Facebook Live Shopping: What is it & How to Use it to Drive Sales?

October 18, 2021
By
Jomel Alos

What is Facebook Live Shopping?

Facebook live shopping is a real-time interactive way to sell products while directly connecting with viewers and attracting new potential customers. It redefines traditional eCommerce with its scalability, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness, making it the most promising marketing strategy available today. 

A few years ago, selling a product or service online simply meant crafting a basic text description and adding a few photos to a website. Sure, it's still around, but not as effective as it once was. Meanwhile, Facebook Live sales have pushed the boundaries of eCommerce, opening up new opportunities for merchants and entrepreneurs to generate sales, promote their brands, and sell their items without having to wait for customers.

It took online selling to a whole new level, and if you aren't using Facebook Live as part of your social media marketing, you’re missing out on a major business opportunity.

Banner Image by Facebook

Why Use Facebook Live?

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, customers have been growing increasingly open to making purchases through live stream selling. In fact, online shopping and social video usage have skyrocketed over the year and will likely continue in the post-quarantine world.

Many factors make live selling on Facebook both easy and effective. However, let’s delve a little more into the subject at this point.

Provides Live Stream Notifications

Facebook live notification
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Facebook Live has a built-in feature that allows merchants to notify their followers through Messenger or Facebook Notification when streaming. This presents more chances of reaching out to potential customers, unlike other live selling platforms that depend on website traffic to acquire viewers.

Facebook Live Helps Beat the Algorithm

One of the essential things you can do as a business owner is to learn your platform's algorithm. In the case of Facebook, live video streaming is the most effective way to gain more organic reach. It currently outperforms other types of Facebook posts, like videos, images, and text updates.

Audience engagements also maximize your Facebook Live video’s relevance. This means the more people who like and share your live stream, the higher you'll rank in your followers’ news feeds. But, while the algorithm helps maintain relevance, providing high-quality material increases your chances of being found in the long run.

Direct Connection with Buyers

Facebook’s broad audience reach makes it easy to find your potential buyers. And Facebook live sales strengthen your connection with your viewers in a fresh, more personal, and straightforward fashion. They can simply engage with you, ask questions, and purchase your products up front.

Additionally, a strong online reputation establishes your authority in the industry and allows you to express your brand personality while also establishing trust. This makes marketing your items a lot easier.

Cost-efficient

The cost-effectiveness of broadcasting live sales on Facebook makes it a low-cost and straightforward tactic. Unlike YouTube videos, it can be done on a mobile phone or laptop—no fancy editing or set design. Instead, it comes down to how well you connect with your audience, communicate live with them, and offer quality items that benefit your followers.

Brief History of Facebook Live Selling

While Facebook Live Selling is still a relatively new trend in the West, it has already gained traction in Asian and Southeast Asian markets. The global COVID-19 pandemic is what has pushed the scales for mainstream acceptance. It has prompted businesses to find new ways not only to sell but also to attract customers.

Live Selling on Facebook is more than just a product showcase. Sellers promote their live broadcast in advance, prepare sales tags and product lists, and sometimes hold a pre-broadcast test or meeting. Only when everything is ready can they start the live stream.

In the actual broadcast, sellers begin to showcase their products and answer questions. Customers can purchase or reserve orders by entering codes into the chatbox. Meanwhile, payment and shipping are arranged privately.

Facebook Live Selling Features

Facebook continues to shape the future of eCommerce by innovating features on its platform, such as Facebook Live Shopping. It’s a new avenue for businesses to host live-streamed shopping events, promote their products, and engage with online shoppers, all in real-time.

Bobbie Brown Facebook live shopping
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‍With this new feature, you can set up a Live Shopping playlist and tag products from your Facebook Commerce Shop or catalogue before going live. This way, online shoppers can easily view the products, add them to their carts, and purchase. Or you can go live and demonstrate your products in real-world situations while viewers ask questions about sizing and fit or buy them directly during the live stream.

