shopping cart with big 3d hand

Most retail businesses have a multi-platform social media strategy, but one network stands out in terms of value and referral traffic: Facebook. Zuckerberg’s popular social platform drives almost three times as much traffic as YouTube, the closest competitor, according to a report from social technology firm 8th Bridge. Facebook has caught on to the business buzz and offers a number of tools to help initiate sales. Whether you are looking to drive traffic to your website or complete transactions directly on Facebook, these tools will help drive sales:

Facebook Sales Front

The easiest way to use Facebook as a commerce tool is to set up a social sales front. Post links that share pictures and prices on your retail profile. When users click on these links it directs them to your website where it’s just like any other online sale. Once users are done buying, a simple website plug-in can give them the option to share their purchases with their friends.

Pros:

  • This model is simple and inexpensive.
  • It drives traffic to your website.
  • Buyers can opt to automatically post that they bought something from your store with a simple plug-in.

Cons:

  • Buyers may be jarred by the jump from Facebook to a new website.
  • E-commerce invades your ability to connect with customers on a personal level, a key function of Facebook.
  • If you’re website store can’t facilitate transactions, a Facebook campaign will frustrate customers.

Soldsie

No matter the platform, people love a good auction. Soldsie takes the auction model to Facebook, creating profile auctions and tracking inventory in real-time. Businesses post items on their timelines and instruct users to comment “Sold” if they want an item. Soldsie enables users to pay with their PayPal accounts or credit cards.

Pros:

  • Soldsie will manage buyers, wait lists and customer communication automatically.
  • There’s no cost to sign up.
  • Soldsie is a fun, innovative model that feeds off of Facebook’s social energy.

Cons:

  • Users may be hesitant to trust this unfamiliar model

Shopify

Ecommerce platform Shopify sets up storefronts for all types of online businesses. The Shopify Facebook integration enables businesses to sell products directly on their Facebook pages. Businesses set up through the Shopify admin and can customize which products are available on Facebook and who can view them. If desired, business can allow only users who have “Liked” their page to purchase items.

Pros:

  • Shopify is the most convenient option for users. It enables them to complete transactions without jumping to a new platform.
  • The Shopify Facebook extension is free to install.
  • Shopify enables users to connect their invoice program to sales, creating a seamless sales process.
  • Shopify has 24/7 customer service, so your business can make sales day or night.

Cons:

  • Some users have reported problems with foreign transactions through Shopify.

As Facebook commerce continues to grow, the right tool could lead to the boost in sales your business needs.

This is a guest post for Zestee by Margery Smith.  Margery is a freelance writer and social media guru from Los Angeles.