The Facebook and Instagram checkout feature allows sellers and small businesses to complete customer transactions within the app or directly on the site. There is no longer a need to drive users to your website to make a purchase.
This relatively new feature is changing the way brands, small businesses, and marketers use Facebook and Instagram to promote their products and their company.
The feature was designed to make selling and buying quick, easy, and secure. It is also intended to help small businesses get their products out there as a substitute to other sites that may incur larger selling or listing fees.
Why should I use the checkout features?
Facebook outlines the benefits of using the checkout feature through what is called the Commerce Manager. Here you can set up a shop using Checkout for fast, easy, and safe transactions. The benefits provided by Facebook are as follows:
When buying directly through Facebook or Instagram Checkout, buying, shipping, and payment information are stored securely in one place to make future purchases easy and quick.
No new accounts need to be created to complete a purchase.
Because payment and shipping info is stored securely, there isn’t a need to enter the information again, which adds to the safety of the feature.
They claim to approve every product listing to ensure quality and will deny product listings that violate their policies, thus creating a more enjoyable shopping experience for customers.
Consistency for products and descriptions is said to be ensured so customers get what they’re really paying for.
One of the upsides to having e-commerce capabilities directly on these social media apps is the established connection businesses already have with their audience. Having everything in one place, rather than having to go to multiple sites or search for shops outside of the app adds to the convenience,
There is also talk of “live shopping” that will mimic home shopping channels, through Facebook and Instagram livestreams. While many businesses are already using the livestream feature to promote their products and host sales, the actual transaction takes place outside of the app, usually through PayPal or Venmo. But with this new feature, the transaction can fully take place right then and there.
What do I need to know as a small business owner?
To use the Checkout feature, sellers must have a Facebook Commerce Manager account or an account through the e-commerce platforms Shopify and BigCommerce.
For sellers, it's important to know that selling fees will incur when a sale is made, which is set at 5%. Selling fees include taxes and the cost of payment processing which applies to all transactions in all product categories.
Payment processing and payouts take 8-10 business days, and these will be deposited into the bank account you added to your merchant profile. According to Facebook's rules, Products must be shipped within three days.
It is important to set up your tax settings and keep accurate records. They offer several financial and tax forms in the commerce manager such as sales reconciliation reports and payout history reports.