Facebook Shopping Feeds

Connect a shopify store product feed to Facebook Catalog service

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About Facebook Catalog

Social media Facebook allows businesses to upload their product catalog for presenting the items to large audience of this social media. The product catalog of a store can be displayed on several Facebook platforms, including Facebook Dynamic Product ads and Facebook Shops. The Facebook shopping feed is in somewhat identical to the Google Shopping, so you can start by using the product feed created for the Google Shopping service.

The main task of the shopping feed Facebook wants to accomplish is to create interactions and connections of people with brands and products proposed by them. The main platform the Facebook targets at is mobile since nowadays most users get online from a portable mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet rather than a desktop computer or a laptop.

Facebook wants to provide a mechanism for businesses to shift their online sales from a desktop to mobile platforms. The key advantage of placing product catalog of your store on Facebook is that the majority of time people spend on their smartphones and tablets is spent in apps.

The social media Facebook owns such apps as Facebook and Instagram, which are one of the world's most popular apps. People tend to spend in these apps a great share of the total time spent on mobile.

A conducted survey for Facebook has shown that almost 50% of the users who visit Facebook are actively seeking for products to buy.

Benefits Facebook Catalog provides

A Facebook Catalog, or more commonly a facebook shopping feed, is an information container that provides data on the products a merchant wants to promote for the audience of Facebook and Instagram. Catalogs can be created not only for the typical products on sale, but it can also have such items as listings for destinations, apartments for rent, flight booking, etc.

Facebook recommends merchants to use a single product feed instead of multiple feeds for better managing of the catalog.

The products that are uploaded to Facebook platform gain audience trough such means as:

  • Dynamic ads. This type of ads shows the relevant product propositions automatically to all interested users.
  • Collection ads. It is a specific format for the ads that simultaneously displays for propositions from your product feed. This ad type is shown beneath the video or hero image.
  • Carousel ads. Another advertising format for multiple offerings from your product feed. Users can scroll through the images of proposed items.
  • Ads with product tags. Used for promotion of specific products by using its product tags.
  • Collaborative ads. This type of advertisements is suited for brands that sell items through a third-party merchant.
  • Facebook Shops. This is a storefront on the Facebook and Instagram platforms to sell products from your catalog.
  • Marketplace. This service is similar to the Facebook Shops, but offers a place to sell vehicles.

To start promoting your products on Facebook's platform you will first need to create create a shopping data feed for Facebook from Shopify store.

First Step

Before you begin creating a product feed you first need to start two accounts. The first is Facebook Page for your business if you don't have one, and it will be used in the future for managing things on Facebook. The second account is a Business Manager account. The product catalog of your store will be assigned to this account.

Create a Facebook Page for Your Business

To create the Facebook Page you're required to use a user's personal Facebook Profile. The information posted in this profile will not be published automatically on a Facebook Page of your business. Still, you have the option to manually repost the information from personal Facebook account. Facebook considers a personal account, and a Facebook Page as separate entities.

Next you'll need to specify the category the Facebook Page of your business belongs to. Depending on the selected category you can receive different unique features.

Specify general information on your business that will be visible to customers. Post such details as the brief business description, story of your business, photos of your team and events, link to the website. Additionally, specify the working schedule and contact information.

The Facebook Page also provides you with the ability to set a number of goals your business is aimed to achieve.

During the page set up you can configure the analytics to get better understanding of your audience, their demographics, content they like most, etc. Use the information obtained through the Page Insights tool to enhance your product offering and increasing sales.

Create a Business Manager account

Facebook provides a tool for managing and organizing business deals on its platform. The tool is named Business Manager and helps you to achieve goals on behalf of your business. You need to join your personal Facebook profile to Business Manager in order to use it, and some of its information will be visible for your coworkers. They will be able to see your name stated in the profile. The coworkers will also have access to your business email, Facebook pages and advertisement accounts that you have access to.

You use your Facebook username and password to sign in to the Business Manager account. The Facebook has chosen such way of logging in because it provides more security than a regular login with an email and password.

For each of personal Facebook accounts the social media allows tying maximum of two Business Manager accounts. For those businesses that require using more Business Manager accounts it is needed to use several Facebook personal accounts.

To create a Business Manager account follow the procedure:

  • visit page business.facebook.com/overview
  • on this page click a button Create Account
  • in a proposed form type in the name of your business. Also add your name and business email contact
  • move to the next page and provide other requested information on your business
  • when finished click Submit

There are several managing roles to work with Business Manager account. Each person must be assigned it's role individually. An owner of the Business Manager account can assign users them either with admin or employee managing role.

Employee access is recommended as the main type of access for users since it provides limited access to the Facebook tools. Users with employee access are allowed to work only with the assigned accounts and tools.

Admin access gives full control over business pages and tools Facebook provides. Users with such access can edit pages and settings, create and delete accounts, assign a facebook page to a facebook shopping feed, etc.

The role of finance analyst will grant for a user a permission to view business financial details. They include information on account spending, transactions, payment methods.

Finance editor: They can edit business credit card information and financial details like transactions, invoices, account spend and payment methods.

