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  • Ishbel Macleod

Social shopping: Beginner’s guide to Shopify

Online shopping: mixing ecommerce with social media

If you’re launching a business and looking to sell products online, you obviously need an ecommerce platform. You’ll also need social channels to help inform the public – so why not get yourself an ecommerce platform that lends a hand?

That’s exactly what Shopify offers to do.

It acts as an ecommerce shop and offers lots of additional add-ons, so you can hook it up to your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, as well as being able to add reviews.

Should I use Shopify for my company?

If you work for a retail company, and are looking to drive online sales – sure!

While there are alternatives, Shopify acts as a good ecommerce platform for those looking to take their first step into online selling, and is fairly easy to set up.

There are 10 free ‘themes’ you can choose from to create your own design (and each of these are customisable), or you can spend $160 to get one of the paid-for themes. If you have coding skills, you can edit the theme as you wish, making it suit your brand.

While there is a cost associated with Shopify, it’s fairly minimal: starting from $29 a month, as well as a 2.2% charge (along with 20p) per item bought using a credit card – or 2% for using external payment gateways such as PayPal or Stripe.

The benefits of Shopify include that it integrates incredibly well with social platforms, and offers hundreds of add-on apps to build your brand: including a ‘buy’ button to integrate onto your website, product review integration, Facebook shop and messenger functionality, Instagram product tags and Pinterest buyable pins.

What do I need to do to get my business approved for shopping on Facebook and Instagram?

It’s surprisingly simple to get your business approved for social shopping.

On Facebook, it’s easy to add a ‘shop’ tab even without Shopify…but the items have to link through to a page where people can actually buy them. With Shopify, the content from your page is pulled through directly to your Facebook shop – and it helps save time as any product changes (such as price) are automatically synced.

Once you’ve created your Shopify page, all you need to do is click ‘add sales channel’ and select Facebook. It will ask you to connect with Facebook and choose what page it has permissions for. Once connected, a message will be sent to Facebook to review the page. Shopify suggest this process can take up to 48 hours, but we were accepted in less than 12.

It’s worth noting that you can’t link products on Instagram until you have a Facebook shop set up. Your Instagram page also has to be a business profile (visit our Instagram 101 article to discover more benefits of a business profile on Instagram).

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