As part of Facebook's ongoing efforts to transform Messenger into a key business platform, The Social Network is turning its attention to smaller operators and providing new ways for SMBs to utilize messaging in their process. Today, Shopify has announced a new integration with Messenger that'll enable Shopify merchants to sell directly via message.
As you can see from the GIF, the whole purchase process can be conducted via message, with payments made through Shopify's checkout portal within the app. The system provides Shopify users with a whole new way to connect with their audiences.
To enable the new functionality, Shopify users need to add the Messenger channel to their site, which is available via the Shopify 'Sales Channels' page.
- From your Shopify admin, click the
+button beside the Sales channels heading.
- On the Add sales channel dialog, find Messenger within the list of available channels, and then click Learn more.
- Click Add channel.
- In the Messenger section, review the terms and conditions and then click I've read and accept the terms to continue.
Once you've connected your Shopify site to Messenger, you simply pick the products you want to make available via message.
When a customer first connects with your business via message, they'll receive a welcome note from your store.
If the user taps 'Get Started', they can choose to 'Shop Now', 'View Website' or 'Choose More'
If they choose 'Shop Now', customers will be able to browse through your available products.
The integration provides an easy way for small businesses to utilize Messenger as a sales platform, which is a smart move for Facebook, which, thus far, has seen lukewarm response to their highly touted automated Messenger Bots offering. Part of the problem there could be that Messenger bots may seem out of reach, technically, for smaller sellers - and those smaller businesses are the ones that make up the majority of eCommerce transactions.
Through Shopify, Facebook will have the opportunity to provide direct selling on Messenger options for more than 165,000 stores, which could go a long way towards transitioning Messenger from a personal interactive network to a place to conduct business. As more of those businesses try out the new option - and expose their respective audiences to Messenger commerce - that could help showcase the potential of the offering and assist in changing the perception of messaging from one of connecting with friends to performing a range of different tasks.
Shopify's Messenger sales channel is available to Shopify merchants in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.