Shopify: How to start selling with Facebook and Instagram

James Wood
October 25, 2022

The eCommerce space continues to grow rapidly — and within it, businesses are starting to leverage the power of tools like Shopify to up their social commerce game. With 75% of the world on social media, there is a significant opportunity for brands to engage social media users and boost sales like never before.

But although consumers turn to social media to discover new products, 71% of shoppers prefer to complete a purchase on the brand site. This is where Shopify shines, allowing you to seamlessly integrate your online storefront with your socials. 

If you’re still thinking that social commerce is a passing trend, think again. The social commerce market was valued at $492 billion in 2021 and is predicted to grow at a rate of 26% per year. 

Now is the time to start looking at how tools like Shopify can help you capitalize on that market, and this guide is a great place to begin.

Dig deeper > 3-minute read

What makes Shopify great for social commerce?

Shopify is a hugely popular eCommerce platform used by over 1.75 million businesses. It’s also a great choice for retail brands looking to follow social commerce best practices (and reap the revenue rewards of doing so).

Below are the key factors why Shopify and social commerce go so well together.

Integration with Meta platforms

80% of social commerce purchases take place on Meta-owned platforms — Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Shop, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram — according to SimplicityDX research.

It is key to ensure you are exploiting the vast market share that the Meta platforms have in the social commerce space and Shopify allows you to easily integrate your storefront with your Meta socials.

  • Shopify users can connect their product catalog directly to Facebook or Instagram, making the posts shoppable. 
  • Products can be tagged in each social post, allowing customers to go straight to the product detail page with just one click.  
  • Marketing campaigns can also be run directly through Shopify, utilizing paid ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram to boost your reach and customer engagement.

Feature sets to match your needs

Shopify is a tiered subscription service, with different levels of support and features. At the top end of those tiers sits Shopify Plus — the platform’s most premium offer.

Although Shopify Plus is reserved for brands with revenues between $1 million and $500 million, the fact that some of the world’s biggest businesses use the platform is evidence of how successful and scalable Shopify’s technology is.

10,000+ companies including Kylie, Crate & Barrel, and Unilever use Shopify to sell their products online. With heavy hitters like these trusting Shopify to support their eCommerce efforts, you know that there must be something to it. 

That said, Shopify’s other tiers are also fit for purpose depending on what you need.

Shoppers love Shopify

It’s not just businesses that love Shopify — shoppers do, too. 

One way that we know this is based on how much money Shopify itself is making. The business’s Q2 2022 revenue was up 16% year-on-year reaching $1.3 billion — that results in an impressive three-year compounded annual growth rate of 53%. 

The customer experience that Shopify provides also helps keep shoppers coming back (benefiting brands and Shopify alike). In 2019, over 50% of Shopify stores saw repeat purchases, with customers returning and converting twice or more.

Livestream shopping

The days of shopping channels on TV are over but the days of livestream shopping have just begun. Estimated to rake in $500 billion worldwide in 2022, and with over one-third of social media shoppers saying they have attended a livestream event, livestreaming looks set to be the next big thing in the eCommerce world.

Shopify has integrated a host of apps into the platform to support livestream shopping events and sell directly to viewers through a livestream, whether that be on Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere. 

Specifically, Shopify just launched the Shopify Collabs app that makes it simple and easy to connect with influencers to promote your products. The app comes with a huge database of influencers to choose from, allows you to send free gifts and promotional products, and tracks affiliate sales through any discount codes you provide. All of this directly from your Shopify account!

Shopify also recently announced a partnership with YouTube to introduce livestream shopping over there too, meaning there has never been a better time to put your Shopify and social commerce foundations in place.

How to integrate your Shopify store with your Meta accounts

Now you know why, it’s time to look at how you can use Shopify to sell on Facebook and Instagram. 

To integrate Facebook social commerce with Shopify

  • Install the Facebook channel, if you haven’t already.
  • Select ‘Facebook Shop’ as the first feature to set up.
  • For users who set up a different feature first, Facebook Shop can be found on the Facebook channel Overview page.
  • For users already utilizing Instagram Shopping, the Facebook Shop feature can be activated right away. Click ‘Activate’ in the Facebook Shop section of the channel Overview page.
  • For users already utilizing Facebook Marketing with Shopify, you’ll need to connect a Facebook Commerce Manager account to the Facebook channel. You will find the workflow for doing so in the ‘Start setup’ menu in the Facebook Shop section of the Facebook channel Overview page.
  • Connect your Facebook assets as required.
  • Select and set the data-sharing settings you’re happy with, or skip this stage is preferred.
  • Read and accept Meta’s terms of use.

Instagram

Instagram Shopping can be activated as soon as the Facebook channel is installed, but it can also be integrated at a later date via the Facebook channel’s Overview page.

Please note: the steps required might look slightly different if Facebook Shop or Facebook Marketing has already been set up.

  • Navigate to your Shopify admin menu, click ‘Settings’ and then ‘Apps and sales channels’.
  • From the Apps and sales channels page, click ‘Facebook’ > ‘Open sales channel’ > ‘Overview’ > ‘Set up’.
  • Connect the required Facebook accounts to the Facebook sales channel.
  • Read and accept the terms of use, then click ‘Request approval’.