Facebook live shopping sample
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Users will be able to tune into your Facebook Live Shopping event through your Facebook page or by visiting the Shop tab. Just last May 28, 2021, through July 16, 2021, Facebook partnered with 8 major beauty and fashion brands to host the "Live Shopping Fridays" series to promote its Live Shopping feature. 

Although this new feature has already been launched, it is yet to be available to all pages, and it may take some time to reach all users.

How to Use Facebook’s Live Shopping Feature

Go live on desktop

Creating your video 

Step #1: Go to your business Facebook page and navigate to the Create section. Here, you will click the “Live” option to take you to the Live Producer tool.

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Step #2: On the top of the page, there’s a menu bar with the “Live Shopping” tab. When you go into this, the first thing you should do is to toggle on “Enable Live Shopping”.

facebook live shopping guide
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Step #3: Navigate to the lower section of the page to see the Add Products or Links section, and click “Products from Shop”

facebook live shopping adding products from shop
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Step #4: Once you click on it, all the existing products you have will be pre-loaded. Here, you can select a collection of your products to share in your live video. Click “Save” once they’re all set.
Note: It’ll be better if you already have products uploaded on your Facebook shop ready to click before going live.

facebook live shopping save products
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Step #5: On the left section of the page, go under “Post” and type in your Video Title. All you have to do is click “Go Live” when you’re ready.

creating facebook live shopping
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Feature your products

Step #6: Once live, click the “Feature” button under Products and Links to start showcasing your products to your viewers. It might take a while for it to load, though, so give it a few seconds.

facebook live shopping start featuring
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Once this is done, viewers can already see “Tap to View Products”. It’s a clickable link that viewers can access as they watch. Here’s what it’ll look like on the viewers from mobile:

facebook live shopping products
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Step #7: If you want to change the featured product, click “Stop Featuring”, then click “Feature” under the desired product to showcase.

facebook live shopping stop featured
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Step #8: Once you’re all done with the live stream, click “End Live Video” in the red text block at the bottom of your screen. You may publish the live video to your Page's timeline so viewers may come back to the video for future reference or see it for the first time.

Add New Products Manually Before Going Live

For those without an existing Facebook shop or catalogue, adding products before your live session is another option to develop your Facebook Live Shopping campaigns.

Step#1: Go to the “Live Shopping” tab and navigate to the Add Products or Links section. Select “New Products” to add new products to display live.

facebook live shopping new products
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Step #2: Here, you may include the stock photos and add the title, price, and a brief description of each product here. When finished, click “Save”.

facebook live shopping add photos
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Repeat Steps 1 and 2 if you wish to add more products.

Step #3: Items you upload may be subject to review, with a message stating that "This product is under review". This process only takes a few seconds to complete.

Once approved, you can start live selling your products. Viewers may now watch as you go live and purchase products directly through Messenger.

Adding Links for Promotion

Adding links is a great method to promote your website, discounts, and deals. Tip: make sure the URL begins with either http:// or https:// when adding a link.

Step #1: Go back to the “Live Shopping” tab and navigate to the Add Products or Links section. Click “Add Link”.

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Step #2: Simply attach the URL and add a product description to provide more information. “Save: once you’re done adding the product link.

Facebook live shopping adding product link
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Step #3: See the left section of the page and find the “Feature Link”. Go there and click on “Show”

facebook live shopping product link
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In the actual live video, a “Paper Clip” icon will appear on the lower right corner of the screen, which will direct buyers to the link you attached.

Facebook Live Selling Best Practices

While live selling on Facebook has limitless potential, knowing key strategies and best practices is crucial if you want to get the most out of this tool. Let's delve a little deeper into this...

Prepare Before you Go Live

Research your market, select the items you want to feature in your broadcast and make a list of them. Test your equipment, camera angles, volume, background noise and make sure you check your internet connection. The last thing you want is to encounter glitches in front of hundreds of potential buyers on screen.

