Shopify and Facebook are making it easier for small businesses to sell products on social media. Shopify announced this week that online sellers can now use Facebook Messenger to sell directly to customers.
The e-commerce platform and social media giant previously teamed up to offer businesses a fast and streamlined way to provide customer service using Facebook Messenger, and so customers could easily communicate with businesses at their convenience. Now, retailers can close sales on Messenger, too.
Instead of simply telling customers about products to help them find what they are looking for, businesses can now show them and provide sales support in real time. Here's how. [See Related Story: Shopify Review: Best E-Commerce Platform for Businesses]
How to sell on Facebook Messenger: Direct sales
Selling on Facebook Messenger is as easy as instant messaging. The service works by allowing businesses with a Facebook Page to use Shopify's Messenger sales channel to share product catalogs and promote items as they chat with customers on Facebook's messaging app.
Representatives can answer questions in real time as customers shop, making it a great way to recommend and link to products, take advantage of up-selling opportunities and provide personalized customer support. When a customer decides to make a purchase, the entire transaction is done right on Messenger, eliminating the extra step of going to a separate website or payment processor to complete transactions.
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To start shopping on Facebook Messenger, all customers have to do is start a conversation with a business and click on the "Shop Now" button to launch a product catalog within Messenger and begin browsing. To make a purchase, customers simply have to tap on the buy button and enter their payment information. Shopify's checkout portal is integrated into Messenger, making it a hassle-free process for customers and sales reps.
Another perk of using this service is that it makes it easy for customers to stay in touch after their purchase. Whether they are looking for a shipping update or want to learn about new products, they can contact Shopify businesses as easily as contacting friends and family on Messenger.
Shoppable Facebook Page
Businesses looking to showcase their entire product catalog and sell on Facebook also have the option of launching an online store right from their Facebook Page.
Shopify's Facebook Pages integration lets retailers create a dedicated tab on their business Page, making it easily accessible for followers to shop right from the Facebook app. The service works by syncing products already available on an existing Shopify-based online store. Business without an e-commerce website also have the choice of uploading products using their Shopify dashboard, and then launching their Facebook-powered storefront.
To use Facebook Messenger for direct sales or create a shoppable Facebook Page, businesses must both be a Shopify subscriber and have a business Facebook Page. To learn more about Shopify, check out our Shopify review. To find out more about using Facebook as a small business, check out our guide, Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know.