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How to sell on Instagram and Facebook.

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ShipStation

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Social Commerce

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Instagram, which once started out as just an app to share photos and videos, has quickly become one of the most influential platforms in the world. 

It allows users to make it easier to find the products they love. On the platform, 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services. 

Now, with Instagram Checkout, eligible customers can select even more products. Facebook Marketplace has transformed Facebook from a social platform into a way for users to get connected with businesses and purchase their favorite products.

What is Checkout on Instagram?

Checkout on Instagram is a feature that allows customers to buy select products without them having to leave the app. 

It creates a more streamlined checkout and makes it easier to convert Instagram followers into regular customers. 

The process works by customers tapping and viewing a product from a shoppable post. After they have clicked it, they can continue the payment process. All of this is done without having to actually leave the Instagram app. The only information that is needed from shoppers is their name, email address, billing information, and shipping address. 

What is Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook Marketplace or Facebook Selling is a place where customers can discover, buy, and sell items on the Facebook platform. When you list on Marketplace you can reach buyers where they are. 

 

Example of buying a piece of clothing for a child from Facebook Marketplace.

The benefits. 

Consumer demands are constantly changing, and customers want convenience when it comes to shopping. Instagram Checkout and Facebook Marketplace is filled with many benefits for both businesses and brands that take advantage of it. 

Instagram Checkout benefits.

One benefit is that when a customer clicks on the “Shop” tab, there are several edits that can show them products from Instagram Checkout brands. 

Instagram is known for helping users discover new products and brands, but it is hard for online stores to effectively market their products. Many usually utilize Instagram stories and their swipe up feature to lead customers to products. 

 

The problem with this feature is that users must be verified or have a large following on the platform. As a result, converting traffic from Instagram stories to products is very complicated. 

On the other hand, the shoppable Instagram posts feature does not require users to have a large following in order to market to customers on Instagram. Any sized ecommerce shop can make their products to be purchased right from an Instagram post. 

Facebook Marketplace benefits.

Facebook Marketplace allows businesses to reach users where they already are. People can filter their results by location, category, and price. Facebook includes a variety of categories for users to choose from and they can view all categories, specific categories, or search for products. Facebook Marketplace allows for extended reach and a personalized customer experience. 

What else do you need to know?

It is important to research business implications with selling on Instagram. The Facebook Business Help Center states that the selling fee is 5% per shipment or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less. Consider what you are selling to determine the returns in sales volume and the costs added to overhead. 

Another point to consider is Instagram handles all communications rather than the brand. You might not be able to obtain some customer data. This includes email. However, there are other ways to create sales through Instagram. 

On Facebook, it is important to remember that orders must be shipped in 3 days and received within 7 days. Also, not all ecommerce platforms sync with Facebook. Here are examples of ecommerce platforms that Facebook is linked with. 

How Checkout on Instagram works.

  1. Once a user sees a checkout-enabled product in the feed, they will also see an option to checkout on Instagram. 
  2. Next, users will fill out their contact, shipping, and payment information and from there they can place an order in the app itself. 
  3. Once their order is completed, they can view order status and track their order. Users can also cancel an order, create a return, or ask for more support. 


 

How Facebook Marketplace works.

  1. From your News Feed, click Marketplace in the left menu.
  2. Click Create New Listing, then click Item for Sale.
  3. Click Add Photos to upload a photo of your item from your computer.
  4. Enter the info about your item. To mark an item as Free, you can enter 0 as the price.
  5. Click Next. If Next is grayed out, make sure you've entered the information that's required.
  6. Click Publish to post your Marketplace listing.

Learn how to edit your listing or mark an item as sold.


Additional requirements for Instagram Checkout.

For retailers thinking about using Checkout on Instagram, there are a few more details to consider: 

  1. New product tags use checkout. For US customers, you cannot tag products using links to external websites. 
  2. With Checkout, be sure to use products with prices in USD. Checkout does not support products in other currencies and it will link to external websites.
  3. Using Checkout makes you subject to Instagram policies and merchant term. ( More information can be found on Facebook’s Commerce Policies page.

Instagram has several requirements for your professional account in order to sell on Facebook Commerce surfaces:

Agree with Instagram Policies

If you have an Instagram professional account, it must comply with the Instagram guidelines. 

Represent your business and domain 

Facebook and Instagram accounts have to have products that are available for direct purchase from the business website or Checkout. 

When directing buyers from Facebook Commerce Surfaces to a website, Facebook needs the single non-shortened domain. The Facebook Page and Instagram professional account need to represent the store with the provided domain. You can verify you own your domain by completing the Domain Verification process. 

Be located in a supported market 

Using Facebook Commerce surfaces means that your Instagram professional account needs to be located in a supported market. To learn more about supported markets, click here for Instagram Shopping Availability. Currently, Checkout is only available in the US. 

Provide accurate information and follow best practices 

If accurate information is not provided and requirements are not followed, your account may lose access to Facebook Commerces surfaces, features, and it may be disabled. 

Facebook Commerce surfaces consist of Facebook Shops, Facebook Page Shops, Marketplace Stores, Live Shopping, and Instagram Shopping.

Source: Instagram Help Center

Additional Requirements for Facebook Marketplace 

You automatically be placed into Facebook's Marketplace review process. It gives them time to determine whether or not your products are suitable to sell on the Marketplace. The process takes less than a week.

Facebook Marketplace Rules

  1. Certain items cannot be sold. The list can be found on Marketplace.
  2. You must sell a physical item.
  3. The description of the item must match the image.
  4. Before and after pictures are prohibited. 

How do Customers Track Their Orders?

To track orders through Instagram Checkout, customers receive notifications through email and app. 

  1. Tap their profile photo on the bottom left of their screen 
  2. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner
  3. Tap Orders and Payments
  4. Tap an order 
  5. In the Order Details, you can see the shipping carrier (example: USPS, FedEx) and copy the tracking number to track it on the carrier’s site

To track orders through Facebook Marketplace, customers can track them through the homepage.

  1. Click the "Marketplace" icon along the top of the screen. 
  2. Click "Your Account" in the menu on the left side of the screen. 
  3. Click "Purchased Orders."  You will then see a list of your Facebook Marketplace purchases displayed.
  4. Click any of those orders to see more details associated with their specific status. An Item Details screen will be shown, where you'll see the status of the order, delivery date, and tracking number.


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