Facebook Live Selling – The Future of eCommerce
The world of eCommerce is ever growing and diversifying. And the latest trend that’s all the rage in online retail is Facebook live selling.
In China, live selling generated $171 billion in 2020. That figure is expected to hit $423 billion this year. By comparison, live selling in the US generated almost $6 billion in sales in 2020. According to coresight, that’s going to quadruple by 2023 to $25 billion. And do you want to know the great news? Anyone can do it. Yes, even home retailers like yourself.
That’s why we’ve created this beginners guide. To help you get to grips with Facebook live selling and capitalize on its MANY advantages. So you can use it to grow your online store and increase those sales! Let’s begin…
What is Facebook Live Selling?
You may have heard Facebook live selling referred to as Facebook live shopping, live stream selling or live eCommerce. Don’t worry, it’s all the same thing.
Remember QVC and the Home Shopping Network? Facebook live selling works a lot like that. Sellers show potential customers their products, demonstrate how they work and display the important details. You know, like its name and how much it costs. Buyers then order and arrange for the product to be delivered right to their door. Simple.
However, this process isn’t taking place on television. It’s happening on a Facebook livestream!
Who Can Livestream Sell on Facebook?
Unlike QVC or HSN, selling on Facebook via live stream is open to everyone. Anytime, anywhere. From work-from-home mom direct sellers to owners of small fashion boutiques. Yes, that’s right, even your home eCommerce business can reap the rewards.
In fact, one of the best examples of Facebook live selling success comes from small UK business owner Vicki Stewart …
Vicki’s business, The Funky Fairy, sells personalized embroidered gifts for kids online. She managed to reach over 7k viewers on the first two days of her Facebook Live Sale campaign and more than 10k on day three! What’s more amazing is that each live sale of this 4-day campaign was only 20 minutes long. Through this, Vicki rapidly grew her eCommerce sales.]
I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t there other social media platforms where you can live sell? Yes, there are. Twitter, Instagram and TikTok also have the capacity for livestream selling. But none of them quite have the reach and potential that Facebook has for this strand of eCommerce.
Facebook has more users than any other social media platform in the world. This is also true for the US. Out of the 270 million social media users in the US, more than 200 million use Facebook. That’s nearly 75%! To put those figures even further into perspective, the total US population is 333 million. In other words, Facebook offers huge potential viewership for your live sales.
Also, Facebook prioritizes video content. Especially live video. Meaning that live sales are more likely to be seen further up peoples’ timelines. Plus, video content has been proven to have much higher engagement on Facebook. And people engage 6x more with live video than they do with pre-recorded video.
Video engagement levels are high for Facebook users. That includes potential customers ready to buy your product. That’s one huge advantage of Live Selling on Facebook. Now, let’s talk about some more…
8 Advantages of Facebook Live Selling
1. Provides buyers with in-store experience
In the good ‘ol days, buyers would interact with a store assistant. The assistant would advise them on a product and provide demonstrations. But you had to go out to an actual store for this. For people whose lives were getting busier and busier, this became a bit inconvenient.
Then, along came eCommerce. This gave consumers the ability to buy from home. Awesome. But what they gained in convenience, they lost in human touch. The ability to quickly chat with a sales assistant, ask questions about an item and see a demonstration was lost.
Enter, live shopping. Live selling on platforms like Facebook gives buyers, as Hannah Montanah put it,
“The Best of Both Worlds”
Shoppers get the comfort of buying from home, whilst being able to talk to an expert – LIVE. They’re also able to observe demonstrations and see how the product they want to buy works. And seeing a product in action increases the chances of shoppers making a purchase.
2. Higher engagement and better customer relationships
This follows on neatly from our last point. One major advantage of Facebook live selling is that it enables you to connect with your buyers in real-time. Something that you simply can’t do through traditional eCommerce.
Through your Facebook live sales, you’ll be able to develop personal relationships with buyers and build trust. As well as growing your personal brand. Shoppers will also be able to see your passion for your project. All of this is likely to increase your chance of getting more sales!
This is a breeding ground for customer loyalty. This loyalty, in turn, is going to encourage repeat custom. That means even more sales for your small eCommerce business!
3. Real-time Feedback
Through your Facebook live selling events, customers can tell you what they like and what’s not really working for them. In real-time!
For example, if you introduce a new product, you’ll be able to quickly tell whether buyers like it or not. If they do, great. You’re onto a winner – buy more! If they don’t, you don’t need to waste your time on that item in the future.
