#89 Checkout on Facebook and Instagram
Would having potential customers on Facebook and Instagram purchase your products without leaving the platform hurt or help sales?
In this episode, we talk about the Shopify and Commerce manager connection, my recent campaign attempt with On-Facebook purchases, and if this is the future.
It's the Ultimate Marketer Podcast.
Welcome to the show. I'm your host Orlando Rios. I hope you're having a great week. Before we get started on today's show, I want to talk about Dropkick Ads and what we're doing there. So just a week ago, we launched our new motion video option, which means now from Dropkick Ads you can come to our website and order motion graphic ads for Facebook or Instagram and guess what? They also work really well for things like email as well. If you ever wanted to get some gifs in your emails that you send out, we can do that as well with our motion video ads.
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All right, now, today we're going to talk about a feature in Facebook advertising that you may or may not have noticed. If you're on Shopify and you have Facebook connected to your Shopify account, you're more likely to have seen this. And what I'm talking about here is checkout on Facebook and Instagram. So what is checkout on Facebook and Instagram? This feature is only available in the US and it's when you use Commerce Manager and you use it to set up a shop for Instagram specifically. I mean, it's on Facebook too. Most people don't worry too much about the Facebook pages, but if you have an Instagram account for your store or your brand, you likely want to have a shop connected to that and you do that with Commerce Manager.
If you're on Shopify when you connect the integration with Facebook into Shopify, you kind of automatically create that Commerce Manager connection. And that is what allows people to browse your shop on Instagram for you to tag your products and stories in the feed so that people can just click whatever product they see on Instagram, on your feed, in stories and go to your website to purchase. Previously, this was just known as a Shopify catalog or just a Facebook catalog, but within the last six months or so, Facebook has started to changing that terminology to what is now Commerce Manager.
So what is the benefits of this? Well, the benefits of checkout on Facebook and Instagram is exactly in that wording. It allows Facebook and Instagram users to look at your products on Instagram. And if you're using a catalog in your Facebook ads, in the campaign for your Facebook ads, it allows those users to purchase your products directly on Facebook and Instagram without ever leaving the platform, without ever leaving their app so they never go to your website.
The benefits of this are in some aspects, it makes the purchase decision a little bit easier for the customer. The first time a customer ever enters their payment and shipping info on Facebook and Instagram, it will remember that info. And so every time they want to buy something from anybody else on Facebook and Instagram that are using the Facebook commerce connection, they'll never have to reenter that again. So it makes impulse buys a lot easier.
Now, there comes some caveats with that. Yes, we all want to make it easier for our potential customers to buy from us. However, there is this big, huge caveat and it relies on the fact in how this was created. So it's made to keep people on the Facebook, Instagram platform. They never come to your website. That creates a problem with remarketing, which when we're talking about pixels and all this Apple stuff and blah, blah, blah. Some could argue that maybe that doesn't really matter, but here's the big thing is if they see just one product they like that comes across their feed in an ad or on your Instagram feed or stories, that's going to bring down your average cart value because most of those purchases are going to be just for that one item that they're interested in.
They're not going to come to your website and see a collection. They're not going to see what drew them to your site, what drew their interest whatever product that was. They're not going to shop around. They're not going to see other things they might be interested in and might add to their cart. Additionally, if you're doing any pre or post-purchase flow upsells, they're not going to see those things either. So is it worth it, right? It depends on your business, it depends on the type of products you offer.
If you're a business that typically doesn't do multiple items in a purchase anyway, maybe this is a good avenue for you. Maybe this works really well for you, but if you're an apparel business maybe that you have cool shirts, but you want them to get a hat too, this may not be the best way to go about it for now at this point. In checkout on Facebook and Instagram's infancy, it may not just be that moment for it yet.
And so why am I talking about this? Well, because I recently tried running ad campaigns using this function. And so how you turn it on is when you go to Shopify and you go to your Facebook channel and you go to your commerce settings, that's where you select checkout on the website, or have your setting set to checkout on Facebook and Instagram. They're really pushing this right now. They're really pushing it and so I decided to give it a try for a week to see what happened.
So you can't just run your standard conversion campaigns where you upload you design images and copy for this. It's not going to work that way. You have to use the catalog. So you can make dynamic creative using the catalog. You can run catalog sales to use the catalog. And what that does is the commerce account that you have connected to your ad account, whatever catalog you have. Like I said, you have it already connected to Shopify you, boom, you already have a catalog there. It's going to take whatever the primary image is for each product that you have set in Shopify and it's going to make that into creative using either carousels, or it might even make some slides shows, collection ads. It's pretty cool. I really like it.
