How to set up a store through social media

The generation of ‘selfie queens’ needs to be commended for finding business opportunities on social-media platforms. With the unprecedented reach of social media, platforms like Instagram and Facebook have become valuable content-marketing tools.

Whether you were planning on selling your homemade jewellery, old clothes or starting any new retail business online, keep reading.

Content marketing

Social media platforms provide an excellent, cheaper alternative for advertising your products to expensive billboards – and nobody likes watching ads on TV.

Instagram, for example, is a popular promotion choice for entrepreneurs. Big brands, such as Chanel and Prada, use social media to showcase their products and increase publicity to increase sales.

Instagram provides a helpful case study in the rising cosmetic brand ‘Too Faced’ – they spread ads across Facebook and Instagram, leading to increased awareness of the brand and a 57% increase in website conversion and clicks combined.

It is clear that employing Instagram and Facebook can really assist in launching your business as a young entrepreneur. It is something you can advertise to your family and friends, and beyond!

How to sell?

Social media websites may accommodate vast collections of selfies and sceneries, but the problem they pose to sellers is the lack of a ‘buy’ button directing customers to purchase the product they see without actually leaving the website.

Facebook, however, has a ‘call-to-action’ button that links the customer to the webpage you wish to direct them to where they can buy your product.

You can then set up an account with services like Paypal, allowing you to take payments. Keep in mind:

  • The payment website should be reliable and provide a trustworthy service to make your customers feel safe when using it.
  • Allow the buyers to be able to comment on the posts or contact you, so you know that they wish to purchase a product. You can ask your customers to leave their Paypal email address in the comments of the Instagram post about the product they wish to purchase.
  • Work out how you will be finalising the purchase – you can add your email address to your bio so customers can contact you.

Be aware that Paypal keeps a portion of each transaction, and keep that in mind when pricing your items. Include a Ts & Cs post includes information about shipping and returns.

If you are serious about your online business, consider making a website for your products which customers who want to buy your product can be directed to, and have a link to that website available on your social-media accounts.

Do you need an ABN?

If you are planning your online business as a long-term activity it is wise to obtain an ABN. You must monitor the profits you are making from your sales. When your turnover is more than $75,000 per year – before GST – you need an ABN.

Comply with the Ts & Cs

Each platform has its own rules and policies that must be abided by, whether you are using it for advertising or selling your products. One such policy prohibits you from collecting login details of other Instagram users. It is wise to consider the need for a privacy policy when conducting business online, to ensure you are acting ethically – this also helps build trust in your store.

Ananya Singh, Legal Analyst – Content Team, LawPath

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