Go into your Shopify dashboard and look under Sales Channels - if all you see is Online Store then you’re not doing enough. You should be selling through as many channels as you can. The first one to consider is to create the new Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop platforms.
Shopify has teamed up with Facebook, Inc. to seamlessly integrate your online store with two of the world’s biggest social media platforms. You can explore your conversions by taking advantage of these new sales channels.
Facebook Shops is a new way for businesses to sell products online for free. It’s designed as a mobile-first interface, in keeping with current trends. The audience is, of course, the 2.7 billion monthly active users on Facebook.
Facebook Shops allows merchants to upload their product collections, chat with customers through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram Direct, and even customize their store to fit their brand’s aesthetic.
Facebook has teamed up with Shopify and other eCommerce platforms to allow merchants to sync their products to Facebook Shops. This means one more sales channel for you to take advantage of.
Recovering from coronavirus
Mark Zuckerberg went live to announce Facebook Shops back in May and pointed out how the new platform can help clear the economic fallout from COVID-19.
A Facebook survey showed that 31% of small businesses in the US have ceased operating due to coronavirus. Facebook Shops is a way that these merchants can continue to sell products online without having to pay any fees.
Where can I use Facebook Shops?
Only certain regions can use Facebook Shops at the moment. Facebook Shops are currently live in the US, but most other countries will have to wait a while longer before they can officially launch their Facebook page shop. Facebook is keeping a live list of countries that can use Facebook Shops.
Merchants in the US can activate Facebook Checkout to allow customers to buy their products from within Facebook. You’ll incur a small transaction fee but your customer’s checkout details will be saved for next time and your payments will be processed in around one week.
Facebook Checkout will make the sales process even quicker and easier for customers, leading to more sales for your business.
How to set up Facebook Shops with Shopify
Setting up Facebook Shops through Shopify is a simple process that’ll take you around 20 minutes to complete. First, you’ll set up your Facebook Shop, then you’ll sync your Shopify product catalog - or just specific products - to Facebook using the Socialshop app.
Set up a Facebook page for your business
You’ll need to set up a Facebook page for your business to connect to your Facebook Shop.
- Go to Facebook > Pages > Create New Page.
- Enter the name and description, plus a cover photo.
- Press Create Page.
Set up the Facebook Channel in Shopify
Now you need to activate the Facebook sales channel in Shopify.
- Go to your Shopify dashboard.
- Under Sales Channels, press the + button to add a new channel.
- Choose Facebook from the list.
- Check the permissions Facebook will have, then press Add sales channel.
- Connect your Facebook account.
- Choose your Business Manager account.
- Select your business’ Facebook page
- Enable Customer Tracking and choose either Basic, Enhanced, or Maximum.
- Allow Shopify to create a Facebook Commerce account.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
Sync your Shopify product catalog
Now that your store is set up, you’ll need to add some products before you can customize it. You can use Socialshop to sync all your Shopify products with one click.
- Install the Socialshop app from the Shopify App Store.
- Choose whether you want to sync all products or only specialized ones.
- Press Add Feed and choose your store.
- Choose your business manager account.
- Choose your product catalog.
- Sync the products.
- That’s it!
Customize your Facebook Shop
You’ve got your shop set up and your products synced. Now it’s time to personalize your store so it matches your brand. You can customize the color of buttons and text, and you can choose collections to feature.
- Go to your business’ Facebook page.
- Press Manage Shop on the left.
- Go to the Commerce Manager.
- Press Customize Your Shop.
- Choose from the options - try to make it fit your brand.
Note: Facebook Shops haven’t launched in all countries and territories as of writing this article. You can design your Shop anywhere in the world, but you might have to wait a while before you can launch it. All shops have to be approved before they can go live.
What is Instagram Shopping?
Now you’ve got Facebook Shops up and running, it’s time to add another new sales channel: Instagram. The photo-centric social media giant is used by more than a billion monthly active users and users convert at a much higher rate than users of other platforms.
Instagram Shopping allows you to tag products in posts and stories. Users will be taken to a detailed product page if they click on the tag.
