direct so customers and business owners can interact more easily.
Once a customer decides which item they will like to purchase, they will usually be directed to the company’s website to complete the transaction. And in case the customer has questions or an issue arises, they can chat with the business owner using Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct messages.
Facebook also plans to add features across their apps, like Instagram Shop, live shopping features, and loyalty programs to help people discover and shop what they love.
To learn more about Facebook shops and hear from Mark Zuckerberg about the announcement and the company’s vision, click here.
How can Fashion Entrepreneurs Benefit from Facebook shops?
For fashion entrepreneurs, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of. The Facebook shops will allow you to sell and ship your products off to your customers without hassle. It means you can still keep your customers in the know about new collections and outfits you’re making and they get to buy it too.
With the customizable fonts and colours the platform offers, you can tell your brand story to potential customers and add your brand colours into your shop to make it more ‘you’. Also, with a few clicks, you can create hyper-targeted ads to remind customers about products they considered buying but didn’t.
Since once you set up your shop on one platform it shows on your Facebook Page and Instagram Profile, you can use Facebook Shops to get to all your customers on these platforms. You can also compartmentalize your storefront in such a way that if you make a variety of clothing items, for instance, your customers can search for women’s dresses or skirts easily.
This means you can make sales from the comfort of your home and keep your customers interested in your brand. It also means that your business does not have to suffer due to this pandemic and you can still create brand awareness for your fashion brand using targeted ads.