You can also get real-time feedback on new sales techniques and promotions. This allows you to quickly see what techniques are working and which are not. Then, you can easily adapt while you’re live. Or, you’ll be able to make changes for your next live selling event.
Often, trying new sales techniques, promotions and products is costly. But these costs are avoided when you sell live on Facebook.
It’s also mega cheap to go live. You don’t need expensive cameras, expensive editing software or elaborate set design. And you certainly don’t need a professional studio! All you need is yourself, your inventory and an easy-to-use Facebook live selling platform like ShipLive.
Facebook live selling is super cost-efficient. That’s a huge bonus to retailers with smaller budgets.
(However, if you do want some basic equipment to make your live sales look more pro, we have a blog with some pointers).
5. Reduced customer journey and faster product sales
When purchasing online, consumers like to research what they’re going to buy. They watch tutorials, sift through reviews or do some comparison shopping. This gives them the confidence they need to then buy a product, which is awesome. But it takes a long time.
However, live selling allows you to shortcut this time consuming process. You’re able to give your customer instant product information, demonstrations and testimonials during your live sale. And, customers turn up ready to buy. This is one of the biggest benefits to Facebook live sales – for both your small business and buyers. They can buy quicker and you can sell your products faster.
6. Increased Sales
In terms of Facebook live selling benefits, this ones a biggie.
Livestream buyers buy more in larger quantities than traditional eCommerce buyers. In fact, according to McKinsey, conversion rates are around 30%. That’s up to 10x higher than traditional eCommerce. And the average buyer makes a larger purchase. This proves that you can make good sales even with a small audience.
7. Larger Audiences
Although good sales with small audiences are still great, more sales with a larger audience is better. And with Facebook live selling, this is more than possible. Even for small eCommerce stores!
Remember those stats we mentioned before about Facebook? Yep. It has the largest active usership out of any social media platform in the US. That’s MILLIONS of potential customers. Plus, your live sales get priority because of Facebook’s clever algorithm.
Increased chance of live video engagement and vast amount of US users = larger audiences. It’s also going to continue to increase your visibility.
8. Less Returns
No one likes the hassle and expense of returns. But when you’re live selling on Facebook, this is much less of a problem.
When buyers purchase through a livestream sale, stores experience 40% lower returns. This makes a lot of sense. Viewers will have a much better idea of what they’re buying if they can see a product in action. They’ll also be able to find out important information and ask questions there and then.
How Do I Sell Live on Facebook?
I bet you want to get started right away. Facebook live selling offers a lot of juicy benefits for small retailers. But where do you begin? We recommend getting started on easy-to-use Facebook live selling software…
Facebook Live Selling Software
Facebook live selling software can also be referred to as a Facebook live selling platform. Or livestream selling or live shopping software.
I know what you’re thinking – can’t I just do that on go live and sell on Facebook itself? Why do I need live selling software? Well, because Facebook live selling platforms offer way more than just the ability to go live and sell your products. They offer features that make the entire process of live selling a lot easier. Features like in-built automated comment selling, invoicing and shipping.
This is great for small retailers like yourself. As someone with your own eCommerce store, you’re often the one that does it all. Shipping, contacting customers, processing returns, doing the admin – you name it, you do it. The features offered by Facebook live selling software make those additional tasks related to selling, easier. Giving you the ability to manage inventory, sell, invoice and ship all from one place.
Livestream Software vs. Livestream Selling Software
So, what’s the difference between livestream software and livestream selling software? Isn’t it the same thing? Well, if you’re wanting to get started with live sales, the answer is – there’s a lot of difference. And no, it’s not the same thing. Let us explain.
Live Streaming software gives users the ability to livestream across multiple social media platforms at once. As you can imagine, this increases the amount of potential viewers you’re able to reach. Cool? But what live-streaming software doesn’t do is all the awesome things mentioned in the section above. Managing inventory, invoicing, shipping and all those other tasks are left to you. All the things that are huge time eaters for small eCommerce store owners.
However, with live selling software, this isn’t the case. They’re an all-in-one solution. You can carry out all those live selling related tasks in one place! Tasks like invoicing, shipping and processing returns. One fantastic example of this is our very own Facebook live selling software, ShipLive…
ShipLive: Facebook Live Selling Software Made Easy
We wanted to make Facebook live selling easy for owners of small online stores. And take care of those time consuming tasks that come with live selling. We thought – how can we make it so small eCommerce stores can:
- Carry out the sales process from order to fulfillment in one place. So they don’t have to have multiple subscriptions for lots of different software. (e.g. separate software for invoicing, customer communications, and shipping).
