- You can use Facebook Messenger to sell your Shopify products.
- Using Messenger to sell allows instant customer service and real-time engagement.
- Shopify's checkout portal integrates with Messenger for a quick and easy transaction.
Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform that has partnered with Facebook to create an easier, streamlined shopping experience. In 2016, the companies announced that Shopify vendors could use Facebook Messenger to sell directly to customers.
Pairing your Shopify account and your company's Facebook page can be a cost-effective way to sell your products online without building a store website from scratch. [Read related article: Shopify Review: Best E-commerce Platform for Businesses]
How to open a Shopify store on Facebook
You'll have to start by creating a Facebook business page, if you don't already have one, so that you can add a shop section. Next, register with Shopify. You can choose from three plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. Each plan has a monthly charge and offers an online store, 24/7 support, unlimited products, sales channels and free SSL certificates.
Then you'll connect your Shopify and Facebook accounts, add products to your Facebook shop through Shopify, and start selling. Ideally, you'll already have an established business page on Facebook so that you have an audience to sell to; if not, make sure you spread the word about purchasing being available on Facebook wherever you do sell your products.
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 this a great way to recommend and link to products, take advantage of upselling opportunities, and provide personalized customer support. When a customer decides to make a purchase, the entire transaction is done right on Messenger, eliminating the step of going to a separate website or payment processor to complete transactions.
Facebook also offers the Facebook Shop app, but it does not offer as many benefits and user experience features. Shopify supports the selling of unlimited products and 70-plus payment gateways, order and shipping management, secure checkout, and sales tracking and reporting.
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To start shopping on Facebook Messenger, all customers have to do is start a conversation with a business and click 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 with Messenger, making this a hassle-free process for customers and sales reps.
Another perk of using this service is that it's 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.
Facebook also has built-in promotional tools, such as likes, comments and shares, which can push your products higher on users' news feeds. [Read related article: Facebook Ad Metric Changes: What SMBs Need to Know]
These built-in promotional options can be a big benefit to companies that are still trying to get off the ground, because they take off some of the pressure to create a marketing strategy. As long as your ads and products are interesting to your target audience, Facebook's metrics and Shopify's easy user experience will take care of the rest.
"[Shopify is] really an all-in-one-stop shop," said Jason Portnoy, founder and CEO of JPORT Media. "Building a store used to take tons of coding and cost more than $10,000, and then Shopify came out and made it super simple."
Shoppable Facebook pages
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 easy for their followers to shop right from the Facebook app. The service syncs the products available on an existing Shopify-based online store. Business without an e-commerce website have the choice of uploading products from their Shopify dashboard and then launching their Facebook-powered storefront.
To use Facebook Messenger for direct sales or create a shoppable Facebook page, you 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."
Additional reporting by Sara Angeles.