With approximately 2.93 billion monthly active users, Facebook is, by far, the most widely used social media network in the world. And if you’re an entrepreneur or ecommerce business owner, chances are you’re already leveraging the platform as a major sales channel, using ecommerce features like Facebook Shops and personalized Shop ads.
Facebook Live Shopping allows merchants to host live-streamed shopping events, where they can showcase their products in real-time, provide product details and payment options and interact with existing and potential customers directly from their live broadcast.
Considering global livestream shopping sales are expected to reach $500B by 2023, Facebook Live Shopping is a prime opportunity for merchants to streamline the way users discover and buy online.
In this step-by-step guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know about Facebook Live Shopping and how to get started today.
Why Your Business Should Be Using Facebook Live Shopping
In the aftermath of the pandemic, ecommerce brands can no longer rely solely on face-to-face interactions with customers. As consumers spend more time online and less time in-store, online business owners must learn how to engage customers through one-sided social media platforms.
But with the rise of Instagram Stories, TikTok reels and shoppable Pins, one of the biggest challenges of selling online is maintaining authentic customer engagement — and according to Stackla, 90% of consumers say authenticity is an important factor in deciding which brands they support.
Luckily, authenticity is a defining characteristic of Facebook Live Shopping.
By interacting with customers in real-time and displaying your products in real-world situations, Facebook Live Shopping lets you humanize your brand and connect with your audience on a more intimate and interactive level.
In fact, to promote its new feature, during the summer of 2021, Facebook partnered with eight major ecommerce brands such as Sephora and Abercrombie & Fitch to host its "Live Shopping Fridays" series. These events offered brands to “combine the fun of live video with the convenience of online shopping” and thus make the online shopping experience more authentic.
For more insights, check out Episode 20 of our bi-weekly audio series, the Make it Big Podcast, where we chatted with Meta’s Derek Netto about how social commerce and live shopping are enhancing customer engagement.
Facebook Live Shopping Features
With the release of Live Shopping, Facebook offers a fully integrated shopping experience that makes it easy for businesses to drive online sales and customers to shop their favorite brands. Here are some notable Facebook Live Shopping features and perks that will help make your livestreams even more impactful.
Low barrier to entry.
The great thing about Facebook Live Shopping is that practically anyone can get in on the action.
You don’t need expensive equipment, extensive technical experience or even video editing skills to make a great livestream — all you need is a Facebook Shops page and a mobile phone or laptop for filming, and you’re good to go!
Easily demonstrate your product.
At first glance, it’s easy to assume that live shopping and online shopping are the same thing. But we’re here to show you how live shopping is completely changing the game of traditional online shopping.
While, yes, live shopping does occur online, a live shopping experience often involves a product demo or interaction with the host. Thus, unlike a static photo of a product on an online store, live shopping allows brands to demonstrate how their product works, what it looks like from different angles and how a customer may use the product in various real-life situations.
Features live streaming notifications.
Unlike other live shopping platforms, which depend on traffic to bring in viewers, Facebook Live allows users to notify customers about their livestream through Messenger or Facebook notifications. This way, merchants have the opportunity to reach potential viewers who may not have otherwise come across their livestream.
Generate massive sales.
If executed well, Facebook Live can reach hundreds — or even thousands — of potential customers in just a few minutes. On top of that, Facebook Live makes it easy for customers to purchase products by linking directly to your product page.
Gives you better organic reach on Facebook.
Live video streaming outperforms other types of Facebook posts. In fact, Facebook users spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.
Is more cost-efficient.
The beauty of live broadcasting is it can be done on a mobile device or laptop with little to no editing or set design required. Rather, the success of your livestream falls on how you interact with your audience and how creative you are with your content.
Types of Content to Offer Via Live Shopping
As they say, content is king.
Diversifying your livestream content is key to keeping your audience engaged and coming back for more. Below are four types of content to test out for your next Facebook Live Shopping event:
Influencers and collaborations.
Considering nearly half (44%) of Gen Z-ers have made purchasing decisions based on recommendations from social media influencers, it’s no surprise that influencer marketing is one of the most popular marketing tactics on Facebook.
By collaborating with influencers and other content creators, you’ll be able to reach an even wider audience — one that likely already trusts and seeks the recommendation of the influencers they follow.
Find influencers within your brand niche, and invite them to co-host a live shopping video featuring their favorite products from your brand. Not only can this build brand awareness for your business, but it also has the potential to drive traffic to the influencer’s page — a win-win for both parties!
New product and/or collection reveals.