Uploading your catalog

Now you have your Shopify account integrated into your Meta platforms, it’s time to upload your product catalog. As we mentioned earlier, this is a key step to making your posts shoppable through tagging products in your posts.

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a new catalog. Meta has a guide for this, but it’s all done through the Commerce Manager page that should be visible on your Facebook business account. Once you have set up a new catalog, you can connect your Instagram account and start adding products.

Adding products is again done through the Commerce Manager. There are three main ways to add products to your catalog on Facebook:

  1. Manual: Add items individually yourself
  2. Data feed: Upload a spreadsheet to add items in bulk
  3. Facebook pixel: Import and update items directly from your website. This is more complicated and you’ll need a developer to help

It’s a slightly different process for Instagram:

  1. Go to Manage Products and hit Add New
  2. Add an image for the item you want to sell
  3. Enter a name, description, and other details for your item
  4. Tap Save to add the item to your catalog

Don’t forget to categorize

Next, categorize your products into Collections through your Shopify account. Many businesses don’t do this consistently, so by putting in the extra work here you can set yourself apart from the competition and help shoppers to find your products more easily.

There are two types of Collections you can create using Shopify:

  1. Automated Collections: Use a preset list of criteria to automatically add matching products to a Collection. Takes more time to set up initially but is easier to manage as the Collection is updated automatically
  2. Manual Collections: Individually add the products you want to each Collection. More time-consuming but it allows you to have total control over your Collections.

3 companies using Shopify for social commerce

We mentioned earlier that there are some huge brands already using Shopify to run their social commerce ventures. Here we wanted to take a look at a few businesses that truly leverage the power of Shopify to sell via social channels.

SKKN BY KIM

The new cosmetic brand launched by entrepreneur and social media star, Kim Kardashian, SKKN BY KIM follows in the footsteps of her previous brand KKW Beauty in using Shopify to host its eCommerce platform.

screenshot of skkn mobile social shop

As one of the largest influencers in the world, Kim Kardashian really knows how to harness social media to engage fans and promote her products. With 5.5 million Instagram followers, SKKN BY KIM is the definition of a brand that was built for and by social media.

Gymshark

This UK-based fitness brand has become synonymous with social media in recent years. Gymshark has used savvy marketing techniques and frequent posts to garner over 8 million followers across its social channels.

Leaning heavily into influencer marketing, the clothing company has ensured that when you think of fitness, you think of Gymshark. And they use Shopify to run their social stores, pulling in hundreds of millions in the process.

Red Bull

No longer just an energy drink brand (although they still have the largest market share in this space), Red Bull is also heavily involved in extreme sports and adventure. Instead of using their socials to advertise energy drinks, they use them to promote exciting sports, adventure, and lifestyle content.

This approach has led to them amassing a following of over 50 million fans across their social channels. All of this is supported by Shopify, which they use to sell vast numbers of energy drinks, despite rarely advertising the beverages directly on their feeds.

Using Shopify to sell on Facebook and Instagram: How to get it right 

We’ve gone over why you should be using Shopify and how to do it, so now let’s look at a few best practices for when you have your Shopify account up and running.

We have a more in-depth guide on this you can find here, but we’ve pulled a few quick highlights:

Keep a close eye on your store

Our research found that a shocking 98% of shoppers had encountered stock issues when purchasing products through social media. 

Often, customers will follow a link from social media, only to find that the product they were told was in stock on the social channel is not available on the brand site.

It is therefore key to monitor your social channels closely and ensure they accurately reflect the actual stock that you have. There is nothing worse for both you and the customer than to have to refund purchases that you cannot fulfill.

Consistently update your catalog and tag products

As we mentioned earlier, ensuring your catalog is up to date and all of your products are consistently tagged can really make you stand out from the competition. Many brands do not do this, so being one who does will set you apart.

It also makes it easier for customers to find the products they are looking for and complete their purchase by easily clicking on the products they want to buy.

Optimize your landing page

71% of shoppers prefer to complete their purchase on the brand site after discovering a product through social media, rather than purchasing on the brand site.

However, 81% of respondents to our State of Social Commerce survey indicated they had had a poor landing page experience when coming from socials to the brand site. Whether this is broken links, poorly optimized pages, or slow loading, it is crucial that you get your landing page right.

Social commerce success starts here

SimplicityDX makes social commerce work. Its SimplicityDX Edge Experience Platform enables brands to optimize social commerce experiences by simplifying the buying process between journeys started at the edge and the brand’s eCommerce e-site. Founded by a team of industry veterans in May 2021 and privately funded, SimplicityDX operates in the U.S. and U.K. markets.

Speak to our team of social commerce experts today.

Read more about our insights on social commerce.

7 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience of your Shopify Store

eCommerce Profitability is Driven by Digital Customer Experience

What is omnichannel eCommerce?

The Truth about Meta's Social Commerce Market Share

eCommerce checkout best practice: 3 checkout UX tips to secure your sales

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