As social commerce gains popularity for online shoppers, it will be an advantage for retailers to learn how to sell on Facebook on top of having an online store. Selling on Facebook can be done through Facebook Shops and Facebook Marketplace.
- Facebook Shops helps small businesses set up a single online store for their customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram. With this new feature, you can also sell products through the chat features of WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram and tag products during Facebook and Instagram live streams, which will take customers to a product ordering page.
- Marketplace, meanwhile, is a place on Facebook where people discover, buy, and sell items. Individuals and businesses can use this feature. If you have a Facebook business page and a Facebook Shop with checkout, you can sell as a business on Marketplace (currently limited to US merchants).
How to Set Up a Facebook Shop
To sell products on Facebook, you first need a dedicated Facebook page for your business (not your personal page). Next, either connect your ecommerce platform to Facebook or build your Facebook Shop manually. Finally, you’ll want to market your products and your Facebook Shop through ads, contests, and boosted posts to maximize sales.
Start selling products through a Facebook Shop in six steps:
1. Set Up Accounts & Check Compliance
Before you begin setting up your Facebook Shop, make sure that:
- Your business sells physical goods that comply with Facebook’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.
- You consider setting up a business account on Instagram that is connected to a Facebook Page you manage because you may need this to help sell items, and both apps work well together to sell to customers. Learn how to set up a business account on Instagram.
- You are a Business Manager admin.
- Your Facebook Page and Instagram business account (if you set one up) are connected to the same Business Manager account.
- You have managing permissions for your Facebook Page.
Note: If you already have a shop on Facebook or Instagram, it will automatically convert to the new Shops experience. You can also set up Instagram Shopping in a similar way but on a different platform.
2. Create a Facebook Business Page
To set up a Facebook Shop, you’ll need to create a free Facebook Page for your business. You can’t create a Facebook Shop from a personal Facebook account because it’s available only on
3.Set Up Your Commerce Manager
Whether you have an existing online store on a different platform or plan to use Facebook Shops exclusively, you need to set up your Commerce Manager. This is where you will initially set up your Facebook Shop or connect your ecommerce platform.
Follow the steps below:
- Log in to the Commerce Manager.
- Click Get Started under Get started with Shops.
- You have three checkout methods where you want your customers to complete their purchase: your website, direct or checkout on Facebook or Instagram, and messaging.
- When you choose the checkout on another website option, customers can browse your shop on Facebook. When they check out, they will be directed to your website from an item’s detail page. Choose this option if you already have an existing online store. You would need to integrate your store into Facebook (this will be discussed in the next section).
- When you opt for checkout with messaging, you can direct buyers to message your business on Messenger or WhatsApp to complete their payment. With this option, you will need to set up your own way to process payments and fulfill orders. If you want to fulfill orders on WhatsApp, you will need a WhatsApp business account in the same Business Manager account as your shop and set it up as the primary contact method for your Shop.
- When you select checkout with Facebook or Instagram, customers won’t be directed to another website and can check out directly. This feature is currently limited to sellers in the US and requires you to have a Commerce Account. If you choose this option, selling fees apply, and payouts are issued in eight to 10 business days.
- You are required to present the following information to set up checkout on Facebook or Instagram:
- Business category and type
- A business address in the US
- US bank account details for collecting payouts
- A State Tax Registration Number for every state where the business operates, for tax purposes
- A Federal Tax Identification Number that matches the business representative’s name for financial reporting
- A business representative’s personal or business identity information to verify the authenticity of the business
- Shipping options, return policy, and a customer service email to set up customer service
- You are required to present the following information to set up checkout on Facebook or Instagram:
- Select the Business Page that you want to add your shop to.
- Fill in the requested information under Account details.
- Under Where people can view your shop, select whether you’d like your shop to be based on your Instagram business profile, your Facebook Page, or both.
