10 Apr 2018

Take full advantage of the available Shopify Sales Channels

When you’re building an online business, setting up your Shopify store is a key milestone – but it’s just the beginning! 

One of the best things about Shopify is the frictionless access it gives you to various other ‘Shopify sales channels’. (This sounds like a complicated term, but really, sales channels are just the different sites or marketplaces where you can sell your products.)

Marketplaces are incredibly valuable for online sellers. After all, what’s easier: identifying and reaching customers, then driving them to your online store and hoping they convert – or reaching customers where they already hang out online and are conditioned to making purchases?

The beauty of Shopify Sales Channels is that you can connect your products to these marketplaces, so you can keep track of your products, orders and customers all in one place – wherever your items are sold.

You can access your sales channels from the dashboard screen. When you’re first starting out, your ‘Online Store’ will be the only one – look at it there, sad and lonely.

Fortunately, adding Shopify sales channels is quick and easy. Just click the little ‘+’ icon…

…and Shopify displays a range of different channels recommended for stores like yours. You may also see a range that can’t be added to your store, along with an explanation of why. (Many of them require your store currency to be set in USD, for example…)

Let’s take a look at some of the must-have Shopify sales channels to help you succeed.

FACEBOOK

If you’ve already got a presence on Facebook, connecting your store to your Facebook page is a no-brainer. Shopify lets you sell directly on Facebook, with an onsite checkout and an integrated Shop tab on your Facebook page, which looks a bit like this…

We’ve written extensively about how to connect Facebook to your store – check out a detailed setup guide here, and, for advanced tips and tricks, we highly recommend downloading our ‘Ultimate Guide to Facebook for Merchandisers.’

MESSENGER

You might know Messenger purely as the annoying app that Facebook insists you install to access messages on your phone. But it’s recently made huuuuge strides in the world of eCommerce and is quickly becoming an essential sales channel for your print-on-demand products, because it matches the ‘conversational,’ 1-on-1 communication style that many customers increasingly prefer.

The video below gives you an idea of the advanced sort of functionality that’s possible via Shopify’s Messenger plugin…customers can use Messenger to basically go through the whole process of researching and purchasing a product. They can literally buy products in the chat window. Exciting stuff!

Ezra Firestone shared 3 incredibly powerful, step-by-step techniques to sell more products on Facebook Messenger via DigitalMarketer in July last year. (And, incidentally, while he mentions to keep an eye out for step 3 – integration with shopping cart platforms – this feature has well and truly arrived now, and it’s waiting for you in Shopify.)

BUY BUTTON

The ‘Buy Button’ is a versatile little tool that does exactly what it says on the tin. More than just a ‘button,’ though, this tool basically allows you to add full-featured eCommerce functionality to your existing website, WordPress, Squarespace or pretty much anywhere else you’ve built an audience online. That includes product pages, embedded cart and secure checkout.

The button, typography, etc. are all customisable to match the branding, look and feel of the third party website it’s going to live on, and you can set up ‘Buy Buttons’ for individual products or whole collections.

When you’re done building your button, hitting the ‘Generate Code’ option will give you a snippet of code to embed this functionality into your website. Your customers can then use Shopify-esque functionality to browse and order their products, just the same as if they were on your website.

PINTEREST

The purchasing power of Pinterest has been written about extensively – research suggests that a whopping 93% of Pinners have used Pinterest to plan for or make purchases, and 52% have seen something on Pinterest and later made a purchase somewhere else online.

Shopify’s integration with Pinterest takes things to the next level, allowing you to create ‘Buyable Pins’ – products that can be bought right within Pinterest, without leaving the site; in other words, a ‘Buy it’ button for Pinterest.

Shoppable Pinterest

Neil Patel wrote an article with tips on generating 328% more eCommerce sales using this feature – it’s well worth a look.

AMAZON

Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace and an obvious inclusion in any article of this kind. You simply cannot overstate the number of customers who begin their purchasing journey with research on Amazon. In fact, it was reported recently that 55% of people start their product searches not on search engines, but on Amazon. This illustrates the extent to which being discoverable on Amazon can help boost your sales numbers.

Shopify’s Amazon integration lets you manage your Amazon listings and Shopify products in one single location. You can sync your products to Amazon listings in just a few minutes, with very little work. It pretty much couldn’t be easier.

EBAY

Integrating your store with eBay is a great idea for similar reasons – it connects you with more than 171 million active buyers, and products can be synced between your Shopify account and eBay account quickly and easily.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is widely regarded as the world’s second most popular social media platform behind Facebook – but it’s also commonly seen as the best for engagement.

Instagram also has some highly compelling stats that make it a great fit for eCommerce sellers – for example, 75% of its users take action after viewing a post, and users are 70% more likely to make mobile purchases.

In other words, Instagram is a platform that drives action, turning passions into purchases.

The Instagram sales channel for Shopify essentially allows you to add shopping tags to your images that link to product pages, and allow secure checkout in the app.

(Image source)

You’ll need to have a Facebook Shop already connected to your Shopify store, and then connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts through your Facebook settings. It can take a few days to get up and running while Instagram checks and approve your store. But the results should more than justify the input.

Thanks for reading!

We hope you found today’s article useful!

If there’s one takeaway we want to hammer home, it’s that ‘Build it and they will come,’ doesn’t work beyond the confines of mediocre Kevin Costner movies.

Once you’ve built your Shopify store and published your product range, you need to be proactive in getting your products out there in front of people who want to buy them.

The Shopify sales channels we’ve outlined in today’s article take a matter of minutes to set up – but they combine to help build a solid, multi-faceted eCommerce business that is well-equipped to reach far beyond your existing audience, into new, exciting marketplaces where cashed-up customers are ready to buy.

Install the Shopify Merch plugin to create custom merchandise to sell via Shopify channels:

Shopify Merch Plugin