What SMBs Need to Know about Facebook’s New and Enhanced Ecommerce Offerings

Portrait of happy woman reading off touch phone in cafe outdoors.

To get users to rely on the site in new ways, and knowing that its users can’t live without their mobile devices, Facebook recently updated the call-to-action button functionality that businesses can utilize directly on their Facebook pages. Let’s take a look at some of these features and see why they are useful for small businesses.

Demonstration of Facebook appointment booking feature

Image: Facebook

Request and Confirm Appointments

If you own or manage a small business where people constantly call to schedule an appointment (think spas and auto-repair shops), you’ll be happy to know that customers can now request and book appointments through your Facebook page. After receiving a notification about the person’s desired appointment, you can confirm the appointment through Facebook Messenger. Besides the obvious convenience of being able to get in touch with customers through this efficient method, customers can open Messenger and refer to your conversation in case they forget details related to their appointments. The “Request Time” function is available as long as your Facebook page has a Services section (and that you’re a U.S. business), while the “Book Now” function is made possible with integrated services such as HomeAdvisor and MyTime.

Provide Quotes for Products and Services

Another one of Facebook’s newly launched capabilities allows you to provide quotes to prospective customers right from your Facebook page. It’s worth noting that currently there is limited global availability for this feature.

While many SMBs offer quote services on their websites, the streamlined nature of this option gives SMBs an additional chance to engage prospective customers.

Sell Event Tickets

If you’ve created events like film screenings, workshops or concerts on your Facebook page, you can now sell tickets on Facebook through an integration with Ticketmaster and Eventbrite. There are many things to iron out when hosting an event, and the ticketing method should undoubtedly be near the top of your to-do list. Selling tickets through on Facebook through Ticketmaster and Eventbrite relieves you of the potentially time-consuming duties of handling the transactions through your business.

Entice More Customers to Your Business Through Recommendations

People commonly rely on their Facebook friends to ask for recommendations about where to eat, spend their evenings out, go shopping and more. With that knowledge, Facebook launched a Recommendations feature that allows people to steer their friends in the right direction by giving nods of approval towards certain businesses.

So how does it work? The process begins when a person turns on the Recommendations feature for a post and asks a question such as “Can anyone suggest a hair salon in San Francisco?” As Facebook friends weigh in, all suggestions are added to the Recommendations section on the person’s Facebook page. Plus, they appear on a map that’s visible to all the person’s Facebook friends.

Screengrabs of Facebook's Recommendations feature

Image: Facebook

As a small-business owner, you can angle your Facebook interactions with customers to encourage them to recommend your businesses to their friends by using phrases like, “Don’t forget to recommend our business to your friends if you are happy with your experience.” Luckily, many people do that willingly after receiving solid service.

Recruit New Employees

Facebook is also hoping to assert itself as a genuine challenger to LinkedIn since it recently announced an employment recruitment feature. Reportedly, Facebook representatives realized how often companies post information about job openings on their feeds and think this new feature could provide small businesses with a different, enhanced method of finding new hires.

Recruiters from small businesses can not only post job advertisements, but also invite interested persons to send applications directly through Facebook. As you might expect, Facebook has an associated service whereby business owners can pay to extend the reach of their advertisements.

Hopefully, this overview of Facebook’s new e-commerce offerings makes it clear how you can harness the new features and put them to work for your business. Exploring that possibility could pay off when simplifying things for customers who want to connect with your small business in handy ways.

About Endicia

Endicia is a leading provider of internet-based postage services that make it easier and more affordable to ship parcels through the U.S. Postal Service®. We know that shipping can be complex and our goal is to simplify your shipping operations so you can focus on doing what you do best. Visit us at www.endicia.com to learn more.

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