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Businesses of all sorts come to Facebook to promote their wares, their writing and generally to connect with fans. But if you’re actually in the business of selling goods, did you know you can sell via Facebook directly?
Shopify is a commercial platform for creating your own shop. Our resident online store expert James has previously recommended Shopify as a good way to host a reliable online store if you’re not keen to work out the technical side of doing it yourself, or to risk the cost of technical hitches on your own site. Shopify is all hosted for you, so you don’t have to worry about any of that.
What Sort Of Facebook Store?
If you’re not already in business selling items, you may not have any idea what you could sell. Ideal stores for Facebook would include anything you can make yourself, such as artwork, music, jewellery, and the like. Perhaps you could sell prints of your Instagram photos, or unique greeting cards. You get the idea.
Now, using Shopify to create a store would normally start at around $30 per month (although there is a starter pack for $15) and would let you use your own domain or subdomain for your shop. But there’s a special deal for people who want to create a Shopify store directly through Facebook. And for that, you’re only looking at $9 per month. You get 1 GB file storage, can showcase unlimited products, and you only pay a small amount for credit card fees per purchase.
As you get a free 14 day trial (no credit card required), can cancel at any time, and can upgrade to a different plan later, it’s an ideal way to have a go and see if you can make an online store work for you. Later, if you need to, you can also upgrade to offer a POS purchasing system for your customers by way of an iPad app. Shopify is also certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, so you can trust that your information and customer data is safe.
The Facebook Shopify setup includes the ability to create a like-gate, so only people who have liked your page can see your shop. When you set the shop up, you can customise the layout with a banner and your choice of columns. Your items can also be featured in collections to show off the best products for the season.
When you sign up for the free trial, you fill out a few details and the store is ready to use. Then it’s just a matter of adding or importing your products for sale. The Shopify system will bug you to choose a plan and add credit card details, but you can look around without doing so.
If you want to add more staff members to your store, you can do so from the Account panel. Note, this is also where you would cancel your plan if you had no further use for it.
In the left-hand-side menu, click on Facebook store and automatically integrate Shopify with your Facebook page. It’s very simple to follow the prompts through and get set up. Then your store is ready to go as an extra tab on your Facebook page.
Selling With Shopify
You can choose from a great number of payment gateways, meaning you should be able to find something suitable for your market. Once the sale has been made, you will be notified and can verify details with the customer via Shopify. Then, just post the item to them.
If you don’t want to handle the shipping side of things, Shopify can help you out. They have a shipping deal in place with Fulfillment by Amazon, Shipwire, and Webgistix to let you take a more hands-off approach to your sales. Shopify automatically lets them know to post items to your customers, while you merely send an occasional shipment to the fulfillment provider.
Note that there is also a huge ecosystem of Shopify apps to manage various aspects of your business and integrate back to Shopify. It’s really quite powerful to have such integration, so do check this out.
Customer View Of Shopify
Your Shopify store can be customised quickly using themes, some paid and some free. This makes it really easy for you to get started and find out whether your products will actually sell. If you’re a designer and willing to upgrade, you can edit your own theme. Your store front can also be in any language you like.
When using your Shopify store, your customers can make purchases easily on their mobile phones using the responsive HTML5 page. All product features and details will be exactly the same as your full-sized site, and purchases will be fully encrypted. If you like, you can customise the mobile experience your customer sees using special mobile themes.
Mobile Store Owner Shopify Access
If you’re an iOS user, you can get access to your Shopify store via the Shopify app. You can then easily track sales and other useful stats to stay on top of things while you’re out and about. This is possible for multiple Shopify shops via the one login.
Ecommerce Advice and Training
Shopify has a vested interest in making your store succeed, so they’ve provided some great guides to get you started. There’s advice on dropshipping, how to make your first sale, 101 guides, mentor advice and more. Don’t forget to check out our guide on how to start an online business for extra tips too. If you need help or want more tips there is 24/7 support from Shopify, the Shopify blog and a forum full of user advice.
What do you think of selling products via Facebook? Have you got a store? Tell us about it.