In order to be able to create and manage the product catalog a person that is assigned to Business Manager account must have admin access.

Create a Facebook Catalog to upload your product feed

Having created the Business Manager account the last step is to create a Facebook catalog to upload your product feed to. In order to create such catalog follow the procedure:

  • in your browser visit Commerce Manager tool
  • click the button Get Started to create the first catalog. Click Select + Add Catalog to add a new product catalog to the list of the existing catalogs
  • specify the type of inventory you advertise or sell and click Next
  • chose the way to add product feed to the catalog. It may be via Upload Product Info option, or a connection to a Partner Platform. The latter is suitable for eCommerce sites that have already placed their product catalog on a platform that can be integrated with Facebook
  • specify the Business Manager account that will be responsible for the work with your product catalog
  • Type in the catalog name and click Create

In Facebook Business Manager assign the Catalog permissions for the responsible account. You have the option to assign one of two tasks for catalog managing and advertisement creation. To be able to assign the permissions for the catalog your Business Manager account must have an admin access, and it must own the catalog. More information on this you can find on the Facebook Business Help Center page.

How to create a Facebook shopping feed with Omega Shopping Feeds

Those eCommerce stores that currently use the product feed for Google Shopping service can re-use this feed for Facebook platform. Facebook recommends doing so for those who just started using its platform. To get better results Facebook recommends optimizing the product feed specifically to its requirements of Facebook Dynamic Ads.

When you've installed Omega Shopping Feeds plugin open its main page and visit Feeds tab. This tab shows the list of all created product feeds for different shopping engine. Since you are free to modify any feed there can be multiple shopping feeds for one shopping engine.

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To create a feed click on the Add feed button and from the list select the marketplace the feed is designated to. Click button Choose Marketplace on the shopping service you need to create the feed for. In this case it is Facebook Dynamic Ads.

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Configure the feed

General configuration

A standard Facebook product feed requires you to input general information regarding the feed. This section requires setting feeds internal name to be displayed in the list of feeds and other places. Additionally, you can specify a brief description of the feed to provide more information.

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Set the unique filename for the feed file, for example facebook.xml. This name will be used in the feed URL.

Facebook Catalog supports feeds in XML, CSV, TXT formats. Our plugin creates the feed for Facebook in XML format.

You may need to specify category mapping if the internal taxonomy of your store doesn't fully correspond to the taxonomy of the Facebook Catalog. Category mapping is explained explicitly in the Omega Shopping Feeds manual.

When your product feed has too many items it may be rejected by the marketplace. Additionally, a feed with a great filesize can by uploaded slowly. So our module provides an option to limit the number of items in the feed. For most of the stores it is note the case since Facebook Catalog supports feeds under five million items.

Lastly, select whether this particular feed should be active.

Applied filters

In this section specify filters to remove irrelevant products to this feed. For example, you may want to exclude items with zero price, with no picture, out of stock, etc. Omega Shopping Feeds module allows you to exclude such products with the help of the respective filter.

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Click on the filter to activate it for the current product feed. Filter creation process in details is shown in the Omega Shopping Feeds manual.

Marketplace Info

In this section specify the information regarding the feed that can not be fetched automatically. For the Facebook Catalog you can provide the same information as for the Google Shopping feed :

  • Google Product Collection
  • Gender of customers of the products in the feed
  • Age Group of the customers
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Google Analytics

Google Analytic allows tracking of the ad campaigns in external networks, like Facebook Dynamic Ads. Specify UTM codes that our module will add to URLs of your products. Set the campaign source name, campaign medium and campaign name. Omega Shopping Feeds manual.

Save the feed

When all necessary information was provided scroll the page up and click the Save button. In the splash notification press link Generate Feed to finish the feed creation process.

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How to upload your feed to Facebook Catalog

Facebook Catalog provides two methods for product feed uploading: manual via the file and automatic via URL. With our Shopify module you can use the one that suits you best.

Automatic scheduled upload

In your Shopify store navigate to the Omega Shopping Feeds app and switch to the Feeds tab. In the list of all feeds locate the product feed you wish to upload and click on it.

In the Feed Information section find the feed URL and copy it. Next open the Commerce Manager page in your browser. In the provided list of the available catalogs select the catalog you want to upload your feed and click on the Catalog tab. Open Data Sources and select Add Items. In the drop-down menu, if it appears, select Add Multiple Items.

In the menu select Data Feed and on the next screen click Scheduled Feed and enter the URL of your product feed. There is z maximum file size of 8 GB for such uploads.

Next specify the schedule to update the Facebook Catalog from the feed you provided in the URL. In addition to the options of updating on specific date and time Facebook can make an automatic update which is triggered by the feed file modification.

Manual upload from disk

You can upload your product feed file from the hard drive of your computer. This method is suitable for stores that seldom change their product information. The file size limit for such uploads is 100 MB.

The process of manual uploading is identical to the process of automatic scheduled upload. But instead of the scheduled feed upload you need to select file upload.

Additional useful links

Get full information on Facebook Catalog feed format specification and product data attributes in the Facebook Business Help Center.