- Spend more time selling their products and building customer relationships.
- Achieve a better work-life balance and spend more time with their family!
So, we created the ShipLive Facebook live selling platform. Here are some of the awesome features that we designed for you to make live selling, simple:
1. Automated Comment Purchasing
The ShipLive social selling platform uses automated comment purchasing. This allows shoppers to buy your products by entering a designated keyword. It’s simple:
- Shoppers comment to buy.
- The ShipLive platform logs the items buyers purchase and captures their details.
- ShipLive automatically tracks all sales made during every livestream in your dashboard.
Automated comment purchasing saves you and your customers time. And it creates a satisfying selling experience that builds loyal customers.
2. Built-in Easy Invoicing
Chasing down payments from customers can be frustrating and take up a lot of your time. ShipLive does the work for you when it comes to handling payments.
Once a product is bought through comments on your live sale, you can invoice customers directly. Then, you can collect payment through the ShipPay automated credit card processing system as soon as the next day. Hooray!
3. Super Simplified Shipping
After payment is received, the ShipLive platform lets you quickly purchase and print discounted shipping labels at the lowest rates available. This saves you a lot of time and money.
Shipments are automatically created from the order information stored in the platform. And you can send buyers customized branded shipping notifications. Three clicks and your order is ready to go! Two clicks later and you can arrange a home pickup through your local carrier.
4. Customer Communications Tool
Our Facebook live selling software also has a pretty nifty customer communications tool. So you can build and maintain that all-important connection between you and your buyers. It includes several easy-to-use message templates designed for live selling success. The tool allows you to:
- Send email messages with ease to drive buyers to your livestream.
- Send messages during the sale to confirm purchases. And after your sale to maximize sales and customer satisfaction.
- Keep customers informed about new product offerings.
- Send targeted messages to keep customers engaged.
5. Customized Customers Rewards Program
This one’s mega cool. ShipLive includes its very own simple rewards program. It’s like other rewards programs – you assign points for purchases. But it also:
- Automatically tracks customer progress.
- Allows you to create a customized program to meet your business goals.
- Saves you time with automated program messaging.
This is a great way to reward customers, build relationships and foster loyalty. In turn, this is going to increase customer retention and repeat purchases. And we like loyal customers and regular sales.
You’ll also be able to view and manage all your inventory in one place. Making inventory organization a breeze. The ShipLive Social Selling Software is truly a one-stop shop. And the great news is, it’s super easy to get started…
How to go Started with the ShipLive Software
Now you know all you need to get started is your desktop, a camera and the ShipLive Social Selling Software.
But you still need a simple step-by-step on how to set-up your first Facebook Live Sale. To show you just how easy it is. Don’t worry, we’ve done that for you…
Step 1: Set-Up Your Event
In the ShipLive Selling Platform, simply click Set Up Live Broadcast. Voila! You’ve started the process of setting up your first live sale.
Step 2: Give it a Title
When you’re scheduling your event, you’ll be asked to give it a title and description. Give this some thought. You want something short and sweet. But also, you want it to give enough information. This way, your audience knows what to look forward to.
Step 3: Enter Your Inventory
This step is a crucial part of creating your event. After all, your products are why your audience will tune in. Here’s what you need to know when entering inventory:
- Select Allow Back Orders. This allows you to keep a record of all customers who comment to purchase in the exact order they comment.
- Select Auto Generate Keywords so the system will assign each item a keyword and number for purchasing.
- Insert the Product Name for display.
- Update the Description to clearly explain the color, type, material, etc. of the product.
- Update the Quantity and Selling Price for each item in your inventory.
Step 4: Connect to Facebook
This is the step that will allow you to go live through the ShipLive platform onto Facebook. Be sure to grant permissions to Ship.com and Facebook. The platform will walk you through how to do this with pop-up windows as you go. If you want to host a sale in a Facebook Group, add the Ship.com app to the group.
Step 5: Invite People to Your Event
In addition to your regular promo tactics, here are some little tidbits on us:
- Pin a post with a link to your sale on your personal Facebook page. You can also do this on any group you want to promote your event through.
- Tell people that they can buy by commenting. All they have to do is enter the designated buying word (usually “sold” or “buy”) and the item number.
- Let viewers know that to buy through the comments, all they have to do is register with Ship.com! Just tell them to go to www.ship.com/register and connect their Facebook account. It’s that easy.