These product pages will feature an image of the product, a description, the price, and a link to your store’s website where they can buy it. You can look at the @Shop page to get some inspiration.
Instagram Shopping is being launched alongside Facebook Shops and the two will be able to link together, as both social media platforms are owned by Facebook, Inc.
Customers can buy items within the Instagram app. They don’t need to visit your store to complete a purchase which means the buying process is quicker and easier. This will lead to more sales for your business.
You’ll be able to tag products before making live videos so they’ll appear at the bottom of the screen. This allows people to easily locate the products you’re featuring in your live videos.
Both Facebook shops and Instagram Shops will be able to set up loyalty programs to keep customers coming back for more and reward those who shop with you long-term. This is a proven way to increase sales with return customers, so expect to benefit from it.
How to set up an Instagram Shop
You’ve already completed the first step to setting up your Instagram Shop if you’ve set up the Facebook Sales Channel.
1) Set up an Instagram business account
You’ll need to make an Instagram business account to use this sales channel.
- Open Instagram > go to your profile > press the three lines in the top right.
- Go to Settings > Account > Switch to Professional Account > Business
2) Add the account to your Business Manager account
- Go to Facebook Business Settings
- Under Accounts, press Instagram accounts.
- Press Add and choose your account.
3) Active the Instagram Sales Channel
- Go to your Shopify dashboard
- Click on the Facebook sales channel
- Press Start Setup under Sell on Instagram
- Connect your Instagram business account
- Done! Now you can customize your store.
What do Facebook Shop and Instagram Shopping mean for merchants?
You might be wondering what these new sales channels will mean for your business. I’m going to try and break it down for you. Bear in mind that Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops are new and I can only speculate as to what impact they’ll have at this stage.
Greater reach, more sales
In short, having Facebook Shop and an Instagram Shop will allow you to reach more potential customers and sell more products. Still, the fragmentation of the eCommerce landscape could come with some new challenges.
It’s going to become increasingly difficult to track interaction and conversions. More platforms mean more analytics sources. You can use Shopify Analytics to measure the performance of your Facebook and Instagram Shops to a degree. You’ll also need to use Facebook’s own customer tracking tools. This could make getting a clear overview of customer data more difficult.
Many merchants end up using an excel spreadsheet to piece together the various pictures they get from multiple analytics platforms. This is a problem just waiting for a solution…
Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops are free. You don’t need to use an eCommerce platform to sell on Facebook. This means that any of the platform's 2.7 billion active users can set up an eCommerce store for free and start reaching out to the masses. You’ll likely see more competition as a result.
It’ll change the way you do ads
The real money for Facebook, Inc. will come from the ads that merchants take out to promote their stores and products. You’ll likely find yourself investing more money into Facebook ads to expand your reach and make more sales.
Will my Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop sync?
Yes. You’ll have a single online store that connects to Facebook and Instagram. If you change a product in the Commerce Manager, then the change will be reflected in your Facebook Shop and your Instagram Shop.
Syncing your Shopify store with Facebook and Instagram
You’ll be able to use the Socialshop app on the Shopify App Store to sync your Shopify products to your Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop. This means your social media shops will update every three hours to reflect your Shopify catalog. Of course, you can choose to only feature certain products or variants if you want.
What do the new Shops mean for customers?
Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops will put your products right where your customers are. It’ll make it much easier for people to view your products and will likely make them more prone to making purchases.
Ecommerce is already huge, but it’s about to get much bigger. Facebook Shops and Instagram Shopping are going to bring eCommerce into the mainstream in a way that even giants like Amazon will be nervous about.
The move to online shopping is now cemented. There’s no going back at this late stage.
Final thoughts: Set up your Shops now
Should you be getting into Facebook Shops and Instagram Shopping? Yes. You really don’t have anything to lose. These are two new sales channels that are free to use and will allow you to reach millions of people with ease.
Get a head start to build your brand before the rest of the masses jump onto the scene. You already have an established Shopify store which gives you a massive advantage over someone who’s only using Facebook Shops.
Use that advantage and be the early bird. Onwards and upwards!