One of the biggest decisions you’ll take as an online seller is to choose a platform for selling your products. You can go for a fully managed service like Shopify or BigCommerce, a completely configurable shopping cart, or a solution like WooCommerce.
Even though these solutions start at $0 or at about $25/mo, their costs add up quickly as you add more apps to extend your store functionalities.
In addition to the maintenance costs of these tools/services, you also need to register a domain name and purchase SSL certificate (and any other premium products you might need to build your store). As you can see – you do need some reasonable investment for all of this. Now, if you already have an audience — even if it’s a small, offline one— you can justify all these expenses.
But what if you’ve zero people to sell to? And a very limited budget? Or … if you’re just ‘experimenting’ with online selling or trying a product?
Well, in that case, you might not be able to afford these solutions. But here’s where a Shopify Facebook store can help.
A Shopify Facebook store is a store that runs on Facebook and is powered by Shopify.
With Shopify’s Lite $9/mo plan, you can add a store to your Facebook page and start selling on Facebook. By opening an online store like this, you can bypass the costs of building a store website from scratch and investing in pricey eCommerce solutions and products.
When you combine Facebook and Shopify, you’ll get all the goodness of both worlds. The benefits of having a Shopify Facebook store including:
And much more.
30% of online shoppers would likely to make a purchase from the social media network. And, 20% said Facebook led them to buy a new product or service online
Having a Shopify Facebook store will definitely help you with your overall business strategy.
And in addition to Facebook, Shopify Lite also gives you access to Shopify’s ‘Buy Button’. With this feature, you can add a buy button to a host of places, for example, your website. So if you are running a blog or making a website and would like to enable your readers to buy from it, Shopify Lite covers you.
BestSelf.co runs a great Shopify Facebook store. Below, you can see how BestSelf.co displays its store products beautifully on its Facebook store.
Putting your product for sale on (or via) Facebook weaves a lot of means of engagement into the purchase process.
For example, when a Facebook user clicks on any of your products, they can 1- like it, 2- share it with their friends, 3- save it for later, and 4- leave comments about any product or buying questions they might have.
Now think about it – if these products were on your store, most of these activities would need the users to sign up. But inside Facebook, they’re already logged in to their Facebook accounts!
Also, they can add the product to their carts too. For completing the rest of the checkout process, you can either bring the visitor to your website or store (if you have one) or simply let the users complete the checkout via Facebook itself.
BestSelfCo, for instance, takes visitors to its website for completing the purchase.
[Updates: YourStandingDesk.com no longer runs a Facebook Store now.]
Here’s another example from Master & Dynamic:
To find more Shopify Facebook store examples, check out Shopify’s customer showcase.
Now that you understand what a Shopify Facebook store looks like, let’s quickly go over the steps you can use to create your Facebook store.
To create a Facebook store with Shopify, you’ll first have to create a Facebook business page. It’s to this page that you’ll add a shop section to. So if you don’t have yet, here's a quick reference to make a Facebook page.
Ideally, you should not only have a page ready but also have a few 100 followers on it before adding a store to it. This way, you’ll have an engaged audience to market to – right from day 1!
With that tip, we’re ready to start building the store.
To access and order the Lite Plan, you need to access Shopify pricing page and search for the “Shopify Lite” column.
To setup Shopify Lite, first enter a username, password, and your store’s name; and details about your products.
After you enter your business information, it’s time to integrate your Shopify account and your Facebook page.
To connect your Shopify account to your Facebook page, click on the ‘Connect account’ button at Facebook > Account.
Shopify will then seek permission to read your Facebook profile. Click on the ‘Continue’ button.
At this point, Shopify will seek permission to manage and publish content on your behalf. So click on the ‘Choose what you allow’ link.
On the next screen, choose both the options and click ‘OK’.
Finally, Shopify will ask you for the page to which you want to add the store section. So choose the page you just created (or any other page to which you might want to add the shop section).
Now, you might know that you can’t sell a few items on Facebook (For example, things like alcohol, weapons, drugs and more).
Because you’ll be hosting your store on Facebook, in the next step, you’re required to agree to Facebook’s store terms and conditions. So read carefully and click on the ‘Accept terms’ button once you’re sure.
Once you’ve agreed to Facebook’s merchant terms, a shop section will get added to the page you chose in the setup.
But as you can see, the store you create at this point still won’t be live.
In order to publish the store, you need to go to the Shopify dashboard and give your billing details. Access these settings by clicking on the ‘Go to Shopify’ button on your Facebook store page. Or just sign into Shopify and click on the ‘Facebook’ item on the right panel of your Shopify dashboard.
