This week I talked to Fiona from Dink Design about her experience selling on Facebook:
Tell me a bit about you and your business:
My background is in Graphic Design. I studied at NCAD and worked as a designer for about 10 years. When I had my two children I began thinking of setting up my own business, one which would allow me to work from home, but also felt I needed a change of career. I turned jewellery making, a life-long hobby, into a business and so started Dink Design. I decided early in the process that the main focus of the business would be an online shop as this would fit in perfectly with my home life and allow me to work my own hours. Setting up my business page on Facebook and then my Facebook store was a natural progression for me and thankfully it’s working very well!
Why did you decide to open a shop on Facebook?
I’ve had my Facebook business page for about 3 years but only really started utilising it to actively promote my business just over a year ago. I started by posting pictures of a new collection and then when I received positive feedback and queries about prices I began posting new items with prices and descriptions and they began to sell.
I had been using Facebook this way for quite a while when I read that there were a growing number of shopping apps available for business pages. A fellow Facebook business owner mentioned OWJO and after some research I decided to add it to my page. One of the main advantages is that it allows me to accept credit cards and laser, as well as paypal which is the only option I have on my website.
How do you get people to visit your Facebook shop?
I post about it on my business page as well as on twitter offering special ‘Facebook only’ prices… I also mention it whenever I send a customer newsletter.
How do Facebook sales compare to sales from your website?
At the moment sales through my Facebook shop and direct from the wall on my page are slightly higher than those on my website which is quite amazing. I think it shows how online shoppers are changing their habits. There is more trust involved when shopping on Facebook – the customer knows that they can leave a negative comment if they are not happy with the quality of their purchase and they know that the seller doesn’t want that. And from the seller’s point of view, the advantage of a Facebook page and shop is that they can bring products straight to their customer through the customer’s news feed.
Would you advise people to open a Facebook store instead of building a website? If so why if not why not? What are the advantages of having both?
At the moment I’d say yes – start with a Facebook page and store – it’s free after all. Of course a website is essential these days but for a start-up business a Facebook page allows you to have an online presence and retail facility but without the cost involved in creating, designing and then marketing an e-commerce site. With the various apps that are available to use on Facebook you can create a pretty complex and informative page.
I set up my Facebook shop with the intention of attracting new customers who would eventually shop on my website where there is a greater choice.
What are the disadvantages of having a Facebook store?
The main disadvantage for me are the relatively high fees charged by OWJO. I sell products at a reduced price on Facebook as an incentive and with the added fees my profit margin drops quite a bit. In many ways this balances out when I take into account being able to accept credit card and debit card sales.
How much does it cost you to sell on Facebook as opposed to selling via a website?
OWJO take 7% and then there are the usual credit card processing fees, roughly 3% plus a flat fee of €0.30. I find this normally work out at about 10-11% of the sale price.
Paypal which I use on my website is less expensive. They take 3.4% plus €0.35.
What made you choose OWJO as opposed to other Facebook shop solutions?
Firstly they’re an Irish company which is important to me. Their interface is very user-friendly and professional looking, much more so than lots of the other shop fronts I’ve seen. Another important factor is that they allow me to accept credit card, laser as well as paypal. Their website is very comprehensive with lots of information and it’s very easy and straight forward to add items to the shop. Their office is local and I can call them or email knowing that they’ll get back to me.
What advice do you have for people wanting to start selling on Facebook?
Hurry up and get going! As I read somewhere recently – you may not like Facebook or Twitter or social media in general but your customers do, that’s where they are so you need to be there too!
Fiona’s Facebook shop can be found on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dinkdesign
And her website: www.dinkdesign.ie