Facebook is a platform that serves many eCommerce purposes. From large global corporations to small family-run businesses, they are all using Facebook to reach their customers, promote their brands and build their customer base. The ability for the public to write their own Facebook applications has once again seen the many uses for Facebook grow even bigger.
StoreYa is a Facebook app that helps you integrate your online store to your Facebook page, allowing you to display your entire catalogue of products. Once installed, you can sort, re-order and categorise your products with the simple-to-use interface on the StoreYa website. Your new Facebook store will include many useful features – worth a mention are the Like and Share buttons for each product. These buttons allow your customers to promote specific products on their own Facebook page. StoreYa boasts that you can integrate your eCommerce store with your Facebook page using their application in 30 seconds. We’ll be putting that to the test using a Magento platform.
Get a Facebook account
If you’re not part of the 1 billion people with a Facebook account, go to www.facebook.com and create one. It’s really simple to do and should only take a few minutes. Make sure to follow the three main steps carefully and add as many people as you can. Remember – the more friends you have, the number of potential sales you could get is increased.
Create a fan page
If you already have a Facebook account (or have just created one) you now have to set up a fan page. A fan page is slightly different from your normal Facebook page and is primarily used to build a closer relationship with your customers. Go to www.facebook.com/pages and click on the green Create a Page button on the right of the screen.
Pick your page category
The first step towards creating your new Facebook fan page is selecting the category that suits your needs, and is the most relevant to the service and/or product you are selling. If you are a business that wants to promote your products or services, then typically you would select the Local Business or Place category. The other categories to choose from include: Company, Organization or Institution, Brand or product, Artist, Band or Public Figure, Entertainment, and Cause or community.
Describe your business
Choose suitable profile and header images for your page. It’s probably a good idea to use your company logo for the profile image and if you have the Photoshop skills then create a collage of your most interesting products for the header. A great example of this can be seen at www.facebook.com/imagineshopuk. Next add a description and website URL to improve the ranking of your page in the search results.
Develop your fan page
Now that the basics are in place it gives you a good foundation to build on. Try sharing something, or perhaps promote a special offer you are currently running. The more people your page is connected to on Facebook, the more active and engaging it will be. Set an achievable goal of getting your first 50 Page Likes. Get started by inviting your friends.
Register with StoreYa
Now that your Facebook page is up and running, it’s time to set up the StoreYa application. Head over to www.storeya.com and click on the Connect with Facebook button. Logging in to StoreYa is done by connecting with Facebook using your personal profile.
Create your Facebook store
First you need to select which eCommerce platform you are using. For this example we will use Magento but the StoreYa application supports a wide range of platforms including: Shopify, Amazon and WordPress to name but a few. If your platform does not appear in the list then you can still upload your products using the CSV export option.
Setting up the API
In order for the StoreYa application to sync with your Magento store, you first need to create an API User; this is done by creating an API role. Log in to the Magento admin panel and navigate to System>Web Services>Roles. This page lists the current API roles, and it is here that you will need to create a new role.
Creating a new API role
Click Add New Role and give it a name of your choosing. It can be anything, but a descriptive name such as ‘StoreYa API’ would be ideal. Next, click on Role Resources, which is on the left-hand side, then select the All option which appears in the drop-down list. Finally, click Save Role and the new API role will be saved.
Create a new API User
Now that the role is created you need to create a user that will be associated with this role. Click: System>Web Services>Users and you will be presented with a form. Fill out all the fields on the form and bear in mind that the API Username and API Key will be the username and password you will use later, so make sure they are secure. Click Save User and then select the role you created earlier.
Using the API User and Key
If the process was successful then you should see a green tick with a confirmation message presented at the top-left of the screen. You can now use the API User and API Key in the next step of the import process. Write them in the fields provided and hit Continue.
Alternative syncing methods
If you are using an older version of Magento then the API method may not work. If you experienced any problems following the steps above then you may want to consider using a Google base feed or manually exporting your products to a CSV file that you can then upload manually.
Exporting the CSV file
Go to the admin control panel and click System>Import/Export>Profiles. Next you have to add a profile so click on the Add Profile button. Fill out the form ensuring that the Entity Type drop down has the Product option selected and the Profile Direction field displays Export. Hit the Save Profile button.
Run the export command
The profile you created should now be shown in the profile list. When you click on it you will be presented with a form filled with options. Choose a file name for the CSV file and select where you want to export the file to. Be aware that you cannot export this file to your local desktop; you can only export it to the server on which the Magento store is hosted. Fill in the rest of the fields, and hit Run Profile, which is in the left-hand navigation bar.
Upload the CSV
FTP to your server and navigate to the directory you told Magento to export the CSV file to. Copy it to your local machine and in your browser go to www.storeya.com/register/magento-csv. Enter your store URL and upload the CSV. A progress bar should appear, and once it has been uploaded hit the Activate button. Your Facebook store should now be up and running!
Check out your store
Log in to Facebook and navigate to your fan page – you should see a Shop now button. Click on the button and it will take you to your new store. You will see that the categories are listed along the top for easy navigation. There is also a search bar that allows your Facebook users to search your catalogue of products. The order in which the categories and products are presented along with other customising options can all be managed by using the admin section of the StoreYa website. Simply log in and start configuring!
Managing your store
When you get logged in you will be presented with a graph showing the number of visitors you have had. When a few weeks/months have passed this page will become increasingly useful as more data will be generated, allowing you to see which of your products and categories are most popular.
Change the appearance
Next we will want to give our store some style and individuality. Click Customize your store>Customization. From here you will be able to add a header image, change colours, select the number of products per page, and change the currency to that of your choosing. The easy-to-use interface makes this process a breeze, and it also allows you to see what your changes look like without having to navigate away to your Facebook page.
Customising your store
You may want to change the order of the products on the landing page of your store. To do this you can use the intuitive drag and drop system. Click Manage store>Manage products. From this page you can perform a variety of tasks such as editing product data, removing a product from your store, and changing the order in which it appears.
Watch your sales increase
Reaching out to a Facebook audience is a great way to raise your brand/product awareness with an online community that may never have seen or heard about what your business is selling. Having a direct link from your Facebook page to your products removes the process of a potential customer having to track down your eCommerce store and view your product information the conventional way. Hopefully, over time you will see your sales increase, as well as raised awareness of your products.