Now, to enable your Facebook Shop, click on ‘select a plan’.
On the next screen, you’ll see the different Shopify plans.
Choose the $9 Shopify Lite plan and enter your credit card details. (Find out more on Shopify Pricing here.)
As soon as you enter your credit card details and Shopify verifies it, you’re set.
If you visit your Facebook page, you’ll notice that the shop section is refreshed and it’s published and visible to all your followers.
Remember that Shopify doesn’t charge you at this point, although it does collect your billing details. You’ll only be charged when the 14-day trial ends.
Now that you’ve integrated your Shopify account and your Facebook page, and the shop section has been added and published on your page, you’re ready to add products to your store. All the products you add to your Shopify account will automagically appear in your Facebook shop.
To add products, click on the ‘Add your first product to get started’ link.
Adding products is easy with Shopify’s easy-to-use editor. For this walk-through, I’m adding a Feng Shui plant called ‘Lady Palm’ to my Shopify account. (I’ve just quickly whipped up a short product description and added an image from a stock photography site. But you must spend time on this step.)
Anyway, here’s how my product looks in the Shopify editor:
Now, what I was expecting was that the minute I’d add and publish a product on my Shopify account, it would show up on my Facebook store, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, when I clicked on the Facebook channel, I got the following message:
Since I didn’t get any publishing errors, I thought that perhaps creating a collection, marking it visible to Facebook, and moving my product to the collection would resolve the issue. So I did all of this, and yet my Shopify product didn’t show up on my Facebook shop.
So I read up on it, and it appears that when a shop is published on Facebook, the Facebook team reviews it.
It’s only after you get their approval that your products appear on your Facebook shop. In fact, Shopify’s help content says that it could take up to 48 hours for you to be able to publish products in your Shopify Facebook store.
I guess there’s nothing to panic about in here, and you should hear from Facebook’s review team within 2 days. And with that, your Shopify Facebook store should be up and running.
And in case you're wondering, my store did get approved:
Now that the store is “open”, it’s time to optimize your content and images, so they shine on Facebook and appear when users search for them.
Facebook gives some useful product listing optimization guidelines here.
And like I said in the beginning, the more engagement you build on your page, the more sales you’ll get. Read these effective Facebook marketing tips to get a head start.
So that’s about it to start a Facebook shop with Shopify.
Cookbook Village is an online cookbook store offering collectible and vintage cookbooks for casual and professional customers. Wendy Guerin, the co-founder of Cookbook Village has given us her feedback about Shopify Facebook store,
We don’t get many sales through social media channels. Most of our business comes from email and content marketing…our blog on cookbook collecting attracts our niche market and drives a lot of new customers to our Shopify store.
The Facebook Shop is free and serves us well to show that we are an eCommerce store, as well as a blog…many enter our blog through the organic search and social media, but don’t quickly realize we are selling cookbooks, too.
The Facebook Shop exposes this and that alone makes it worthwhile. We would not pay extra for this integration, however, given the above.
There may be better Facebook Shop options on the Shopify App Store. We haven’t tried any of them recently—we tried one years back and removed it as it was buggy.
Given the Shopify Facebook Store feature comes with the subscription (not sure if it is with all packages…but I believe so), it is worthwhile to add it to your Facebook Page…especially because of how easy it is to set up.
It is worth testing it with your market—there is no downside.
However, Wendy thinks there is something that the integration needs to improve,
“The functionality is limited. There are some things I would want to change—the Shop automates which items show up as the first items you see on the main Facebook page. Some of our least interesting items seem to be showing and there is no rhyme or reason (that we know of) as to why those particular items show first. Shopify lets you select which Collections sync to Facebook and which items in a Collection—but that is pretty much the extent of options that we have found available for customizing the Facebook Shop.”
Overall, Wendy thinks the Shopify Facebook integration is,
The Shopify Facebook Store was easy to implement. It takes just minutes to set it up. Wendy Guerin, – co-founder of Cookbook Village
While Shopify’s Lite plan is a good and affordable way to break into online selling, I won’t recommend it as your ultimate online selling platform.
It’s ideal when starting out — but eventually — you should start a proper online store with a solution like Shopify… and use your Shopify Facebook shop as an added sales channel, and not as your primary store. (By the way, all Shopify plans include the Facebook sales channel, so you won’t need to purchase an addon or anything.)
So whenever you’re ready, make a move toward a full-blown online store.