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How to Set Up Facebook or Instagram Shops for South African Businesses

Thumbnail for the article: How to Set Up Facebook or Instagram Shops for South African Businesses

Facebook and Instagram shops are amazing platforms for allowing your customers to transact with your business directly over the platforms themselves.
They perform amazingly both for new businesses who don’t have proper e-commerce channels set up yet or for existing e-commerce businesses looking to add a new sales channel. 

Setting up a Facebook or Instagram shop can seem challenging, but we’re here to give you a quick guide on how to do just that.
We’ve also included any special information you need to be aware of as a South African business.

So without further adieu, here’s what you need before you can get started: 

Prerequisites for Setting up a Facebook or Instagram Shop: 

  • A Facebook business page* and access to an admin account with at least Manage permissions
  • A Facebook catalogue* and access to an admin account with at least Manage permissions
  • An Instagram business account (if you want to create an Instagram shop) connected to your main Facebook business manager 

*You can set both of these up at the same time as your Facebook or Instagram shop, but it might be worthwhile to familiarise yourself with them beforehand. 

See our guide to setting up Facebook shopping catalogues here.

How to Set up a Facebook or Instagram Shop 

  1. Go to the Facebook shop onboarding page, found here.
  2. Choose your preferred checkout option and click Next.
    • You can choose to either:
    • Checkout on another website (such as your e-commerce store – this is the recommended option).
    • Checkout through Facebook (only for US businesses – so not applicable to us).
    • Checkout through Messenger (manual checkout via Whatsapp or Messenger – for if you don’t have anything set up).
  3. Select your Facebook business page or Instagram business account.
    • You’ll be prompted to make a new Facebook business page if you don’t have one. 
    • This is the front-facing page that your customers will see on Facebook. 
  4. Select your Facebook Business Manager account.
    • You’ll be prompted to make a new Facebook Business Manager Account if you don’t have one.
    • This is a backend account for managing your Facebook ads. 
  5. Select which catalogue you want to use.
    • Please note this can’t be changed later.
    • If you don’t have a Facebook catalogue set up, it’ll create one automatically for you, which you can add your items to later.
  6. Double-check that all your details are correct and click Agree on the Seller Agreement. Click Finish Setup and you’re all done! 
    • Many of these can’t be changed later – so make extra sure you have it all correct. 
    • As you can see, however, setting up is not too complicated – so you can always make a new one if you need to. 

What is a Facebook/Instagram Shop 

Facebook and Instagram shops are direct e-commerce integrations built into the Facebook and Instagram platforms. 

They allow customers to transact with you directly on the platform, instead of redirecting them to your e-commerce store from the get-go. 

When it comes time to check out, customers can either be directed to your website or pay directly on Facebook or Instagram. 

Note, however, as of the time of writing this feature is still exclusive to US businesses. 

Why Should I Have a Facebook or Instagram Shop? 

The two main benefits of having a Facebook or Instagram set up are: 

  1. It lets you reach potential customers where they are, seamlessly, without requiring them to seek our your website
  2. It lets you benefit from the brand equity of both platforms by association. First-time customers may be more trusting of your business if they feel like you have the endorsement of a large social platform, like Facebook, to run on their platform. 

Instagram shops are particularly effective for visually-focused brands like clothing or makeup companies – because they let you seamlessly transition consumers from the “desire” to “purchase” phase.
Users can see your product on an Instagram post, decide they need it, and buy it all in the same seamless transaction. 

What’s the Difference Between a Facebook Shop and Facebook Catalogue Ads? 

Facebook Shops and Facebook catalogue ads are quite interconnected – as you can see from our setup guide. 

You need a Facebook catalogue to draw products into your Facebook shop. 

The difference is that you don’t need a Facebook shop to run Facebook catalogue ads. You can integrate a Facebook catalogue directly with your e-commerce store and run ads with products that link directly to your site, bypassing the need for Facebook shops.


If you followed the above steps, you should now have your very own Facebook or Instagram shop set up. 

Whether you’re new to e-commerce or an existing online store, we think it’s an amazing platform for creating a new sales channel right where your customers already are. 

All that’s left to do now is find an effective advertising strategy for it, and continually experiment to find what works best for your business. 

Easier said than done – but keep at it and you’ll get there eventually. 


If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful, check out more e-commerce marketing content on the inSyte blog or listen to the inSyte Podcast.

This article was brought to you by Syte.

We’re a specialist e-commerce digital marketing agency dedicated to driving up your bottom line.

If you need any help running your Facebook marketing to its full potential, including Facebook or Instagram shops, feel free to reach out with the form below or check out our case studies page to see what we’ve been able to do for our clients. 

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