Social selling with Shopify December 01, 2015 03:00

Shopify is one of the most advanced platforms when it comes to social selling. Right out of the box, your Shopify store can integrate three of the most popular social sites – Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – as sales channels for your store.

This means that you can sell your Shopify products directly on these platforms. You can have better sales conversions from your followers as you can make it easier for them to purchase your products. Instead of navigating to your Shopify store, your followers can buy and share your products directly from social networks.

To enable these sales channels, go to “Settings”, select “Sales Channels”, and scroll down to “Other Channels”.

sales channels for social selling

Enable social sales channels in Shopify

If your store is not eligible for any of the channels, next to the disabled “Add channel” button, a “Why is this unavailable?” button will appear. Click on this button to see why specifically your store is not eligible, and how to make it eligible.

Social strategy basics

It is important to have a social media strategy in mind before you enable these sales channels. Otherwise, you may not see much traction from social selling. One of the things to consider while creating a strategy is the demographics of social networks.

In the U.S., 72% of online adults use Facebook, whereas only 31% use Pinterest and 23% use Twitter. Women continue to dominate both Facebook and Pinterest, with 77% of online women using Facebook, and 44% using Pinterest.

In addition, Pinterest has the widest gap between the number of male and female users. So if your products are geared towards men, as an example, perhaps Pinterest may not be the most appropriate option.

But, if they are products for men that women may buy for their spouses, or as gifts for the men in their lives, then Pinterest may become lucrative. Based on such distinctions, your social selling strategy should be geared towards the appropriate audience for your platform of choice.

Facebook

To sell products on Facebook, enable the Facebook sales channel. Then, connect your Facebook account, and select the page on which you want to sell products. Note that the Facebook sales channel replaces the Facebook Store app for Shopify in case you had used that in the past.

facebook setup for social selling

Log in to Facebook and connect the page you want to sell products on

Next steps include:

  1. Once your Facebook page is connected, Facebook will verify your Shopify store to ensure it adhere’s to Facebook’s sales policy.
  2. In your Products page, make your products visible on Facebook.
  3. Enable the Shop tab for your Facebook page where your products will be displayed.
  4. Select whether customers can checkout on Facebook itself, or if they are redirected to your Shopify store for checkout. To create a more seamless experience, select the “Customers purchase through Facebook checkout” option. (Note that as of publishing date, Facebook checkout is only available to U.S.-based Shopify stores using Shopify Payments.)

Your store is now set up to sell products on Facebook within the Shop tab on your page. Similar to the rest of the page, the Shop tab is optimized for mobile screens as well.

facebook shop for social selling

Facebook Shop tab for Shopify products (Source)

You can find detailed instructions about selling through the Facebook sales channel in the Shopify Manual.

Twitter

Similar to the Facebook channel, you can enable the Twitter sales channel to create tweets for of your products. The tweet contains a “Buy” button through which users can purchase your product directly through Twitter, without redirecting to your Shopify store.

twitter buy button for social selling

Buy button for Twitter (Source)

Once you add the Twitter sales channel to your store, you will need to connect the Twitter account you want use for product tweets. Once connected, the Twitter –> Account area in your Shopify dashboard will show any “Publishing errors” regarding your products. To be eligible to be included in a tweet, your products have to follow certain guidelines. For example, the products require a description, cannot contain banned words, etc. These will be outlined in the “Publishing errors” area.

twitter publishing error for social selling

Fix issues with product information to be eligible for Twitter

Once you fix any errors related to your product information, you can start to tweet. You can create a tweet by clicking on the “Create tweet” button on the top right corner within the Twitter area of your Shopify dashboard. Select from the list of products you want to tweet about.

create tweet for social selling

Create tweet about your product

You can then create and preview the tweet before publishing.

Note that as of publishing date of this post, the Twitter sales channel had certain limitations. Some of the eligibility requirements for Shopify store and products include:

  • Store should be based in the U.S.
  • Have manual shipping rates, not real-time rates
  • Charge customers in U.S. dollars
  • Cannot be digital products
  • Product must have fewer than 60 variants
  • Product must have a description and at least one image.

Learn more about the Twitter sales channel in the Shopify Manual.

Pinterest

Give your Pinterest followers the ability to purchase your Shopify products directly from Pinterest using Buyable Pins. Your store must be eligible to use Pinterest as a sales channel before you can post (or “pin”) your products on Pinterest.

As of publishing date of this post, some eligibility requirements for your store to use the Pinterest sales channel include:

  • Must ship to the U.S.
  • Charge in U.S. dollars
  • “Company name” and “Address line 2” must not be required fields in your checkout form
  • Store must not be on a trial plan

If your store is eligible, add the Pinterest sales channel and connect your Pinterest account. Once your account is connected and verified, enable visibility for your products on Pinterest. Any of these products pinned on Pinterest by you or anyone else will automatically be converted into Buyable Pins.

Here is a short video to show Buyable Pins in action.

Learn more about the Pinterest sales channel in our previous post about Pinterest Buyable Pins, and the Shopify Manual.

Social selling with Shopify

Shopify comes with three of the most popular social platforms as integrated sales channels to enable social selling. As long as your store is eligible, you can activate these channels to display and sell your Shopify products directly on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

The sales channels create “Buy” buttons on your Facebook page, Twitter profile, or Pinterest board. Your followers can share these products, and purchase them on the social site without having to come to your store. The orders are automatically fed into your Shopify store.

To get the most out of these sales channels, make sure you have a social media strategy, and optimize your Shopify store for social eCommerce.

Have you used these channels to enable social selling? Tell us about your experience in the comments.


Cover Photo Credit: mkhmarketing ( CC BY 2.0 license)

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