Get Creative

Facebook live sales allow you to be more creative and express your brand and yourself more freely. Keep your audience interested and involved - you can host a game for them, demonstrate the use of your items and ask them what they think. 

You can also survey your customers in real-time to determine what brands they prefer and what items they would like to see in your store.

Plan your live stream flow

Outline the main points you want to cover and consider the best way to transition from one item to another. You don't have to write a formal script, but if you have a rough idea of what you want to discuss, the conversation will flow more effortlessly.

Connect authentically

Hard sales turn viewers off, so keep it real and natural. Engage with customers, tell stories, ask questions, and give real-time shoutouts as they make purchases.

Give 100% to Customer Service

Nothing is better than a business with good customer service. During live streams, a representative should be there to address order concerns, send thank-you notes for the purchase, and provide shipment updates. They should also be able to handle any refunds and let your customers know when your next Facebook stream selling will be.

Maximize Viewership

Build anticipation as much as you can. Promote ahead of time and find out where your audience is located to determine when it’s best to broadcast. Encourage viewers to like your Page, so they know when you go live, and leverage posting live videos in groups.

Get the Best Brand Representative

When it comes to Facebook Live sales, having a suitable host makes all the difference. Look for someone friendly, flexible, and well-versed in the things you're selling. If you're going to do it yourself, think about the product presentation style you want to use.

Facebook Live Selling Rules

While nearly anyone can start selling products on Facebook live sales, there are several rules to follow regarding the types of products and services that can be offered for sale on Facebook. 

woman doing live selling


Types of items you CAN’T sell on Facebook

  • Adult Products - it covers items like sex toys and sexual enhancement products. Adult entertainment, such as images, videos, and sexually oriented adult products, are also not allowed. Permitted are family planning and contraceptive products.
  • Alcohol - included are all alcoholic beverages and alcohol-making kits and equipment. Alcohol-related items like shot glasses, wine bottle holders, and the like are allowed as well as informational material on alcohol brewing.
  • Body Parts and Fluids - listings may not promote the buying or selling of human body parts or fluids. Hair extensions and wigs are allowed.
  • Digital Media and Electronic Devices - this refers to devices that enable or encourage unauthorized streaming of digital content or interfere with electronic devices' functionality. Keyboards and remote controls, as well as other add-on equipment for streaming devices, are permitted.
  • Real, virtual or fake currency - this includes various cryptocurrencies, real money, replica or prop money, active bank credit or debit cards, and equipment to create counterfeit currency.
  • Real Money Gambling - this includes online gambling, games of skill and lotteries, or any kind of game that involves actual money.
  • Ingestible Supplements - these are unsafe supplements, including things like anabolic steroids, ephedra, human growth hormones, and other proven detrimental products to one’s health.
  • Animals - selling live animals on Facebook, like pets or livestock are not allowed, nor are any product or parts from an animal like fur, pelts or skins. Animal cages and toys, and veterinary, grooming or boarding services are allowed.
  • Healthcare products and services - This includes medical devices and services, nicotine-based smoking cessation medications, contact lenses, thermometers, bandages, first-aid kits, and medical testing kits. Advertising promoting a negative self-image or showcasing “before and after” photographs is not permitted. Lifestyle and fitness accessories, as well as pregnancy tests, are allowed.
  • Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs - drug paraphernalia and any medication prohibited by law or requiring a physician’s prescription are not permitted.
  • Third-Party Infringement - it includes things that breach the intellectual property rights of a third party, such as counterfeits or imitations of genuine products from another company.
  • Tobacco Products and Related Paraphernalia - cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, as well as Tobacco pipes and paraphernalia, bongs, rolling papers, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), are prohibited. Permitted items are apparel with a tobacco brand logo.
  • Weapons, Ammunition, and Explosives - this refers to everything related to firearms, like paintball guns, BB guns, firecrackers, pepper spray, tasers and gun ranges. Legal firearm licences are allowed.

