Tired of just liking your favorite brands and companies on Facebook? Shopify is about to give you a whole lot more to do.
In a move that blurs the lines between social networking and social commerce, Facebook and Shopify announced yesterday (Sept. 16) that businesses using the cloud-based shopping platform's services would be able to sell products directly through their official Facebook pages, according to a press release. Shopify counts more than 175,000 sellers of varying sizes among its clients, which means Facebook users will soon be able to do a good deal of shopping without ever leaving the site.
“Our goal is to make it easy to sell products where the customers are, and increasingly that's on mobile," Satish Kanwar, director of product for Shopify, told Wired.
The announcement comes only days after Twitter and API payments startup Stripe released details of a buy button that allows users to purchase products directly from their timelines. It shouldn't come as a surprise why two of the world's most popular social media platforms are so keen on getting into the social commerce game. According to a report from Business Insider, eCommerce referrals from social media activity increased by almost 200 percent between Q1 2014 and Q1 2015. Capturing a slice of this expanding retail pie could net huge profits for any business involved.
The news should also come as a welcome development for small businesses that depend on social activity to drive interest in their products. While developing a native eCommerce purchase process for customers can be expensive and full of consumer-unfriendly verification steps that harm conversion rates, closing sales through Facebook's Pages could improve the consumer path-to-purchase experience on mobile in particular.
It's unclear if Facebook plans to roll native purchasing out to small businesses unaffiliated with Shopify, but if the past is any indication, expect the media giant to pull no punches when it comes to cornering the social commerce market.