On our previous posts on "Getting to know Starting and Established Business Online", some known online stores here in Cebu gave us their insights on how they run their shops. But where does one really start when venturing the world of online selling? Here are a few steps on setting up your own store on Facebook:
1. Decide on your product.
Just like any business, you need to have a business plan; so think about your product first and foremost. Are you going to focus on one product and specialize on it or are you going to sell anything you fancy? Do you have a solid and dependable supplier or manufacturer of your products? How would you stand out and make yourself different from the hundreds of sellers out there? Be unique and try to offer something truly original.click here to see cool potential products!
2. Make a business plan.
Think about the logistics, which may comprise of the following elements:
- Are you creating the product by yourself? If so, make sure you have the time and can keep up with the demands of your customers.
- Decide on how to ship your products. Canvas different couriers and their rates and reliability. If you will have meet ups make sure it's in a public place and don't forget that even though you are having meet ups you will still have to shell out money for transportation in going back and forth and even food.
- Decide on your store's name; do remember a good catchy name goes a long way. It helps people to remember your name right away. Think about your logo, overall theme and color scheme of your store. Whatever you make might soon be the one you will use on your store's stickers, labels and even receipts. So make it a good one!
- Have an easy ordering process and a lot of payment options. Most likely there are other online sellers selling the same products as yours, so one deciding factor a customer will look for is on how convenient you are. Be polite and responsive, have an FAQ corner on your page to be easier for them. A lot of customers are definitely turned off by sellers who are snotty and unfriendly. Remember just because you can't see your customer doesn’t mean they don't have feelings!
have an effective business plan by choosing the right products
3. Create your online store.
Make a Facebook page for your business by following these easy steps:
- Log in to your Facebook account and go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. You will then see a page that has 6 main page categories; choose and click the one that you think fits your business idea best, but usually the Brand or Product option suits almost any type of starting Facebook business. After clicking that box, you will then see a drop-down menu where you can choose a specific category for your product.
- After clicking a specific category, you will then be instructed to put a name for your business. After which, you can add a profile picture for your business page.
- Next, fill in the About field completely.
- Then, change your cover photo.
- Finally, add some info to your About Page section.
Once everything is ready, don't forget to like your own page, manage permissions through your Admin Panel, and start sharing some interesting stuff to your Facebook friends!
4. Advertise, advertise, advertise.
Making the page (and inviting FB friends to like it) is the first and easy step. Maintaining and making it visible is the tricky part. For Facebook, the more status posts, likes and shares you have, the more visible you are to your customers. In short the more activity the more visibility. BUT make sure not to overdo it and spam your customers’ news feeds. This is a surefire way for you to be "unliked" or even blocked. Remember, it's all about balance. Other than posting and sharing your pictures and statuses, there are also Facebook groups for both buyers and sellers where you can advertise for free, just remember to read the admin rules first. Learn the power of hashtags as well. When using hashtags, it's not about quantity but it's all about quality. Tag your photos with the BUYERS in mind. For example, instead of using hashtags like #cute, #pretty to describe a shirt you're selling, use #clothes, #girlshirts, #shirtsph (ph means Philippines specifically) instead since these are the hashtags a buyer will usually use when looking for something specific.
So go on start your online selling journey and keep in mind the most important of all is enjoy and love what you're doing!