Whenever we're thinking in terms of products, especially things like apparel or anything super visual, I always have a campaign in there that uses the catalog dynamically to let Facebook figure out how to best display to people. So I tried this out. I turn that on checkout on Facebook and Instagram. On my commerce settings in Shopify, I basically told Facebook there if I'm using the catalog, don't send traffic to the website. Make people try to checkout on Facebook and Instagram on their apps. And I ran a conversion campaign using that catalog.
What happened was I did get some sales. I did get some sales and I'm talking about I used this on my golf apparel brand that I started early this year. I did get some sales. Here's what I didn't like. One, for the first time, I was getting a lot of sales of just one product. Usually, my customers have at least two items in the cart. So immediately I saw a drawback there because they weren't coming to the site, they were seeing this one product and they're just buying this one product.
Two, I'm not sure if the advertising campaign was actually optimizing or not. That's the other kind of scary thing. Because when you set up the ad campaign in Facebook, you have it to optimize for purchases, website purchases. I don't see a setting that says on Facebook and Instagram purchases. So when you looked at the stats of what was, what was spent on the ad campaign, it was showing zero website purchases. But then there's this other column there and you may have seen it where it says on Facebook purchases. I don't know if I like that.
So there's all those thoughts there. I turned off that campaign. That wasn't going to work for me. So I ended up turning off that campaign and I didn't continue with it because I didn't like that people weren't coming to the website, they weren't seeing the full collections and that average cart value was going down. I'm not sure if the ad campaign was actually optimizing all those things. I'm kind of out.
So why did I end up trying this? Well, because I got an email Facebook that said that for a certain period of time they're actually going to cover the shipping expenses if you offer checkout on Facebook and Instagram with your commerce account up to $15. I thought that was really cool. So basically Facebook would show your products to potential customers if you usually charge $5 for shipping or it's calculated, Facebook was going to tell that customer free shipping. And then Facebook is going to reimburse you for that shipping cost. I was like, "Okay, yeah, let's just give this a shot," but there are those drawbacks.
And at the end of the day, it wasn't in a place for me personally, yet to really recommend it. They're also waiving selling fees right now through June, I believe. And this is only available to business in the US as well. What was kind of cool is thanks to the Shopify integration, those orders would come in to Shopify, but you get paid from Facebook and they have in the Commerce Manager, they have their own little order section, their own shipping section returns, all that kind of stuff. Customer feedback, reviews, all that kind of stuff. But it mends well with shop, I will say that. So when you ship something out, it shows it's fulfilled and it sends a tracking info, all that stuff happens in the background thanks to the very good integration that Shopify has with this.
But I don't think it's there yet. I don't think it's something that you really should have. Yes, you should have a Commerce Manager. Yes, you should have it connected to your Instagram, your Facebook so you can have those shops, but don't make your Commerce Manager settings exclusive to checkout on Facebook and Instagram at this point. It's not ready.
The big picture idea though as we move away from cookies because I do think that cookies and pixels eventually are kind of going to go extinct I think within the next five years personally. We might see a switch happen where most of our shop is actually on Facebook and Instagram and the website is kind of like a separate thing. That sounds very dystopian to me and I'm just guessing here. Everybody's guessing what's going to happen. So I can see in the future how this can be a good opportunity and how most purchases might actually just take place on Facebook and Instagram using what Commerce Manager is right now and its infancy if it somehow gets better. And to get better, it's going to need to have a way to encourage higher average cart value because as it is right now it very much encourages just a one-off one product purchase.
I also don't like the idea that Facebook might act kind of as an intermediary when it comes to customer disputes. Not that I have had any customer disputes, but anytime you have a third-party involved they tend to side with the customer no matter what. And sometimes some customers can be spammers. Sorry, not scammers, but scammers and I've seen it happen before where people order something and then they just blatantly lie and then issue chargebacks, all that kind of stuff. And then you not only lose your product, you lose the money that they used to buy the product. But then you're also slapped with a chargeback fee on top of that. So you actually, basically you paid for them to get your product for free.
Some customers, believe it or not, it doesn't happen often, but I've seen it happen for myself and for others, it does happen. And so having a third-party in there like Facebook, I don't know if I trust them with that at this point in the game. But I thought I would share this with you because I thought it was very interesting. And I thought I would give it a try because Facebook's been hitting me up lately with all these offers to use it and to use the purchase on Facebook and Instagram option. But in my opinion, it's just not quite there yet.
All right, guys, I hope this was a very informative episode for you. If you're not already, please subscribe to the show on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Make sure to visit dropkickads.com, check out our new motion video ads. I love them. We're doing a bunch of them. And I'm loving seeing all the ones that our team is creating for our customers. It's really cool. I love it. It's a such simple upgrade to some ad creative and we do things really fast here. Dropkickads.com, use promo code ultimate and save 10%. Thanks guys for listening. As always, I will see you next week.