Facebook have recently launched a few new features across their platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp. After businesses around the world have been finding ways to adapt to the current global circumstances and selling online has had a huge boost over the past few months.

Throughout, larger companies have also been looking at ways they can help during the pandemic and Facebook, owners of Instagram and WhatsApp are no different. Here are a few of the new features and ways that you can sell your products online using these platforms.

Shop Small Sticker

Instagram which is owned by Facebook released a few new features on its platform to help small businesses. One of them being a ‘shop small’ sticker that can be added to stories.

All you need to do is choose the sticker ‘support small businesses’ and type in the business name you’d like to support. Once posted on your story,

viewers can tap the sticker to get more information about the business and visit their profile. It’s a great way to show appreciation for your favourite businesses and it helps them increase their reach across Instagram.

The business will also receive a notification that you have supported them using the sticker and they can choose to repost the content to their own story or send you a direct message.

Gift Cards and Food Orders

You can now also offer gift cards through Instagram stories to your followers. If you are also taking online orders or want to promote the purchasing of your gift cards now for use at a later date, this is a great and easy way to do this.

Here’s how to set up gift cards on your Instagram account but please note that this feature is currently only available in selected countries. Once you’ve activated the feature you’ll be able to add it to your profile and create your own sticker to include on your stories. Customers will be able to order food, purchase vouchers, and more all from your Instagram story.

Instagram Shopping

Whilst Instagram Shopping isn’t too new a feature it’s really useful as an additional selling tool for your main website. You are able to promote and tag your products in your organic posted content and stories so they are shoppable and when clicked they take you to view the details of each product including:

  • An image of the product from your post
  • A description of the product
  • How much the product costs
  • A link that takes them directly to your website, where they can purchase the product

Facebook Shops

Facebook recently announced its new service, Facebook Shops which is completely free to use for any Facebook Business Account. All you need to do is choose the products you’d like to feature from your product catalog and customise the way your Facebook Shop looks and feels, including a banner image.

 

This latest addition to Facebook’s family of products and services can allow anyone to set up and sell online no matter their size or budget. However, we strongly encourage that if you’re going to sell online in any way, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It’s good to make sure that you have multiple ways of selling online. Why? As we’ve seen with Amazon who restricted what items they were distributing during the lockdown as well as Etsy who have mandatory advertising fees on top of all their other fees, when you sell via someone else’s platform, they have complete control.

The best way to be fully in control of your online business is to set up your own website and there are many options out there for you to do so.

WhatsApp for Business

Lastly, we’re talking about selling via WhatsApp – yes! You can now sell your products via WhatsApp with the WhatsApp Business app. It’s one of the most used apps in the world and has many benefits.

It not only has a wide range of content you can use to communicate with your customers such as video, gif’s and more but it’s one of the most popular apps in the world and will be installed on most people’s phones already.

It also allows business owners to manage customer chats on their web version to make using this service easier for both parties. Lastly, it also has status updated and broadcast lists which allow you to update your customers of new releases or re-stock’s quickly and easily.

Whatever platforms you choose to sell on, getting online is the first step in making your business a reality. if you’d like to learn more about setting up a business, check out my company’s free online course to setting up an online shop.

Poritions of this post were originally published here.