Step 6: GO LIVE!
The time has come to go live! To begin your broadcast, follow these steps:
- Go to your Live Selling Dashboard. Under Future Broadcasts, click the Go Live button next to your scheduled live sale.
- Accept browser permissions to give Ship.com access to your microphone and camera.
- When you click the Go Live button, your broadcast will go live and you’ll start capturing sales!
- Pro tip: Make sure you have your pop-up blockers turned off!
Ship’s Top Live Selling Tips
TIP #1 … Get your timing nailed
Before you dive straight in and pick a time and date your first Facebook Live Sale, stop. Think about your ideal buyer. What do they look like? When will they be free to tune in to your live sale? Are they at work during the day? Would 8pm on an evening be better once they’ve got the kids down? Or maybe weekends when they have more free time?
Still not sure? Go and ask your current customers! They inform the profile for what you’re looking for in potential buyers. Figuring out when works for them will give you an idea of what’s going to work for new customers.
Also, you can test drive different times. Then, after a few Facebook live selling events, you’ll be able to see which day and time is best.
TIP #2 … Know your customer
Shoppers want to feel connected to what they’re buying and the person they’re buying from. Your relationship with your customer is key. Boutique sellers like yourself flourish by creating a sense of community amongst their buyers. Customers value the connection they have with you and your personal brand. In fact, they value it as much as they value your products – that’s why they keep coming back for more!
So, show your customer that you know them! Think about what products they would like and select them to feature in your live sale. This is like when someone remembers your favorite coffee order. Remember how special and remembered that makes you feel? (Plus, you get coffee, which is a huge win).
TIP #3 … Plan your flow
You’ve heard the phrase “go with the flow” before, right? Well that’s bad advice for a Facebook live selling event. Yes, your live sale needs to feel relaxed and fun. But it can be relaxed and fun because you planned your flow.
After you’ve selected products your buyers will love, think about how you want to move from item to item. Jot down key points and have your facts at your fingertips. You know, the important stuff – like prices, product info and special offers. And make sure the products you’ve selected are available. If buyers can get their hands on purchases right away, that’s sure to boost your customer satisfaction!
TIP #4 … Get the word out
Time and date set. Inventory prepared. Event flow organized. Now, it’s time to get the word out with a little D.I.Y social media marketing. This is going to create a real buzz around your Facebook live sale.
Plan a mini-series of social media posts to be posted prior to your event to generate that excitement! An excellent strategy to create real interest in your live sale is to offer a contest, reward, or giveaway.
Your messaging is also key to getting buyers to come to your live event. Shoppers will want to know what they’re personally going to gain from your live sale. So tell them!
TIP #5 … Test your technology and do a “Trial Sale”
If you’re new to live selling, then you’ll also be getting used to new technology. Like ShipLive. That’s why it’s important to take time to practice, practice, practice. Gather some family and friends and do a “trial sale”. This way, you can adjust to your software and test all your other tech. As well as trying out different lighting and camera angles.
A trial sale is also a brilliant confidence booster. If you fumble, forget or crash and burn… it’s ok. You just get to practice your selling techniques and interaction with customers. Pretty soon, you’ll be a natural.
Remember: Always make sure to factor in time to check your tech before you go live. You don’t want a preventable technical mishap happening in front of hundreds of customers.
TIP #6 … Be yourself
The day has arrived. Our top presenting tip for your live sale? Just be you. Remember when we said your relationship with your customer is key? Your personality is what sets you apart. It’s what connects customers to you and to your brand. And it’s what is going to develop trust and lead to them buying your product. Let it come through in your live sale.
Introduce yourself, say hi to customers as they join the stream, share stories and ask them questions. Give shout-outs to customers. All of this will make your buyers feel seen and valued. It’s going to deepen your connection with them.
Lastly, HAVE FUN!
When Can I Start?
See. We told you Facebook live selling with ShipLive was simple. Plus, there are plenty of perks that make live selling easier for small online retailers. Not to mention the vast benefits and potential of Facebook live selling itself. So, when can you get started?
Well, today – with a 14 DAY FREE TRIAL of the ShipLive Facebook selling software!
Our free trial gives you full access to the subscription of your choice. As well as access to all of our awesome tools and features – like our ShipLive Facebook live selling software! Simple live selling, super fast shipping, easy invoicing, and quick customer communications all in one place? For free? That’s what I’m talking about!
We’re super excited for you to be a part of this booming new avenue in eCommerce. And for you to grow your sales by 10x and fall in love with live selling.