02 Aug Selling Online: Facebook and Integrated Live Selling using Comment Sold
As online commerce continues to evolve, retailers are pressed to ensure they’re making optimal use of their advertising and marketing dollars. Busy shop owners also need to be strategic in how they use their limited time.
Given the demands of sustaining a retail craft business, online live selling is an area worthy of consideration. Analysts project that live selling revenue will reach $55 billion by 2026 (Statista). This figure makes us take notice. Can your business capture a piece of that pie? To do so, you’ll need to meet customers where they are, and a lot of them are on Facebook.
Facebook’s Selling Options
Before we look further into live online selling, let’s review the options for generating revenue from the customer base already on Facebook.
Facebook has long been a place to create a business profile to share content, boost posts, and place paid ads. Your Facebook Business page is a resource where customers can learn more about you. Perhaps they check your store hours on your profile or contact you through Messenger. Maybe they follow the link to your website and online store.
Facebook Marketplace has also been available to businesses and individuals for several years. Marketplace is best suited to local selling, though some sellers will offer to ship. Purchasing on Marketplace is not instant, however. An interested buyer must message a seller to begin a conversation. The buyer and seller arrange a pickup and transfer money. Transactions do not occur inside the Marketplace platform. If you sell one-of-a-kind items and are willing to ship, Marketplace may be a viable revenue generator for you, but traditional retailers aren’t likely to see strong revenues coming from Marketplace.
Facebook Shops emerged in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to offer retailers a chance to set up a storefront that integrates across Facebook and Instagram. It’s free to create a Facebook Shop and add a collection of items for sale. From there, Facebook makes it easy for you to share and promote your goods through posts and short videos.
Facebook Live has evolved in its usefulness for sellers. The Live function has long been used to share experiences and ideas with followers. (Check out our free Live Video Training Guide full of tips and recommendations.) Live video generates excitement and strengthens the connections between you and your followers. Facebook Live did offer integrated live selling for a period, but shuttered that function in October 2022, citing a desire to focus attention on short-form video content like Instagram Reels.
Integrated Live Selling on Facebook
While going live on Facebook remains an effective engagement tactic, integration with a live-selling platform can maximize the value of your time by adding in revenue generation.
Comment Sold is a leading live selling platform across sectors. The platform already has enthusiastic users in the craft space. Warren Larsen of Woodside Quilting notes a positive experience throughout implementation: “The folks at Comment Sold are great to work with and very helpful in getting you off the ground running.” Similarly, Liz Schedeler of Bits ‘n Pieces Quilt Shoppe appreciates that the platform is customer-friendly: “Our customers love the platform, she explains. “They like the ease of use,” which encourages interactions and purchases.
Comment Sold can be used as a standalone streaming service, complete with invoicing and inventory management. The platform also supports integrations with social platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) and POS (including LikeSew and Shopify). Comment Sold enables retailers to create a standalone branded app to reach loyal shop followers who may not spend much time on other socials. Once platform integrations are complete and tested, it’s straightforward for sellers and followers to connect.
Going live can be very simple–you can use your phone on a stable tripod to get started. (Don’t feel pressured to present a polished front here–the casual, spontaneous feel of a live stream is a strength, not a weakness.)
Plan your first live selling event:
- In the days leading up to the event, push notifications to your followers.
- Pick your products. Choose five or more of your bestsellers to showcase.
- Upload your items to Comment Sold.
- Get a steady tripod for your phone.
- Plan to spend at least 20 minutes on the Live. (This might sound like a long time, but the minutes will fly by!) Allow yourself more time to stay online if the event is going well.
- Recruit a supportive friend to help behind the scenes with product listings and to be your cheerleader!
Once you start the live stream, viewers will join and add comments. Welcome them by username and interact with their comments as you’re introducing yourself and explaining how live selling works.
When you show your first item, your behind-the-scenes helper will prompt Comment Sold to display a small product photo, price, and the code to enter to purchase an item. As soon as a viewer submits a comment, they’ll automatically receive a link to their shopping cart. The platform handles payment processing and inventory updates for you as well.
We hope this overview of Facebook and integrated live selling using Comment Sold gives you some new ideas for engaging with your customer base. Considering incorporating live selling into your marketing plans for the year? Stitchcraft Marketing is a marketing agency of crafting experts. We customize every program to showcase your brand, engage your customer base, and generate sales in a way that is nothing less than magical. If you’d like to work with us, contact us today to get started!