It might seem like a lot, but sellers are responsible for complying with Community Guidelines, especially if you wish to succeed in your Facebook live stream selling. Otherwise, you risk losing listings and other content, having product tags rejected, and losing access to Facebook altogether.

Keeping in mind that you connect with individuals rather than just selling a product or promoting a brand makes it easier to comply. And in reality, your good engagements with your viewers is what helps you stand out in the market.

Since we're on the subject of engagements, let's expand on that. Sure, the products you sell already meet the Community Guidelines, but there are still things you should know about marketing during live selling on Facebook.

How NOT to market on Facebook Live Sales

  • Excessively sexualized – there should be no sexual connotations in any live selling video that are done at all. This includes explicitly zoomed-in sexual images, as well as images that imply nudity or sexual behaviour.
  • Deceptive and misleading – make sure that every statement claimed during your Facebook Live sales are accurate. Unrealistic claims include "get rich quick" schemes and diet or weight loss photographs that depict false results.
  • Overly violent – any representations of violent acts during live streams are prohibited
  • Tasteful – treat people with respect and stay away from shocking or sensationalizing topics.
  • Discriminatory – Avoid unfairly discriminating or expressing a preference against people based on protected characteristics, including sex, race, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, etc.

Issues and Limitations

Despite the fact that live selling on Facebook brings significant advantages for many businesses in the new age of eCommerce, there are still specific issues and restrictions to what it can do that pose a challenge to businesses. 

Let’s go over some of the most common issues that Facebook merchants have to deal with during their live streams...

Old Setup

Unreliable chat box

Facebook deletes the old ones from the chat box to make room for new comments, but reservations are also made via comments alone. As a result, the seller is sometimes unaware if another buyer has already reserved the item.

Fake buyers 

Scammers or fake buyers may show an interest in things during a live event, but they will not actually buy them. Because it's difficult to tell whether the accounts participating in the chat are real or fake, incidents like this are inevitable. 

Managing questions and messages

While you get to answer viewers’ questions in real-time, this may sometimes be quite taxing when done without a strategy, especially when dealing with many people. This can be managed effectively by having someone ready to monitor queries so that you can respond to them either in real-time in the comments section or during the actual broadcast.

New Setup

No inventory management

There are no automation features in terms of product inventory on Facebook live selling. This means that online sellers need to have at least a small team to do inventory management - people who would monitor orders and note the order details. 

Limited display and interaction capabilities 

Facebook Live used to only support 720p HD, which is not full HD. But just recently, after user feedback, Facebook increased the maximum resolution to 12901080. Their peak bit rate has increased from 2500 to 4000 Kbps. 

Aside from that, Facebook content is mostly discoverable within the platform itself alone, limiting its reach outside the network, while its maximum video length is only 90 minutes.

Disrupted buyer experience

Since buying the product requires users to click on the link, this can present problems with continuity of the live video, especially if the users want to review the product details before buying them.

Facebook Live Selling with Flux Panda

facebook live selling setup

Flux Panda is a live stream shopping platform that aims to utilize live streaming on multiple eCommerce platforms. As a result, businesses will be able to reach new audiences and enhance social exposure without solely depending on top networks and marketplaces. 

Flux Panda enables omnichannel video commerce in eCommerce stores. This means that owners can integrate live shopping videos on their eCommerce websites or have their own Flux Panda store and simply re-stream to multiple platforms, including Facebook.

With Flux Panda integrated on an eCommerce store, customers may watch a live stream, buy products in while watching, and check out all on the same site. Unlike other streaming solutions, this system allows customers to check out other products on the site that are not included in the stream.

It also saves videos so buyers may see them and buy things long after the stream has ended. Flux Panda features a more secure buying process and comes with an eCommerce platform to help manage orders and inventory.

So, think about your strategy and plans for scalability. If it’s not working with Facebook Live stream selling or you want to take it to the next level, you may want to grow your business on your own platform.

Need help? Contact our support team or write us at support@fluxpanda.com

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