According to a Facebook survey, more than 74% of users said they use Facebook platforms for brand and product discovery, compared to 41% who said they discover new brands or products via the brand’s website.
Needless to say, Facebook Live is the perfect place for your next product reveal.
If you’re dropping a new product or announcing a product collaboration with a partner brand, get your customers excited by sharing all the details on a Live video. Boost real-time demand around the product by giving sneak peaks, answering questions from viewers and providing exclusive offers.
Product tutorials or how-to content.
Seeing a static image of a purse online is one thing, but seeing it in a hands-on product demo or tutorial is likely to be far more engaging — because customers know that there’s no room for editing or manipulation in a live video. What you see is what you get.
To help demonstrate your products in action, use your Live broadcast to model your products in real-life scenarios. Whether it’s trying on different outfits with your new apparel line or doing a makeup tutorial with your latest beauty product, showcasing your products in real-time is a great way for viewers to get inspired and make a spur-of-the-moment purchase.
Customer service and FAQ answers.
Chances are if one customer has a question about our product, there are several others who have the same question, too.
Try hosting an “FAQ” live stream, where you can answer questions and help undecided shoppers get immediate answers. For customers who are hesitant to make a first purchase, this is a great opportunity to relieve any concerns your customers may have and interact with them in a more natural, casual setting.
How to Successfully Use Facebook Live Shopping to Drive Sales
While Facebook Live Shopping may be the next big ecommerce trend, pressing the broadcast button does not always guarantee sales.
If your ultimate goal is to boost conversions and drive sales, you’ll need to put some thought into how you promote and craft your video in order to get customers to purchase.
Here are just a few strategies and best practices to keep in mind before you go live.
Do a test run before your first live stream.
Especially if you’re about to film your very first Facebook Live, make sure to test your technology, equipment, volume, lighting, camera angles and internet connection beforehand. As you do, make sure you adjust your privacy settings so that only you and the people you choose can view your test video.
Once you’ve ensured there are no technical issues, you’re good to go live!
Promote your live shopping events beforehand.
If you want to get the most viewers possible, you’ll need to make sure people actually know about your live stream ahead of time. Promoting your Facebook Live will allow your viewers to make time and plan ahead to tune into your broadcast.
Announce your live broadcast a few days before the event to build anticipation with potential viewers, and encourage them to like your Facebook page so they can be notified when you go live.
Leverage other social media channels such as Instagram Stories and email newsletters to promote your broadcast in the days leading up to the event, or try running social ads if you have the budget for it.
Get some help.
Although hosting a Facebook Live is a relatively simple process, having an extra hand never hurt anyone.
Ask a friend or family member to be behind the camera during your live stream to help assist with equipment, displaying products, commenting in the chat and answering customers’ questions. Especially if your Facebook following is still growing, you may need a friend or family member to pose questions or comments in the chat to start the conversation and encourage other viewers to engage.
Include calls to action.
Likely, the main goal of your Facebook Live is to drive traffic to your website and enhance sales for underperforming products.
That said, you’ll need to include CTAs throughout the video, such as “Add to Cart” or “Go to Checkout.” Rather than waiting until the very end of your broadcast to direct viewers to your site, make sure to remind them in regular intervals to help drive conversions.
However, while driving sales may be the main goal of going live, keep in mind that viewers don’t always want to be sold to — they want to be entertained, so make sure you’re balancing product-driven videos with entertainment-driven content.
Luckily, Facebook Live is an opportunity to get creative and express your brand in a way that you may not be able to on other channels — so don’t be afraid to have fun with it! Try hosting a holiday season giveaway, a gameshow, a Q&A with a big-name influencer or showing your viewers around your company headquarters.
Keep it short and to the point.
According to Vidyard, over half of all social media users will watch a full video if it’s under one minute long, but the longer the video is, the smaller this percentage becomes. This means that you only have a short length of time to reel in a user and keep them hooked.
When hosting a Facebook Live, keep your broadcast short and to the point. Make sure to lead with valuable information such as any promos or discounts, product reveals or other incentives to keep your viewers locked in from the get go.
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The Final Word
Although Facebook Shops has been around for a couple years now, the platform shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to ecommerce innovation — and Facebook Live Shopping is a prime example.
Although many social media platforms already offer ecommerce features, Facebook Live Shopping is an especially valuable tool for online businesses looking to create a truly omnichannel experience and boost customer engagement.
Luckily, with a BigCommerce store, merchants can connect to Facebook, as well as other platforms like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Instagram and TikTok. Connect your online store today to start making the most out of your live streams and bring your products to life.