- Under Add a catalog, select an existing product catalog or create a new one. If you don’t have a catalog yet, you won’t see this step. Facebook will create a catalog for you automatically and you can see it in the Commerce Manager called “Items for (name and ID of your Page).” You can add your items later when you’ve finished setting up your shop.
- Check your shop details, review the Merchant Agreement and click Create Your Shop.
4. Evaluate Your Options for Selling on Facebook
Now that you have created your shop, you need to evaluate your options for selling on Facebook. You can choose between two options for selling your products on Facebook: via the fully integrated Facebook Shop or by connecting your existing online store to Facebook and syncing your products.
- Using Facebook Shop Exclusively
You can enter products for sale directly to your Facebook Shop for free. Facebook has clear instructions that walk you through every step. If you sell just a few items or only want to sell through a Facebook Shop, this might be all you need.
One downside is that you have to manually manage orders, which can be time-consuming if you move a lot of products. Another con is that you can only sell your products on Facebook, so you’ll have no other sales outlets. The ecommerce platform option gives you many more selling opportunities, plus a suite of time-saving order management tools.
Syncing an Online Store/Ecommerce Platform
Top ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce let you list and sell products in a Facebook Shop, plus many other places if you wish. What these platforms offer over the Facebook-only option is a full suite of product listings as well as automated order and shipping management tools designed to save you time.
Time-saving benefits aside, the biggest plus is that you can sell just about anywhere using an ecommerce platform, such as with your own website, Amazon, eBay, Pinterest, and blog posts. Even if you don’t want to start your own website or sell on places like eBay or Amazon at first, the option is there if and when the time comes.
If selling online is a priority, you need to extend your reach beyond the Facebook audience—and ecommerce platforms let you do just that. They also make every ecommerce task as quick and automated as possible, from product entry to shipping updates. Plus, if you ship, or hope to ship, more than 10 orders per day, you should consider this time-saving option.
The downside is cost. In most cases, you’ll need a monthly paid account with an ecommerce provider. However, there are free options with providers like Ecwid.
5. Add Products to Your Catalog
Once you’ve set up your Commerce Manager account and connected your Facebook Page, you can start adding products to your catalog.
There are multiple ways to add products to your catalog. The method you choose depends on several factors—your inventory size and type and how frequently it changes.
- Add Items to Your Catalog Manually
- Add Items via Product Data Feed
- Add Items via Facebook Pixel
- Import Items by Syncing an Ecommerce Platform
A data feed enables bulk uploading of items using a spreadsheet file. You can upload a file once or set up a schedule to update your catalog automatically on a regular basis.
If you need a template, follow Facebook’s guide on how to download a data feed template.
- Go to Commerce Manager and select your catalog.
- Open the Catalog tab and go to Data Sources.
- Select Add Items. If a dropdown appears, select Add Multiple Items.
- Select Data Feed followed by Next.
- Under Is your spreadsheet or file ready select Yes and then Next.
- Choose how to upload your file (from computer, URL, or Google Sheets)
- Select Save Feed and Upload.
This guide covers uploading items in bulk for the first time. If you need to update your data feed, read Facebook’s guide to updating an existing feed file.
6. Market Your Products for Facebook Shop Success
Your Facebook Shop products are primed and ready for promotion to your Facebook followers and countless potential customers. With your products already housed on Facebook, you can easily and quickly select certain products or groups of products to promote via Facebook posts and ads. Then, you can market your products organically and through paid advertising.
Create Great Product Listings
Starting an online store can take some time, but it’s relatively easy to do. You’ll need to not only brand your store, but also market it. Most search engines pull in your product descriptions when a user searches for a particular product. This means you’ll also need to create accurate, detailed descriptions.
To create your product listings, you’ll need to assemble four key components:
- Good product images: A fancy camera or professional photography is not necessary to have great product photos. You may only need your mobile phone.
- Detailed product descriptions: Don’t be shy when describing your products. Good descriptions should be chock-full of details that sell your product, plus any sizing, measurements, weights, or other necessary details.
- Product size and weight information: These numbers can be entered with your product information in most ecommerce systems, so you can print accurate shipping labels. It’s optional but can be useful.
- Product numbers or inventory stock keeping unit (SKU) numbers: You’ll use SKU numbers or product codes to track products in your online store.
Run Ads, Promos & Campaigns
There are many ways, both free and paid, that you can market your Facebook Shop products to followers and larger audiences, including:
- Featuring products and specials via boosted posts—which are regular posts that, for a small fee, can reach a large, targeted audience
- Running Facebook ad campaigns with featured products
- Distributing offers and hosting contests to engage your audience and attract new viewers to your page and Facebook Shop products
Read more about marketing your small business on Facebook for free. And then, consider Facebook’s paid advertising opportunities to give your business maximum exposure for a relatively small investment.
How to Sell on Facebook Marketplace
After you have a Facebook Shop, boost your store visibility by adding Marketplace as a sales channel. According to Facebook data, more than one in three US Facebook users buy and sell on Marketplace each month. Facebook Marketplace used to be a peer-to-peer shopping marketplace, but has expanded to include merchant selling.
Marketplace’s main draw is that you can increase your store’s reach in your local community. You can also get buyers on Facebook where they’re already browsing products, and use Facebook’s real-time messaging to answer inquiries and give useful information such as price and product description. Lastly, you can target more people with mobile-friendly listings.
Easily add Marketplace as a sales channel by following the steps outlined below. Note that some steps may vary depending on the ecommerce platform you are using. We recommend that you check your partner platform or connector for instructions as well.
1. Enable Checkout on Facebook for Your Shop
Before you begin, set up a checkout on Facebook for your shop. If you have a Shopify store, set up a checkout on Facebook on Shopify first so that customers can complete purchases directly from Marketplace.
Note: Store inventory and order management will still be managed through Shopify but payouts will be processed and sent from Facebook.
2. Add Marketplace as a Sales Channel for Your Facebook Shop
- Go to your Commerce Manager.
- Select your shop.
- In the left-hand menu, click Settings.
- Click Business Assets.
- Select Enable Marketplace.
And you are all set! Listings get approved and usually start to show up in Marketplace within 24 hours. As with Facebook Shop products, all listings must comply with Facebook’s Commerce Policies and Community Standards.
3. Advertise Your Store or Products on Marketplace
Once you add Marketplace as a sales channel, consider advertising to reach more people, even if you don’t plan to post directly on Marketplace. Simply listing an item for sale isn’t as effective as creating a paid ad to appear when people shop on Marketplace. Marketplace ads are seen when people use the Facebook app on their phones to shop on Marketplace.
To create an ad for Marketplace:
- Go to Ads Manager and choose your ad objective. Click Continue.
- Choose your Destination.
- Choose your Audience and define your targeting.
- Choose Automatic Placements or Edit Placements.
- Facebook recommends automatic placement ads because if approved and compatible with your settings, your ad will appear on Marketplace and all other compatible placements on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.
- Set your Budget and Schedule.
- Choose your ad’s creative format. Follow the recommended video and image specifications.
- After setting up your ad, click on Place Order.
Selling products directly to your Facebook audience is easy using the Shop feature included with every free Facebook business page. Online store platforms that integrate seamlessly with Facebook offer the easiest Facebook Shop solution, especially if you’re new to ecommerce. From there, Facebook provides many free and paid marketing opportunities to promote your Shop. With a solid ecommerce platform and a good marketing plan, you’ll see your Facebook audience grow and, more importantly, start making sales.
Using an ecommerce platform is recommended for businesses selling products on a Facebook Shop and is all but necessary for businesses selling on multiple channels, such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and through their own websites. Shopify and BigCommerce are Facebook partner platforms that are included in our top picks for the best ecommerce platforms. You can find out which tool is a better fit for your business in our BigCommerce vs Shopify review.